top of page

Ep 7: The Ninth Circle of Hell: Traveling When You’re a Neurodiverse Family

Family travel is supposed to be fun, right? We’re bonding and making memories and all that jazz. In a perfect world, we’d agree with you, but the reality is a bit more miserable when you’re traveling as a neurodiverse family.


The truth is that no matter how much you plan ahead, things will go off the rails and meltdowns will happen. The change in routine, the new sights and sounds, the people, it’s all a bit much to take in when you have autism.


In today’s episode, we talk about how to plan for your trip in advance and get your neurodiverse kids used to the idea long beforehand, the issues you’ll likely encounter no matter which mode of transportation you’re using, and how exhausting it can be for the whole family, even if your kids don’t remember that part later. Plus, can we all just agree that theme parks are the worst?!




In this episode, you’ll learn...

  • [11:41] Travel is so important for our neurodiverse kids to experience, but it’s also very difficult because of the change in routine

  • [13:13] The importance of creating a social story for our kids before leaving for any trip

  • [16:13] The issues that come up when we travel, like food, heavy backpacks, entertainment devices, stuffed animals, having a backup plan for meltdowns, and so much more

  • [29:31] The traumatic experiences we’ve had at theme parks, especially in Orlando, FL

  • [44:47] Controversial opinion alert, but what if we take separate trips sometimes without our neurodiverse kids?

  • [49:49] The Last Word from our kids and their thoughts on travel




If you just can't get enough of us, don’t forget to join our newsletter and check out our other projects.


Links mentioned in this episode…





(click to scroll through photos)




Transcript for "Ep 7: The Ninth Circle of Hell: Traveling When You’re a Neurodiverse Family:"


Gwen:

If you have an appreciation for honest and often irreverent conversations about parenting humans with neurodiversity, you have found your home. I'm Gwen.

Kristen:

And I'm Kristen. And together we have 35 years experience parenting some fiercely amazing humans, which gives us an endless supply of stories of inspiring failures and heartbreaking wins.

Gwen:

Welcome to You Don't Want a Hug, Right? We've been having these conversations for years, cracking ourselves up. We've always wanted to share the hilarity and the hard with other parents. So here we are.

Kristen:

Grab a cozy blanket and a beverage and go hide in a closet nearest you.

Gwen:

Friend, I haven't seen your face in over a week, which is odd for us.

Kristen:

It is odd. We have both been traveling, having some very different travel experiences.

Gwen:

We sure have. Where did you just get home from, Kristen?

Kristen:

I just got home from the magical New England, so on the Cape and in Booth Bay Harbor, Maine with my family, without our children. So this is the first time in a really, really long time that we've gone there without them, we left them home. Which was a really good experience except for the fact that coming home last night, I became aware that one of my children didn't take their medication for five days.

Gwen:

Oh, shit.

Kristen:

Yeah. And that's with daily prompts, daily texts.

Gwen:

Of course it was.

Kristen:

So now-

Gwen:

But you didn't watch him do it with your own naked eyes.

Kristen:

I didn't watch him with my naked eyes, which now I know I need to FaceTime and watch the pill go down.

Gwen:

And so what does your day going to look like today as a result of that mishap?

Kristen:

Lots of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands and some pretty emotional family time.

Gwen:

Welcome home.

Kristen:

Yeah, welcome home. How about yours?

Gwen:

Well, mine was only three days, but summer was going really well because I had it so laid out and scheduled. So this was the first time that, we call it the tism, just punched me straight in the face. And I'm still reeling from that. And fortunately and unfortunately we leave again tomorrow for five days at a cottage we rent every summer. I think I've talked about how Rylan just is dreading this experience of all the water fun.

Kristen:

Because you can do all those things at home apparently.

Gwen:

So I know that we're just leaping right into another week of punch me in the face autism. So that's how I'm feeling right now. Just hello and shut up.

Kristen:

The tiz is with you. Instead of the force is with you, the tiz is with you.

Gwen:

The dysregulation was just fierce right now, as is just the rigidity of any sort of direction.

Kristen:

Oh, Lord. We're going to talk about travel today, friends.

Gwen:

Yes, we are.

Kristen:

Today we are going to talk about travel. And travel, what that looks like with our families. But first we're going to do our Graham-isms and Rylan-isms.

Gwen:

We are. Why don't you kick off? Mine is a little longer today.

Kristen:

Just today? Yours is always longer.

Gwen:

Okay, fine. That's fine. Graham has the one-liners, right?

Kristen:

Graham is the king of the one-liner. And Rylan's need a great deal of setup because that's what makes it hilarious.

Gwen:

I don't know what you're going to share, but can you please share what happened when we were having our meeting yesterday? Please?

Kristen:

Yeah. So I'm in a meeting, Graham knows when I'm in the, I have this little studio out on our deck that we call the Maple House. So I'm out in the Maple house and Graham comes up and he puts his thumb up or thumb down if I can talk. And I'm like thumb down.

And he's still standing there with his finger up, but I just have to tell you this one thing. So finally I'm like, "What is it?" And he said, "You dropped a card in the kitchen, it's fallen off." One of the thank you cards from my staff has fallen onto the floor. That's what he had to tell me.

Gwen:

I'm on FaceTime with her and I can see her face so visibly irritated, but that purse lipped lip that we get when we're trying to be kind, but super annoyed. And I hear him say, mutter something and she just says, "I don't think you needed to tell me that this instant, but thank you."

And then she told me what he said and I mean I needed five minutes to compose myself because it's so funny when it's not your kid and you. It's not funny when it's you. But I found it because I know that he just needed a check-in.

Kristen:

He had to, and it's compulsive. And, friends, we need to just really, this is, I think we're going to do a whole episode on this because we feel like people probably think we're total A-holes because of how annoyed we get with these very inane, not very intrusive things.

The problem is that our kids narrate their executive functioning out loud. And so there is so much information shared with us throughout the day that's just about, "Hey, I put my socks on now so I don't forget when I leave for the dentist in 40 minutes." Okay, thank you for letting me know.

Gwen:

And then in 40 minutes a reminder that the socks are on.

Kristen:

Already had my socks on.

Gwen:

I don't need to put them on.

Kristen:

Just, it's so much interaction that doesn't go anywhere. And is a lot of them just kind of narrating out loud and it's really-

Gwen:

Unnecessary.

Kristen:

And crazy making, but anyway.

Gwen:

But for them it's necessary. So anyway, that was, he just needed you to know that the card was on the floor.

