Holiday Insanity? Prepping for a 10-Day Family Road Trip

What happens when 2 bloggers and their 2 kids hop into a 2013 Cadillac SRX Crossover?

Yeah... I'm not so sure. 

Sometimes I wonder about my sanity. On top of work, my blog, the gala I'm helping with and the impending holidays, we decided it would be a good idea to take a 10-day roadtrip out to Omaha, NE to see Jason's family for Thanksgiving. While Jason grew up with road trips and actually sees them as relaxing all I think is "OMG STUCK IN THE CAR WITH THE KIDS FOR HOURS ON END!" as I start to hyperventilate. 

The key to a road-trip is obviously to make the driving as fun as possible and I have to say I'm very excited to be making the drive in the SRX, on loan to us from GMC West for the trip. With the entertainment system in the car, plus all our various iDevices, I'm hoping the trip flies by in a series of naps, movies and photo stops. But the complusive planner in me is stressing, which is why I thought I would share my (non-expert!) list on prepping for a road-trip.

1) Plan out the route - but don't set it in stone

The last time we made this trip we were re-routed a few times by weather. Instead of going up and over the Rocky Mountains as planned, we ended up taking a southern route though New Mexico and Kansas. While stressful at the time, we saw parts of the country that we never even expected to see. But we also lost money on hotels paid for in advance. Luckily with all the apps out there we will never really be stranded without a room for the night, so while we are making reservations, we are not paying for anything up front.

2) Packing smaller "hotel bags"

While I plan on taking the big ticket items out of the car at night (ie: computer bags, iPads), it's nice to not have to take everything out of the car. We pack smaller "trip bags" with just the things we need for the on-the-road part of the trip so we don't have to unpack and repack each day of the drive.

3) Mapping it out with the kids

While the getting out to Omaha, NE part of the trip will be the direct route, coming back we decided to take an extra 2 days and let the kids chose where to stop - well, to an extent. While they wanted to see the Grand Canyon, after looking at the map we realized that probably would be too much of a non-direct haul, so we decided to stop in Moab, UT and see Arches National Park. 

And the 2nd stop that the kids wanted? Vegas, Baby. I guess it stems from us always saying how fun Sin City is... but even though we won't be partying it up, we are staying on the strip and going to show them some of the tamer sights the city has to offer. 

But you know the trip wouldn't be as much fun with out Jason and I broadcasting our every move. So yes, we will be tweeting, blogging, instagraming and updating statuses along the way. 

Follow along with us at #SRXRoadTrip - tell us where to eat, what sights to see and if there is someplace we need to stop.


The Kawasaki Disease Foundation Gala - Can you help?

Just going to be upfront on this - I'm going to tell you a little story that may pull at your heart, then I'm going to ask you for a favor…


My baby boy was 9 months old.

Sweet, little Lucas had just celebrated his first Thanksgiving, was starting to pull himself to a standing position and was about to celebrate his first Christmas. One evening, Jason and I took him to Balboa Park, to what used to be called "Christmas on the Prado" to see the lights. He was all bundled up and tucked in tight to his stroller when our friend looked down at him and said "Wow, I never realize how red his cute little lips were!" Jason and I stared at each other, both of us wondering why we had never noticed either. 

We were only 9 months into this parenting thing. Maybe the baby was cold? Maybe he ate something he shouldn't have? Thoughts raced through our minds. The next day our sweet boy had his very first fever. We called the nurse line and doled out the proper dosage of infant Motrin and gave him a lukewarm bath. Our normally happy baby was crying and sleeping and visibly uncomfortable. The next day the fever continued on. His lips grew redder and his eyes were a little bloodshot. Monday came with an early visit to our pediatrician. She made note that this looks "something like Kawasaki Disease" - but told us not to worry.. that was a very rare illness. She told me not to Google it and freak myself out. She put him on antibiotics and sent him in for a chest Xray to rule out pneumonia. 

This was before smartphones - with my day spent at doctors and caring for my little one, I didn't Google Kawasaki Disease...but when he was admitted to Rady Children's Hospital the next day, I wish I had.

Kawasaki Disease is the NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF ACQUIRED HEART DISEASE IN CHILDREN. And going on 8 years later, doctors and scientists STILL don't know exactly what causes it. 

We were lucky.

At the time, many pediatricians weren't trained to recognize and treat KD, and far too many parents were losing their kids to this disease. Our doctors diagnosed the disease in time for a successful treatment. Thus far Lucas has had no lasting heart damage. But as the research continues to grow and mature along with the little hearts affected by KD in the past, we are learning that things can always change.

That's why Jason and I are standing together to not only raise awareness for the disease, but help raise funds for the continued research of this disease.


Saturday, November 17th is the 4th Annual "To Save a Child's Heart" Kawasaki Disease Foundation Gala.

This is going to be an amazing culinary evening at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, celebrating all we know and raising money to keep on answering the millions of questions still unanswered. 

At this event, 18 celebrity chefs will cook table side for intimate groups of 8 people. Some of the top chefs from around the country and coming in and donating their time for this cause. I'm proud to be on the committee helping with the gala. I'm happy that I can do anything to give back the community that was there for us when we needed them 8 years ago.

If you are interested in attending the event, you can find more information on the chefs at

But even if you can't be there - I would still love your help. 

To help raise money at the event, we are looking for donations for the silent auction portion of the evening. 

Anything from gift certificates to restaurants, bottles of wine, work-out memberships or a basket of products would be greatly appreciated. 

I'm going to be collecting items over the next few weeks. If you can help in anyway, please let me know. 

Yes, I'm begging. Because I'm still scarred from the experience and learning all we can about this disease is the only way I can help other parents not have to go through what we went through.