Tag Archive: travel


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes a few years ago.

Despite watching my diet and exercising, there have been no easy fixes. I did not have that lovely dramatic weight loss nor have my numbers chosen to stay in their proper range.

Recently I was told to get diabetic shoes and change a few more aspects of my daily routines. While I know I am lucky that I never had Type One, there are days when I wonder if I will ever get used to all of this. I think about the changes I have made and wonder what else is there for me to give up. But I also try to not look at is as giving up but prolonging my life with fewer health complications.

Secret Life of Walter Mitty posterIt is saddening and overwhelming, making me want to hide from it all some days.

Perhaps that is why I have been thinking about the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013). This remake of the classic MGM movie is about a man who spends much of his life day dreaming about the things he wishes he could be or do.

Walter, as played by Ben Stiller, has always been a very careful man, a guarded man, who have never traveled or done anything outside of the small parameter of his life. Recently, he has developed a crush on a co-worker but is not brave enough to talk to her. He works as an image manager for Life magazine that is about to print it’s final hard copy magazine. Soon, this version of Life will be online only and staff members will lose their jobs.

It is up to Walter to find the last picture from a renown photographer and the man jumps into the assignment. The man afraid to travel find himself flinging himself into one adventure after another, trying to find the reclusive photographer and the final image meant to be the final cover image of a dying magazine.

Secret life of Walter Mitty skateboardThrough his adventures, Walter discovers something about himself. I guess we expect that because this movie is all about change and growth. And we want it to be happy. And Walter changes through his travels. When ever someone goes on a journey of self discovery and growth, there are expectations that this person will be a better version of themselves.

Walter may have wished for more when he started on his journey. He expects more when he returns home. And he gets more. I love the travelogue aspect of this movie, the beautiful scenery. I enjoy some of the philosophy as well. Sean Penn can deliver the mystical magical performance when needed, sometimes that mystical aura is right there in front of us and we just can’t see it.

Sometimes it requires us to travel around the world to see what was always there but hiding in plain sight.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Making the Trip Bearable

Our family just got back from going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  It was a 450-mile trip in our small sedan with three kids in the back seat.

 You can ask if we are crazy, you can wonder how much alcohol was consumed by the end of the trip. But as a parent who has done this many times over the years, I can tell you there are a few tricks to get this mode of transportation with kids to be successful.

Picture by Bethliebee

 1. Always have an activity bag with books and toys for each kid. Double check it to make sure the items are good for the car. My oldest plays his game boy, the youngest has stuffed animals and action figures. My daughter likes to read.

2. Bring along blankets for sleeping. I have a large number of baby quilts and those are the best size for in the car. You can always roll them up to be a pillow if the car is too warm to use a blanket.

 3. Have songs in your head when things are looking a little dicey. We were singing Christmas carols and Frère Jacques on the way down. At some point I had to ban Jingle Bells after the millionth time but the point is we focus on something besides the overwhelming length of the drive.

 4. Be ready with an “ABC” game of some sort. Maybe it is naming what you see or saying a word that starts with that letter or coming up with a word starting with the last letter of the last word said (i.e. “elephant” leads to “train”). This took up 30 minutes driving through one big town. The “last letter” game is a good one to play when it is dark out and the sites cannot be seen as readily.

 5. Have a kid-friendly restaurant planned for one stop. If you are driving several hours as we did, one blessing can be that fast food place that is a little different or has a play area. This time around we hit Cozy Drive-In that is located in Springfield, Illinois. They state they invented the corn dog. I can attest that the cozy dogs and hamburgers are very tasty. So was the bottled Route 66 Root beer.

Picture by Karpati

6. You might have to make other rest stops along the way. Pack in a Frisbee or, if you have space, a soccer ball or football. These are good ways to stretch those muscles and work off excess energy.

This is what works for my family. What works for yours?