Kristen:

The floor.

Gwen:

Mom.

Kristen:

I know. All right, here's-

Gwen:

What do you want me to do?

Kristen:

Here's my quick Graham-ism that relates to travel.

Gwen:

Okay, good.

Kristen:

Okay. We were walking around the lake one day and Graham was talking about how much he loves Colorado. And he said, "I love living in Colorado, but you know, I can see myself in New York City in a condo looking out at the city lights with a cup of Joe listening to some smooth jazz." Are you 80? What are you talking about?

Gwen:

Are you in your own body?

Kristen:

You could not want to live there.

Gwen:

New York City. I mean if I could choose one place that would be a complete shit show for Graham Kaiser, it would be New York City.

Kristen:

I know.

Gwen:

They're not ready for him, nor is he ready for them.

Kristen:

They are not ready for him because he would have to talk to everybody on the subway and somebody would murder him.

Gwen:

They'd murder him.

Kristen:

Yeah.

Gwen:

Mugged and murdered.

Kristen:

Yes.

Gwen:

And the smooth jazz. I mean, I appreciate smooth jazz. So I'm with my brother Graham on that one.

Kristen:

And a cup of Joe.

Gwen:

A cup of Joe. I can just see him in the window though, but never leaving.

Kristen:

He was just-

Gwen:

That I think he could do successfully. He could sit in the window with his jazz and his Joe, observing the city lights.

Kristen:

Yes, I actually-

Gwen:

Narrating everything that's happening.

Kristen:

I actually can't think of anything better. I would love to live in New York City and drink a cup of Joe. Maybe not so much with the smooth jazz, but I would love it.

Gwen:

Are you serious?

Kristen:

No, I'm totally serious. I would love it.

Gwen:

You would live in New York City?

Kristen:

I would live in New York City. I would have a little flat, one bedroom, with books around my bed. And I would have takeout and I would go to shows. That's what I would do for a whole year.

Gwen:

Okay.

Kristen:

And go to museums. It would be amazing.

Gwen:

I would be Graham and never leave my window. I couldn't. Okay. This is new information. I'm just digesting that you are a city girl because I think I'm the opposite.

Kristen:

Well, I'm a temporary city girl.

Gwen:

Okay, that's fair.

Kristen:

Okay, enough about Graham. Give me your Rylan-ism.

Gwen:

Okay, Rylan-ism for this week, it pertains to our last episode on summer. And I don't think I talked about this, but in part of my very formulated worksheet of the beginning of summer, it includes a project section.

Kristen:

Oh my Lord.

Gwen:

Stop it. Where we can list any projects that you want to do and it's only there because Rylan needs projects to go back to, so that he's not next to me all summer asking me what to do. So the goal was what are two or three larger scope projects that might take even more than a week I'd be happy with? That I can just point you to whenever you're by my side, which is always.

Kristen:

All the time.

Gwen:

All the time. So it was just him and me and I said, "All right, buddy, this is the goal. What are some fun projects that you might be able to work on this summer?" And he goes, "Ooh, I've got. Two first I definitely want to build a tree house."

Kristen:

Oh my gosh.

Gwen:

Did I share this yet?

Kristen:

No.

Gwen:

Okay. "I definitely want to build a tree house out back, but a tree house on the ground." And I was like, "What?"

Kristen:

A ground house.

Gwen:

A ground tree house, Kristen, at the base of the tree on the ground. "So that I can hang with my Brocas, Joe, who's in town for the summer and we can just have our own space." I said, "Well, how big is this?" He's like, "You know, like the size of our kitchen." Our kitchen is huge. Two rooms, two inside rooms.

"And what is it made out of, Rylan?" "Well, wood, we'll build it with wood. So I'm definitely going to need you and dad's help with that one." "Oh, because I build things with wood?" I wanted to say. But I can't just axe all of his ideas because then I'm such a jerk to him. I said, "Okay, any other ones?" Because that's never happening. "Yeah, the other one is like Sheldon's enclosure. You know how that room is super unfinished?" Yeah, because it's in the basement, the unfinished basement.

"Yeah. So I just want to put some nice flooring in there for him, like wood. And if we could just not have that ceiling so open because it just feels so depressing in there. If we could just drywall that ceiling and then cover up all the furnace stuff so that it feels homier in there." I was like, "Oh, so you want to finish the basement?"

Kristen:

For the turtle listeners, Sheldon is a turtle.

Gwen:

Tortoise, Kristen.

Kristen:

Oh, sorry, tortoise.

Gwen:

Yeah, those are his projects and that's all I could get from him.

Kristen:

He is his mother's son.

Gwen:

I mean without any sense of budget or scope of project. So we're back to nothing.

Kristen:

Yeah, I was thinking a Lego project or puzzle and he's wanting to-

Gwen:

A 5000 piece puzzle perhaps. I'll buy you a card table for it. No, just the tree house on the ground. New flooring.

Kristen:

It's too much. Yeah. Well I think I would want to name this episode, Travel, The Fourth Dimension, because we just go somewhere else, people. But here's the thing, travel is such an important experience for us to be exposing our kids to. I know we both believe this because we both love travel ourselves.

It expands our understanding of different cultures. It broadens their fund of knowledge. But travel is often so difficult for autistic people because of changes of routine, there's co-occurring anxiety, sensory issues.

Gwen:

Unexpected everything.

Kristen:

Unexpected everything. There was an article, a research article in The American Journal of Tourism in 2013 that talked about often when our kids are anxious and outside of their routines, we see a lot of rigidity, which can make the experience really challenging. It often takes an incredible amount of preparation in order to pull off family trips.

Gwen:

True.

Kristen:

So especially if we're going to resorts, theme parks, and ultimately the ninth circle of hell.

Gwen:

Did you just say theme parks? Do you see me twitching?

Kristen:

Theme parks and ultimately the ninth circle of hell, which is what, Gwen?

Gwen:

Anything in Orlando, Florida?

Kristen:

Yes.

Gwen:

Is that the correct answer?

Kristen:

That is the correct answer, specifically Disney. But we can widen that scope to include Universal Studios, which we will talk about.

Gwen:

We sure can.

Kristen:

But I mean there are a lot of things our families have to consider to make travel happen and this is why it's so hard. We've got to create a social story. We have to actually create it ourselves, people.

Gwen:

Of course we do because it's personalized to our individual trip.

