Grandpa and grandkids plan great American road trip

  • By Wire Service
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:30am
  • Life

Dear Grandparenting:

Call me a fool but here I go, back by popular demand and back on the road again. The lineup is me, three grandkids and my trusty 2014 Jeep Hemi V8 4×4, because we do like to go off-roading. We’re taking off in three weeks, heading for parts unknown.

Last year we put close to 6,000 miles on the Jeep exploring America’s scenic Northwest. Starting from Cedar Rapids, we rolled out to see San Francisco, then up to Seattle and back home through Idaho, Montana and North Dakota. This year we’re shooting for New Orleans and the Texas Gulf Coast.

My best friend says I am certifiably insane to stay cooped up in a car with three youngish children. (My grandkids are 10, 12 and 13 years old, one boy and two girls.) But everyone is game and so am I. Too much worrying beforehand and you’ll never get going.

— Craig Brown, Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Craig:

Our hero! Not many grandparents would ever seriously consider embarking on such an adventure, much less dare repeat it.

It’s one thing to care for a grandchild for several hours and quite another to be responsible for their wellbeing for an extended period. For grandparents with the requisite stamina and temperament contemplating their own great adventure, either big or small, here’s some food for thought:

You’ll probably never need them, but grandparents can’t go wrong packing consent documents from the parents verifying they have their permission to travel together. A notarized letter giving you authority to seek medical treatment is also advisable. Don’t forget copies of their proof of medical and dental insurance, along with any prescriptions they may need.

To keep the tantrums at bay, assemble a stash of snacks and drinks but do moderate your grandchildren’s sugar intake. It’s a good idea to plan stops every two to three hours, ideally at attractions along the way. Ask for their ideas as you plot your route, because it has to be a team effort.

Don’t object to their excess of electronic games and internet equipment. It’s their entertainment, but we advise limiting usage. Memories improve with visual stimuli, so buy postcards along the way and then have the grandkids write what they liked or disliked on the back. Happy bonding!

Grand Remark of the Week

Nappy Johnson from Kingsport, Tennessee, ended his bedtime story for grandson Jimbo by saying, “Sometimes things happen and nobody knows how or why.”

Jimbo, 6, cut in. “Yeah, only God and Santa know everything, right?”

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Talk to us

More in Life

Washington’s most beloved state park turns 100

Deception Pass State Park, which draws as many visitors as the best-known national parks in the U.S., celebrates a century of recreation and conservation

Hydrangea and rose
July checklist for Snohomish County gardeners

After a slow start to summer, things should take off this month. So keep planting and nurturing.

Caption: The 12 week Edmonds Community Police Academy was a free opportunity for private citizens to learn about law enforcement.
An inside look at how law enforcement works

A pregnant mother. A man who rescues abused horses and donkeys. A… Continue reading

Kid 'n Play members Christopher "Kid" Reid, left, and Christopher "Play" Martin perform on NBC's "Today" show during the "I Love The 90's" morning concert at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, April 29, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Relive the music of the 1990s with Kid N Play and other stars of the era at the Tulalip Casino Amphitheater.

So-called relaxing summer vacations can wear you out

To truly enjoy a family getaway, tone down your expectations. Everything won’t be picture-perfect.

Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.
Roaming the Alps brings cultural insights along with the views

The Swiss have great respect for Alpine traditions and culture — and contempt for tourists who disrespect both.

Will TripMate cover costs for trip canceled for medical reasons?

After Stanley Wales cancels his diving trip to Bonaire, he files a travel insurance claim with TripMate. What’s taking them so long to respond?

Contestant chef Brian Madayag (left) of Edmonds and West Coast team captain Brooke Williamson on “Beachside Brawl.” (Food Network) 20220616
Edmonds chef reps Pacific Northwest on new Food Network show

Barkada owner Brian Madayaga will compete on a new Food Network series that premiers Sunday.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’ (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’

This Hinoki cypress is graceful and beautiful, and is very drought-tolerant once established.

Most Read