by Olga SE
Before our first trip to the sea I often wondered what age a kid should be to be able to spend three days in a car. A girl I know who is a mother of three said the best age to travel with kids is when they are newborn because they don’t need any food or drink and haven’t got any particular preferences. I lifted my eyebrows in surprise and couldn’t believe her. Anyway, it was too late for me to check for my daughter wasn’t newborn any more.
Due to different circumstances our first trip as a family of three didn’t take place until last year when our daughter turned two. We started at about 5 a.m., as we usually do on such long trips. Dasha seemed to understand the necessity and didn’t mind though normally she doesn’t wake up before 10 a.m.
The first day passed all right and she didn’t even need the toys and books we had packed, except for an electric piano. Notwithstanding cold and rainy weather, there was a lot to do in the car: look out of the window, toy with sticks and pine cones she collected during our short stops, study the map and listen to my stories about the hugeness of the sea.
Our plan was to spend nights in the car (we have a 7 seater minibus with a table, three of the seats have been habitually replaced with a large self-made bed) but as the weather wasn’t warm enough we began to think of renting a motel room. Luckily as we approached Samara in the evening, the rain had stopped. Getting out of the car, we realized it wasn’t cold any more. So we were able to have a great night’s sleep almost in the open air.
By the second day Dasha had already got used to her sedentary lifestyle and demanded even less attention. As our food supplies were over, she found pleasure in spotting shops and cafes. She had no time to be bored as now the landscape was completely different from the Urals and it was fun studying it and comparing. We had dinner in Saratov. The city is affected by such strong winds that after a few steps from the car to a cafe our eyes were full of dust.
The last day was the most pleasant despite the bareness of the landscape: we changed into light clothes for the weather was turning from warm to hot. Every sight we passed was suggestive of the sea we were approaching. Even the fact that we had to spend an additional night in the car next to Krasnodar didn’t spoil the impression.
I can’t say that everything had gone smoothly. Once we lost our way and had to drive several dozen kilometers back to return on the right track. We had a long delay at a car service station. Sometimes we drove till late at night and our daughter fell asleep in her chair and only hours later was carried to the bed for the night. She wasn’t allowed to sit on my lap as she sometimes wished to. None of the hardships made her cry or complain.