Kristen:

And somebody taught us how to do a social story because there's a whole science behind what needs to be in a social story. You have to read this social story with your child many days before the trip, to outline everything from how long the car ride is going to be to the airport. What we do when we check in? What security looks like? Being on the plane train or car ride. What will happen when we get to the destination? And that's just the first day, people. I mean daily schedules to help our kids get to know what's coming next

Gwen:

Laminated.

Kristen:

Because that cuts down on anxiety and meltdowns. But it's not just, "We're going to do this and then we're going to do that." It has to be, "For an hour we're going to do this and then at 11:00, we're going to go here." And you have to write it down because they're going to ask a million times.

Gwen:

And put it on a clipboard. And we always laminate it so we can just check it off as we go. I laminate-

Kristen:

I just never-

Gwen:

Is the laminating thing just me?

Kristen:

I don't know. It might be just you. I was never organized enough to actually get a laminator. They're kind of intimidating to me.

Gwen:

Oh no, no, no. This might be helpful for our audience. You just buy laminating sheets and you stick it in between and then you just trim it.

Kristen:

Definitely had little whiteboards that we would bring with us.

Gwen:

Oh, for sure.

Kristen:

Often names and pictures of people that you might be meeting on the trip, if it's family they haven't seen. Graham cannot remember names of his own family members. He called himself and Hayden and Jameson, all Hayden until they were, I don't know, five years old.

Gwen:

What?

Kristen:

The three of them were just Hayden.

Gwen:

I've never heard that. That is so interesting,

Kristen:

Isn't it? Yeah. Family members. He would call my dad, Uncle Eric. He would call his cousin his aunt's name. It just was really name-

Gwen:

Do you think that he really doesn't remember them because they don't really look at people and pay attention to people?

Kristen:

Yeah, I think so. I think that there's just a lack of recognition. Or they recognize him, but the name just doesn't come.

Gwen:

Rylan does the same thing. There's so many people we'll see in public from his school. He has no idea who they are.

Kristen:

Oh no, no, no. I mean Graham has to be somewhere a very long time before he starts remembering anybody's name. And school was always very hard. It's actually one of the reasons he's struggled to have peer friendships is he can't remember people's names

Gwen:

Or their faces because they don't look at them.

Kristen:

Yeah.

Gwen:

All right, we're digressing. But that's really interesting. I've never really thought about it that way.

Kristen:

I mean, snacks, Gwen, snacks alone, food alone. You have to pack the snacks and access to meals that we know our kids will eat because so many of our kids-

Gwen:

So many of them, so many snacks.

Kristen:

So many snacks. But our kids are also super picky eaters, so there's lots of sensory issues. Like this texture can't go with that texture. They're not willing to try anything new. They're very limited and extremely specific food choices.

IE it can't just be mac and cheese, it has to be a specific brand because there's a smoothness to the plastic cheese. And if it's real cheese, it's a little grittier and that can't happen. And you can't trick them because they're expert level tasters.

Gwen:

Well, and you can't plan for food on vacation most of the time unless you have your own home and you can grocery shop.

Kristen:

Right.

Gwen:

Which sometimes you can and sometimes you cannot. So you pack a mini carry-on with food so that you know that you have-

Kristen:

Something to keep them alive.

Gwen:

Fuel for them. And then the backpack just better be loaded for that plane ride.

Kristen:

Each child is almost falling over from the weight of their own backpack, which it has individually packed snacks for various times throughout the schedule. It has the right fidgets, it has games, electronic devices, certain movies. And in my kids' case, all three of them had to bring some enormously large stuffed animal. And then-

Gwen:

Oh, the pillow pet.

Kristen:

Yes. And then Hayden would have to bring a literal encyclopedia of North American waterfowl that weighs 20 pounds.

Gwen:

Our pillow pet's name was Mac and Cheese. That's ironic, isn't it?

Kristen:

That is ironic. His name should have been Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Gwen:

It should have been. That thing was so disgusting, but it came everywhere. And Blue Puppy. Why was it named Blue Puppy, Kristen?

Kristen:

Because he was blue.

Gwen:

Yeah, of course.

Kristen:

Ours was just Puppy.

Gwen:

Of course. Yep.

Kristen:

You have to have backup plans in place in case you need a plan B. You need to split up and take the child that's having the meltdown somewhere else. So before you go, you and your spouse have to be on the same page with who's going to handle it, and where you're going to go where people will be safe from you either killing this child-

Gwen:

You see, that's a unique experience to you with the three. I would've never left my town if I had three of Rylan. I wouldn't have. I mean that is just bravery at its finest that you even attempted.

Kristen:

That is all my husband because I would've never gone anywhere. He was fearless, sometimes to the point of being absolutely out of his mind and thinking we were going to pull this off. From the time they were babies, we used to take them in their car seats to the ocean and just put them down on a blanket and do all our feeding and changing and naps right there. I mean, he was always so good about getting us out of the house. I would've probably been Miss Havisham and never left.

I think the hardest thing is having to reframe in your own mind that this is an experience. And again, I think all parents can relate to this, because it sounds like it's going to be a blast and your kids will remember it, but it is really not a blast while you're doing it. It's a ton of work. For our families, all of the things that we mentioned, in order to make something work. And that's still hard. Even when it works, it's still hard.

So I think one of the best things that we've done throughout our kids' childhood, my in-laws live in Florida during the winter. Every spring break we would go to Sanibel Island, we would go to the same exact condo. And it was right on the beach and it had its own little tiny pool. And we would go to the same restaurants and it really was like the same vacation every single spring.

And that was very successful for the kids because they could have a little bit of autonomy and go from the beach back up to the condo by themselves and have downtime, which they spent a lot of time having downtime. I would be really nervous about Graham being at the pool by himself just because he would struggle to keep his hands safe and his body safe.

Gwen:

Not because he can't swim, but because there's people there.

Kristen:

Because people there and he's probably going to get himself into trouble when he was younger. And so good outcome. Just the routine and the sameness of it made it relatively seamless compared to other trips.

I think also camping road trips. For our family road trips mean that we have total control over what's happening.

Gwen:

Yeah, that's true.

Kristen:

We're not at the mercy of whatever kind of travel we're experiencing.

Gwen:

Could you do car trips with the Tourettes? I mean that-

Kristen:

Yes, because Hayden didn't have constant vocal ticks. His vocal ticks were sniffing and grunting. So his were easier to handle. If I were in a car with Rylan, I would probably slip into a coma. I don't think I could handle the vocal ticks because they were super intense.

Gwen:

Yeah, well they could be. So we wouldn't travel. I mean, we never planned a road trip. I don't think he has gone further than five hours.

