Family travel gear - 8 essentials you won't want to get caught without. www.Joyfulabode.com traveling with kids ideas

Do you have a family vacation or trip coming up? You won’t want to be without these 8 essentials for family travel. What’s on my gear list?


We’re so lucky to have found such an awesome play group while we have been at Randolph AFB. The group is organized by Janet S., who plans themes for every Friday’s gathering. One week, we had bubbles and chalk to play with. Another week everyone brought their ride-on toys (tricycles, wagons, scooters, and more) for


I wasn’t sure how many shows we would get to see, or if they would be too long to hold the kids’ attention, but they were just the right length (even with us getting there early to find good seats just beyond the splash zone) and the kids loved them!


We discovered that there is a super-fun and relatively new playground in Schertz, just a few minutes from Randolph Air Force Base. We’ve been there a few times and definitely plan to visit more before we leave Texas. Every time we’ve gone, there have been lots of “friends” (what Anneliese calls other kids, whether she


I’ve heard amazing things about the San Antonio Botanical Gardens so I knew it had to be on our San Antonio, TX itinerary. We went on Columbus Day, which happened to be a Little Sprout Monday.


Partway through our drive, I asked Siri on the iPhone if there was a Starbucks nearby, and she told me that there was one in about 10 miles. I walky-talkied to the Guy that I thought it would be a good time/place to stop, and he wanted coffee too so he agreed. It was the prettiest Starbucks I think I’ve ever seen, in Kerrville, Texas, right on a lake. I ran in and got coffee, and asked the baristas if they knew of a park nearby. They sent us to one right on the other side of the dam, on the Guadalupe River.


Some of the rooms are really echoey, and I would tell Joseph, “Why don’t you try out your voice?” He responded by making a loud sharp, “AH!!!” and then giggling, repeating a few times. Sometimes he tried for an echo in a non-echoey place and seemed irritated that his voice wasn’t rebounding.


We wanted to have a picnic at the windmill, but since that was a no go, we kept driving. After a while, we needed a restroom and gas stop, so we pulled off in Ozona, Texas. I asked if there was a playground or picnic area nearby, and a nice lady from the Chamber of Commerce, who happened to be in the convenience store shopping, directed me to a wonderful park.


Driving through Arizona and New Mexico, we mostly saw the cloudless skies we’ve become accustomed to in Lemoore, California. The climate is so dry, there’s just no moisture to make clouds at all, most days. But as soon as we hit Texas, all of a sudden, gorgeous clouds appeared. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I saw them again. Hello there, old friends.


So I could have spent all day at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. I thought it would be really really cheesy, but it is just a huge collection of newspaper clippings, letters, affidavits, photographs, medical records, and more. I could have read all day long.


As soon as we walked in, I knew we had made the right choice. The restaurant smelled delicious, and the decor was super cute, thoughtfully decorated, and with pops of lime green without even one alien/UFO reference. The kind of place locals who are a bit tired of the Roswell claim to fame would love to hang out.


During our morning in Albuquerque, after dealing with a punctured tire (Oh no! Road trip woes!), we headed to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to learn the story of the Atomic Age.



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