Kristen:

We've done a lot of travel in our minivan on road trips with all the right food, all the movies. And then having a place in nature to be, whether we're in a cabin somewhere or we're setting up tents, whatever it would be. Having that freedom and that it really was the social piece that made it so hard for us. So camping and traveling on our own worked really well.

Gwen:

Oh my gosh, friends. Kristen and I have some news. Don't we, KK?

Kristen:

We have such news.

Gwen:

We have been so excited about the idea of organizing retreats for this community of parents of neurodiverse children, namely the mothers, or people who identify as mothers. And so we already have a retreat planned. We sure do.

It's this fall already. You don't have a whole lot of time to plan, but you don't need it because we have the whole thing planned for you already.

Kristen:

You just have to jump on a plane, in a car, in a train, however you want to get here. But you need to come to South Haven, Michigan to our retreat, which we fondly have called Let's Pretend We Have Zero Kids, Badass Moms Retreat. It's our first one.

Gwen:

Yeah, we did.

Kristen:

Yeah, we did.

Gwen:

Yeah, we did. Yeah, we did.

Kristen:

It is the dreamiest glamping resort on Earth.

Gwen:

It's true.

Kristen:

And it's just for us. So this is not going to be a retreat that you come to learn all about how to be a better mom, is it?

Gwen:

No, ma'am.

Kristen:

It sure isn't.

Gwen:

We can't tell you how to do that.

Kristen:

Nope, we can't. We're just trying to eke out in existence ourselves. This is about you. This is about who you are as a woman, not who you are as a mother. And it's about connecting to yourself and to other women who get your life.

Gwen:

It sure is. It's like time to inhale with the space to exhale. Because that space to exhale is so often missing, isn't it?

Kristen:

Yeah. Picture it. Zero kids, just you, a group of really cool women who understand your world and your, life in the Fields of Michigan.

Gwen:

Right. So the Fields of Michigan is a place that I hold very dear to my heart. My friend Irene owns it and I have stayed there twice. And it is like the highlight of my year. Staying in these glamping tents, it feels like a Four Seasons Resort, but with a canvas over your head. It's divine.

And I'm just going to encourage you to go to our website to look at photos because we put a whole bunch of photos in there. And it's fall, so we showed you what this place looks like. I mean South Haven, Michigan guys, it is on the water of Lake Michigan. The resort is in the woods and we can bike to the beach and the little town. The whole thing is quintessential like coastal Michigan town.

And if you haven't ever been to Lake Michigan, it's like the ocean. I remember Kristen was just gaping at the site because it looks like an ocean. So the Fields of Michigan is like being pampered to the highest degree, but in the woods. They are rated one of the premium resorts to go to in this country.

Kristen:

They have twinkly lights in the trees, friends. You're going to have-

Gwen:

Yes, they do.

Kristen:

Massages maybe in a cabin in the woods, or maybe in the midst of a lavender field or perhaps the blueberry farms.

Gwen:

We are going to provide you with a massage. We are also going to provide you with 30 minutes of free consultation with us, your hosts. You are going to have farm to table breakfasts and dinners every day. I mean, guys, it's too much. It's too much.

We will also be doing workshops throughout the day and giving you tons of downtime to just inhale and exhale. And there's going to be so many pumpkins. And I love pumpkins so much, Kristen. I just love pumpkins. There's so many pumpkins there. Maybe we can go pumpkin picking.

Kristen:

I love pumpkins, but I'm not a pumpkin spice person.

Gwen:

Oh, that's fine.

Kristen:

So I draw the line.

Gwen:

Just look at the pumpkins. Okay?

Kristen:

Okay, fine.

Gwen:

All right, so go to our website. You Don't Want a Hug.com. There is a link at the top for the fall retreat. Let's Pretend We Have Zero Kids, Badass Moms Retreat. There are only 17 spots available, friends. Get on it today.

We are opening up registration on July the 10th. I don't know when this will air, but if it's not the 10th yet, tune in on the 10th 8:00 AM and book your ticket. We really hope to meet you there.

Kristen:

Can't wait.

Gwen:

I think the biggest challenge for me is that my husband is, if you're familiar with Enneagram, he's a seven. And if you're not familiar with Enneagram, that just means he thrives on diversity of experience, which means he is always looking for new adventures.

He's wanting to try new things. He's wanting to see different places. He's wanting to meet new people. He doesn't like doing the same thing twice ever, which makes having a career really hard. But he muscles through.

So vacations for us, it took us years to really understand what Rylan needed. So we never did the same thing more than once, ever. And every vacation felt impossible. I can remember one Christmas we decided, let's go to Florida, just the four of us. So there's not a lot of social dynamics to worry about. We're going to get a condo on the beach.

I think we went to, I don't know, the Tampa area, maybe. Condo on the beach, just the four of us. No agenda. Rylan's happiest place is the ocean. Let's just have no agenda. There's a pool and an ocean. What else do we need? I mean, by the second day Tim and I were like, "What did we do? We are so miserable."

Because it takes so many kids with neurodiversity a few days to settle in and feel comfortable, get accustomed to their surroundings and what they can expect. And well, what are the rules at the pool? And well, what does the sand feel like? Oh, what is going to be in the ocean? Well, I saw a jellyfish, what does that mean? It didn't work.

And then by the second day, Tim and I are desperate for social interaction to get ourselves outside of our own heads and outside of our own bickering about how difficult this is. And Rylan has never had big behaviors, but just how intense he is during those days of acclimation. By the time we're ready to leave, he's settled in.

It's kind of like summer. By the time summer's over, we're settled in, we're ready. And by the time vacation's over, we feel like we can finally relax enough to start enjoying him on the vacation.

So I can remember that one in particular. We were so careful. He had a visual schedule, he had a map of travel. It was not successful for us. Maybe he feels like it was, he played in the ocean, but we were just spent by day two.

Kristen:

I think we should tackle the elephant in the room, which is all things Orlando.

Gwen:

Orlando.

Kristen:

Yeah. Because really these are fairly traumatic experiences for us.

Gwen:

They are. And we've done it so many times because we're just idiots.

Kristen:

That kind of fascinates me.

Gwen:

I know.

Kristen:

We did it once. We did it once and Greg and I promised each other for the remainder of our natural-born lives, we will not step foot in one of those theme parks again.

Gwen:

We did too, Kristen. And then we did it again. But we tried Universal that time because it wasn't Disney.

Kristen:

Right. But it was even worse.

Gwen:

Oh, all right. Do you want to start with your, let's highlight your experience.

Kristen:

Okay.

Gwen:

To the happiest place on Earth.

Kristen:

Yeah. So our kids were super into Harry Potter. They were probably 10 at the time, nine or 10. We thought this was going to be amazing. And even with some fast passes and some of the accommodations that are made for the autistic population, we still had to wait quite a long time to get on this Harry Potter ride.

Gwen:

Why? Do a lot of people go there?

Kristen:

There were so many people that I struggled, nevermind my kids. I was really like on the verge, waiting in line for this particular ride. And I've blocked the name of the ride. But you basically get into a big couch and it's dark and there's a big screen in front of you and you're flying through the air. And I get rather dizzy.

Gwen:

Did you vomit?

Kristen:

I did the whole ride with my eyes closed.

Gwen:

But it still moves.

Kristen:

Yes, it still moves. So I was trying not to throw up, Graham's digging his nails into my leg the whole time. I don't think he looked at it either. I think neither of us looked at it. We waited for an hour, an hour and a half in this freaking line.

And that was dysregulating. The ride was so dysregulating, I nearly had a panic attack. And so we come out of this ride and we couldn't even talk for a while. And then we're like, let's get some butter beer. And we have a picture of the three kids sitting on this ledge with a butter beer.

And I'm going to ask Graham if it's okay if I post this because you have to see the look on his face because it's maybe five minutes before he has a complete public meltdown. So bad that I was actually afraid, and I told him that I was going to call 911 if he didn't calm down because he was aggressing, he was screaming. He just lost. He literally lost his mind. And this was because we couldn't make it over to the Minions, which I didn't-

Gwen:

And because he was so dysregulated.

Kristen:

Because he was so dysregulated. And there were still so many people and we didn't know what to do next. It was just, I just remember feeling, we got back to the hotel and I had to take a Xanax. And I was so traumatized by this public meltdown. And yeah, it's even hard for me to even recount.

Gwen:

And you didn't have a plan for that?

Kristen:

I didn't have a plan for that.

Gwen:

Because you can't plan for what we have no idea what to expect.

Kristen:

Because who knew that the Minions were so vital to this day? I didn't know it. And that you-

Gwen:

And who knew what his sensory system would have to go through leading into the Minions?

Kristen:

After that, Greg, much like Tim, really wanted to have the full experience. So we ended up walking a mile on this side of the highway to go to some alligator wrestling thing that was probably illegal. I don't even know. I don't even know how I got through it.

Gwen:

Okay. Greg, cut it out.

Kristen:

These were the early years. He's learned a lot.

Gwen:

The alligator wrestling.

Kristen:

Some kind of black market alligator wrestling where it is probably owned by, what's his name? The Tiger King? I don't know. It was like you could feed them pieces of flesh and-

Gwen:

Did Graham enjoy that?

Kristen:

I don't even remember.

Gwen:

You have blocked it from your mind.

Kristen:

I've blocked it out.

Gwen:

And are the other two sitting there while Graham melts down? Like, "Well, we would be enjoying this, but he's melting down." Did they have a hard time too?

Kristen:

Oh no. They were traumatized. Yeah.

Gwen:

Okay.

Kristen:

Yeah, everybody was crying. I was crying. It was terrible.

Gwen:

And then Greg just said, "Well, let's go look at the alligators."

Kristen:

Let's double down and walk. And when we get back to the hotel and after a half an hour rest, let's go see some alligator wrestling.

Gwen:

All right. We went to Universal, that same trip. All right, it's a different park. Let's try it. And it's only because he loved Harry Potter so much. It was one of his special interests. He wanted nothing more in life than to go to Harry Potter land. And so we did. And you know how you have to walk through the downtown Universal to get into the park?

Kristen:

Yes.

Gwen:

Which is torture.

Kristen:

And it's like two miles long.

Gwen:

It is two miles of crowds. And it was evening when we got there. We were doing a night experience. So it's dark, lots of lights, blinking, flashing, and people. And by the time we got in, he was so, I mean I was too, he was so over the whole experience. So we had bought a three-day pass, but we're like, "Buddy, we got to get to Harry Potter Land."

And he just laid on the concrete, just completely overwhelmed, refusing to do anything. He didn't do one ride. And then we went and bought him a wand and an owl. And we allowed him to go to the candy store and do that stupid thing where you hit the wand on the windows and they worked 25% of the time. And that was infuriating.

And we left there and I, in the morning called Universal Studios' powers that be. And for two hours I sat on the phone and said, "I want my money back. This is not an autism friendly park. There is no way to get into this park without that torturous experience of downtown." And the lady goes, "Ma'am, I just got approval. And I have to tell you, I think it's the first time in the history of this park, we are giving you a full refund on your three-day pass."

Kristen:

Wow.

Gwen:

And that is what I take away from that vacation. That was such a win that we got our $1800 back.

Kristen:

Oh my Lord.

Gwen:

Because there's no way that we could do that again.

Kristen:

When our kids are able to do 45 minutes of it and then they're done for the day, it's just too much. Anyway, we digress. We should let our kids tell you how much they loved Universal Studios and Disney.

Gwen:

Oh, they sure will. He's going to tell you, I guarantee, I'm predicting. He is going to tell you about the Avatar ride and how he loves the Avatar movies. And now that there's a new movie, I predict he's going to say, "I think they're going to add onto that ride for the new movie. And when can we go back and ride it again?"

And then he might say, "Ooh, but you didn't like it, right, Mom?" "What makes you say that?" I'll say. That I vomited in my mouth the entire time. No, he won't remember that.

Our Universal experience, we had done the full Disney experience. And I mean, I get tremors just thinking about it. When Rylan was really little, we took him and it actually went okay. In his really young years, we could do a lot with him without problem. He is really leaned into the autism the older he gets. Right? The younger him was quirky but not nearly as challenging to figure out.

So we decided, well, let's go back to Orlando, but this time we'll do Animal Kingdom and Universal. So we went to Animal Kingdom and we were with friends and their daughter has autism. And I will, to be fair to the Disney Corporation, she lives for Disney. And it was the happiest place on Earth for her. Indeed. It was so heartwarming to watch this little girl just live her best life there.

Rylan, he spent more time laying on the very hot pavement than he did vertical. And he was obsessed with Avatar and they had a new Avatar experience at Animal Kingdom. And so he desperately wanted to do the Avatar. So we were like, "Okay, let's get him to the Avatar first when we get there."

Well, of course you walk 800 miles to get there.

Kristen:

Right.

Gwen:

And even though you plan to go in October when it's not busy, of course it's busy.

Kristen:

And it's still 90, right?

Gwen:

98. Okay, I am melting already. I'm ready to go home. And we haven't even arrived at the first ride. It took two hours to get him to agree to get in line. And everybody else has taken off because I can't ask them to sacrifice their well-earned vacation.

And so it's me, he needs me. Tim and I worked together trying to get him just to get in line, but he was so anxious because he had no idea what to expect. You can't see the ride. They build the whole world around the outside. So I finally went and finally and found a worker and I said, "Do you have a visual schedule of this ride?" Expecting no. They do.

They have a visual schedule of every ride that tells you what to expect, but you know where that visual schedule lives., Kristen?

Kristen:

Where in some office?

Gwen:

The entrance to the ride.

Kristen:

Oh, for the love of God.

Gwen:

So they brought me to the front of the line with him and then the whole crew came back and they led us to the front. And I said, "The only way he's getting on this is if you show him what to expect. And then we go." So they did. You know what? He got on the ride because they showed him what it was.

He goes, "Oh, I can do that." So we got on the ride two hours later. And it wasn't a couch, Kristen, this time it was a bicycle with a large screen in front of you and you ride the bike over the land of, what is it called?

Kristen:

I don't even know.

Gwen:

He'll tell you.

Kristen:

Avatar Land.

Gwen:

In Avatar Land. It's where he wants to live someday. I can tell you that much. I was nauseous from the first five seconds. He was so happy. And he kept talking to me about the ride. And I so badly wanted to enjoy it, but I had my eyes closed. I can feel it welling up in my chest as I talk about it. I was so close.

I was like, I'm going to vomit all over the screen and I'm not going to know what to do about it. I got to be present for this kid when he gets off this ride. So they stopped the ride and Tim will tell you, my head was on the handlebars, my eyes were closed. And these teenage, it's always unsuspecting teenagers, right? "Ma'am, the ride is over." And I was like, "I know."

Kristen:

It's not for me.

Gwen:

"I'm aware. You're going to need to give me a minute." And I needed a few minutes to just ... And Rylan's like, "Mom, this is very inappropriate. The ride is over. There are new people needing to get on this ride. That was amazing."

So I got off, Kristen, and I didn't vomit, but I could do nothing the rest of the day, but nor could he. So I'll post a picture of him on the baby dinosaur ride that he did over and over because he could see the entirety of it. And he felt like that was a safe solution for him. So I sat on the pavement, still nauseated, and he just rode the baby dino ride the rest of that time at Animal Kingdom.

Kristen:

Our kids are so smart because I'm anxious to get on those rides because I don't know what's in there. What percentage of the population do you think is more anxious than excited when they don't know what's going to happen on the ride?

Gwen:

Yeah, you got to be an adventure seeker to be excited about that.

Kristen:

You really do. And then Space Mountain.

Gwen:

He wouldn't get on.

Kristen:

I mean a roller coaster in the dark. I would rather have an operation, honest to God.

Gwen:

I hate that ride. Oh, I hate it so much. I'm not sad that he hates Disney. Although if he was sitting here right now, he'd be like, "Oh my gosh, can we go to Disney? Can we plan a Disney trip?" He has no concept of how miserable he was.

Kristen:

I think that's a theme that we need to recognize, especially with Graham and Rylan. Again, these experiences we're having are so hard and it looks like it's very hard for them as well. They don't have that memory of the experience. They think it was great.

Graham just told me that our trip to Punta Cana, which is in the Dominican Republic, was amazing. He was afraid of the people the whole time. He spent 90% of the time in the room. And his favorite part was going to the cafeteria whenever he wanted and having Nutella ice cream. I think he snorkeled once.

He could have been in a Holiday Inn in Toledo, Ohio and had the same experience. Once again, we are investing in these memories at the expense of our own mental health.

Gwen:

What we think should be good memories. But it's what we think should be the memories. They just don't care about the same things that we think they're going to care about. If there's a pool, that's all Rylan needs.

Kristen:

Yeah.

Gwen:

The same pool. But do we want to do that? No.

Kristen:

Right.

Gwen:

We don't.

Kristen:

When we would go to Sanibel, there's a tiny little pool at the condo, and then there's this tiny little kid, amusement park called Zoomers that was really close in Fort Myers. And we would go there one afternoon where he would ride the little rides and a tiny little rollercoaster for toddlers. And he thought that was great. If he could go to Zoomers and if he could get ice cream at Pinocchio's and if he could swim in the pool and then be in the condo, vacation made.

Gwen:

And isn't it interesting that we wouldn't dare to go on a family trip and leave them behind and find care for them because we think that's ... I at least have always thought like, "No, we can't do a family vacation without him. That's so mean." He wouldn't care.

Kristen:

No.

Gwen:

I so regret not doing that as a family with Reagan growing up because she can enjoy a very typical vacation very easily. So now I'm just sitting here thinking about why we didn't do that. So maybe that's a tip.

Kristen:

Yeah, and I think families are going to have really different feelings about that. Some families, it's so important for them to incorporate their autistic child or their neurodiverse child. And others have figured that out way before us and have had separate vacations that have gone beautifully.

And sometimes our other kids need to not have that full family vacation. They need some of that alone time where things are just easier for everybody.

Gwen:

You are absolutely right, Kristen. This is the first year that Tim and I allowed ourselves permission to do exactly what you were just explaining. I've mentioned this in a previous episode, Rylan and I did not go to Brazil. Tim and Reagan went to Brazil, but that was a success for Reagan.

Tim I think has mixed feelings about it, but for Reagan, she's going to look back on that trip as one of the highlights of her young childhood. And it was such a bonding experience for her and Tim, and I was okay giving them that experience. And then over spring break we took Rylan to Clearwater, just him. We had never done that, but we really enjoyed that trip.

The daily annoyances are absolutely there, but he did so well because I could structure exactly what we did. He went to the Clearwater Aquarium and got a behind the scenes' turtle tour and we visited a college, which-

Kristen:

That's a whole other episode.

Gwen:

We will, yes. But it went well. And so now I don't know that we'll do a lot of family vacations other than the one I alluded to at the beginning of this episode. But bigger vacations, I don't think we will.

Kristen:

Yeah, there's something magical for our kids with autism having us to themselves. I feel like anytime we do that, we're less elevated and not hyper aroused in terms of our anxiety level. And able to handle their particular needs better and then they just are not trying to manage their siblings and all of those interactions at the same time. I think it's great.

Gwen:

I do too. And I don't know that you could have convinced me of that when they were really little. I don't know that you could have, but I would seriously consider that if you are a young autism parent with littles. Because I think you will see the benefits. And maybe a combination of both and see what works. And maybe that vacation with your child with autism means going to your local downtown area and going to a Holiday Inn.

Kristen:

Right.

Gwen:

That might be enough.

Kristen:

You just have to. Greg, recently when he took Graham to the Black Hills, he said, "I finally figured this kid out. It's just one thing a day. We can only do one thing a day. And as long as that's the schedule, he does great. If I try and do a second or third thing, his wheels fall off."

Gwen:

Which can be hard as the adult on the vacation because we might want to go adventure and experience different things. And if they're old enough like Graham, Greg could go do that.

Kristen:

Right.

Gwen:

But if they're little, you do a lot of sitting.

Kristen:

You do a lot of sitting around.

Gwen:

And hearing about Pokemon and PEZ dispensers.

Kristen:

PEZ dispensers.

Gwen:

It's just the way it is.

Kristen:

I can't with the PEZ dispensers.

Gwen:

No, I can't either. He interrupted a very intimate conversation with my sister-in-law and me over this past weekend. And I was like, "Buddy, we're talking." He's like, "I have to tell Kira this." I was like, "All right, well it must be on topic." He goes, "Kira, are you aware that there are only 23 grams of sugar in a full PEZ dispenser of candy?" And that was it.

Kristen:

Oh, it's like there's no holding it in.

Gwen:

No.

Kristen:

There is not.

Gwen:

Even when I looked at him with my big eyes like, I need you to leave the area.

Kristen:

With your big dagger in your forehead eyes.

Gwen:

Oh, he just looks at me like, "You are ridiculously upset with me right now. And there is no reason for it, Mom." That is his big phrase lately. "I don't even understand why you are so upset right now." Okay, I'm going to stop right there. I think we can pass this over to our kids now, don't you?

Kristen:

I do. I think you'll enjoy hearing from them about their thoughts on travel. We can't wait.

Gwen:

We can't wait. All right. Bye, friends.

Kristen:

Bye.

Speaker 3:

We know our moms are amazing, but they don't know everything. We think that you deserve to hear from the real expert, their kids. We believe in nothing about us without us. So here it is. The last word.

Gwen:

Hey, buddy.

Ryland:

Hi.

Gwen:

This is Rylan here, right?

Ryland:

Mm-hmm.

Gwen:

Kristen and I did an episode talking about vacations.

Ryland:

Oh, nice.

Gwen:

And so we want to ask you about some of your favorite memories of summer, or not summer, just any vacations. What would you say are the best memories you have?

Ryland:

Probably going to Discovery Cove. Was that in the summer?

Gwen:

Yeah. Well, yeah, it was a vacation. What did you love about Discovery Cove? Which for our listeners is in Orlando.

Ryland:

Yeah.

Gwen:

What did you love about it?

Ryland:

I hope to go again. It was just a really cool place. There was a lazy river, dolphins, manta rays. There was a giant lazy river. It was really fun.

Gwen:

Was it really busy there?

Ryland:

I don't think so.

Gwen:

No. Remember? It felt like our own personal waterpark, didn't it? Hardly any people.

Ryland:

Yeah.

Gwen:

And do you want to tell them about the food situation?

Ryland:

Didn't we got like infinite free food?

Gwen:

We did. It was unlimited food and drinks, right?

Ryland:

Yes. So many Slushees.

Gwen:

So whenever you got irritated or you were done with something, you would just go eat. Awesome. That's probably one of my favorite vacation memories. Any other ones that you really like or want to go back to?

Ryland:

Honestly, this isn't a summer vacation, but it's a vacation that I kind of liked, and that was going to Costa Rica with Cooper and Adine and Kelly.

Gwen:

We didn't talk about that on our podcast, but you're right. That was probably the most successful family vacation we ever had. What did you love about that one?

Ryland:

The giant waves.

Gwen:

Yep.

Ryland:

They were so massive.

Gwen:

They were massive.

Ryland:

Also, probably, I didn't want to touch them, but catching geckos with Cooper.

Gwen:

Yep. Catching geckos. Meaning Cooper caught the geckos and you just ran around jumping excited, right? Telling him where they were and where he should catch them.

Ryland:

Yeah.

Gwen:

I mean, that kept you busy for hours every day.

Ryland:

Every night.

Gwen:

Between the pool, the ocean, and the geckos. That's all you needed, wasn't it?

Ryland:

Yeah, it was more night because that's when they're-

Gwen:

More active. And those massive iguanas, remember those?

Ryland:

Oh yeah. I remember one had his whole tail missing.

Gwen:

Yeah. And then what did you learn about it?

Ryland:

It grows back.

Gwen:

Yeah.

Ryland:

Also the very loud Macaws.

Gwen:

Yeah. In the tree right behind our place.

Ryland:

Yeah.

Gwen:

Those were amazing.

Ryland:

Oh, and the toad.

Gwen:

Oh, the poisonous toad on my mirror.

Ryland:

Yes.

Gwen:

Yeah. Thank goodness we didn't touch it.

Ryland:

So many bugs as well.

Gwen:

But you handled the bugs pretty well. Are there any vacations that you look back on and say, "Ooh, that wasn't the best."

Ryland:

Probably when we went to Universal Studios and Magical Kingdom and we wanted to do none of the rides.

Gwen:

I thought you were going to say those were your favorites.

Ryland:

Oh.

Gwen:

But they weren't. I agree that they were not good vacations, but I'm wondering what memories do you have that they weren't great.

Ryland:

I didn't do any rides in Harry Potter World.

Gwen:

That's true. Yep. All right.

Ryland:

Then. Wait, didn't we go to Discovery Cove that-

Gwen:

We went there because Universal was not a good fit.

Ryland:

And one of my favorite times going to Orlando was probably Animal Kingdom with the Avatar ride.

Gwen:

Oh yeah. That was great. That was super, super great, buddy.

Ryland:

I know you don't like it, but I liked it.

Gwen:

Okay. Thanks, buddy.

Ryland:

You're welcome. Bye.

Gwen:

What up, Ray-Ray?

Reagan:

Hey.

Gwen:

Today, Kristen and I talked about vacationing and how sometimes vacationing with kids who have neurodiversity, specifically autism, can be really hard. And so I wanted to get your perspectives, if you have any memories of vacations that you didn't end up having as much fun as you thought you might've had, or vacations that you kind of have negative memories about because of autism.

Reagan:

When we went to Disneyland and Universal.

Gwen:

Tell me more about Universal.

Reagan:

We really only got to stay there for 30 minutes and then we had to leave, which was a bummer.

Gwen:

Yeah.

Reagan:

Because I wanted to stay there.

Gwen:

Yeah. What were you looking forward to doing there?

Reagan:

I kind of wanted to go inside the castle and then basically go on the rides.

Gwen:

Yeah.

Reagan:

We only really got to go on one.

Gwen:

Just you and dad, right?

Reagan:

Yep.

Gwen:

Do you remember what was going on with Rylan?

Reagan:

He was freaking out.

Gwen:

Yeah. Do you know why he was freaking out?

Reagan:

Because it was loud and busy.

Gwen:

And then what happened after that? Do you remember?

Reagan:

No.

Gwen:

Did we go back?

Reagan:

No.

Gwen:

No. I got my money back, didn't I?

Reagan:

Yeah.

Gwen:

But we had a fun time after that at Discovery Cove, right?

Reagan:

That was fun. Yeah.

Gwen:

That was fun. Do you have really great memories of vacation? What's your favorite vacation?

Reagan:

Probably when we went to Discovery Cove.

Gwen:

That was good. See, we turned that one around.

Reagan:

We got free drinks, free everything, and then we got to swim with sharks and stuff like that.

Gwen:

Yeah. Why do you think that one worked better for Rylan?

Reagan:

Because it was meant for people that have disabilities and they're limited there. They only allow 90 people there at a time.

Gwen:

They cut off their tickets. You can only have a certain amount of people and it's all water. And they're autism certified as a company. That's what all those signs were. That means they're all trained to deal with people with autism. So it was a very welcoming environment, wasn't it?

Reagan:

Yeah.

Gwen:

That worked well. And what's another vacation that you really loved?

Reagan:

I guess when we go up to our cottage, I guess. That's fun.

Gwen:

Yeah. That's to Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave's cottage.

Reagan:

Yeah.

Gwen:

And we do that every year, don't we?

Reagan:

Yeah.

Gwen:

And those go really well, typically.

Reagan:

Which hopefully this year we both can bring a friend.

Gwen:

Yeah. All right, Reagan, thank you for your time, my love, I really appreciate you.

Reagan:

Of course you do.

Kristen:

Graham, today we're talking about travel and our experiences as families when we traveled. And I'm thinking back to when you were a kid, and I'm wondering what was hard for you when we traveled as a family?

Graham:

I'd say when we were going to the airport and trying to get onto the plane itself took a while just because airports take a while and my younger mind had no patience.

Kristen:

And there's a lot of people.

Graham:

Exactly.

Kristen:

Would you feel anxious or angry? Or would you want to interact with people? Or just not know how? Or not know what's coming next? Were those the kind of things that were hard?

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

Yeah. I was remembering and talking to Gwen about our Universal Studios. I fondly refer to that trip as the ninth circle of hell because it was hot. And there were so many people and we were waiting in line for an hour for a Harry Potter ride. Do you remember that ride?

Graham:

I remember the whole experience being like-

Kristen:

What was that ride in Harry Potter?

Graham:

I think it was called Forbidden Journey.

Kristen:

Forbidden Journey. And what was your experience on that ride?

Graham:

My experience on that ride, it was kind of like a lot of stress and just trying to cope with until the ride was over.

Kristen:

Just trying to cope. Same. I had my eyes closed for most of the ride, trying not to throw up.

Graham:

God. I remember Anne and Jamie had a crazy time with the animatronics.

Kristen:

Really?

Graham:

Yes.

Kristen:

So when we got out of that ride, we went and got a butter beer and you were pretty grouchy. And then we couldn't make it over to the Minions. And you had a pretty epic meltdown. I don't know if you remember that, but I was threatening to call 911 because I was so worried with you getting aggressive. And you just completely lost your mind. And I really think it was because you were so dysregulated by that ride.

Graham:

Yeah, I think so too.

Kristen:

Do you remember that at all?

Graham:

I remember having upset. I just don't remember having a big meltdown that you would have to call 911.

Kristen:

Okay. So you don't remember how big it was, but you just remember being upset?

Graham:

Yes.

Kristen:

Was that hard sometimes to feel upset and feel like the family didn't get it?

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

Yeah. What did that feel like?

Graham:

It just felt like, I kind of felt like I got dragged here for nothing.

Kristen:

Dragged here for nothing.

Graham:

Yeah. I was here all on for a ride, but you guys got to do what you wanted and I didn't get to do what I wanted.

Kristen:

Because you had in your mind that you wanted to see the Minions or whatever it is at the time. You feel pretty attached to what you want to do.

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

So it's hard for you to be flexible with the rest of the family.

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

That makes sense. What do you think has worked well when we've traveled?

Graham:

I think what worked well is when we traveled was when we went back east due to the lack of trips and back east compared to Florida. So I get to have a more nicer time seeing back east and seeing your family.

Kristen:

Yeah. And you said especially Maine.

Graham:

Yeah, especially Maine and seeing Uncle Matt.

Kristen:

Seeing Uncle Matt.

Graham:

Because he has such a nice place and he's such a good cook with seafood.

Kristen:

Yeah. And he lets you drive the boat.

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

And it feels more predictable, you think, what we're going to do when we're there?

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

Does that matter to you to know what's coming next when you're out of your usual environment?

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

Say more about that.

Graham:

Well, I feel like it's just nice to have a good plan of what to do. Because I feel like traveling, it always requires a plan or else it's just going to fall apart.

Kristen:

Are you always worried about it falling apart?

Graham:

Yes.

Kristen:

Yeah, that makes sense. Well, I'm so glad that you like Maine as much as I do.

Graham:

Yeah.

Kristen:

Thanks, Graham.

Graham:

All right. Have a good time.

Gwen:

Thanks for joining us for this episode of You Don't Want a Hug, Right? We'd sure love it if you'd subscribe to our show in your favorite podcast app. Missing an episode would be catastrophic.

Kristen:

And if you just can't get enough of us, join our newsletter and dig into all of our other projects and ways you can connect with us at You Don't Want a Hug.com

Gwen:

And food for thought, if you need to create a panic room out of your closet in order to find that parenting kindness, we offer our fullest support. See you next time.


41 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page