Washable Workwear Wednesday: The Unstainable Parker

We just rounded up women’s dress shirts on Corporette, and in the comments a lot of readers noted that they prefer popover styles like this one from Elizabeth & Clarke. It’s a good company for moms to keep in mind because they specialize in unstainable fabric — so if you’ve been staying away from white blouses since becoming a mom, this is a good bet. It’s machine washable and dryer-safe, as well. The only catch is that you can’t just buy it by itself — you have to pick a subscription plan — and if you buy just one shirt (“one shirt a season”) you pay $60. If you agree to three shirts a season you can get each for $40. It’s an interesting model. If you really like the idea of this shirt, try a subscription, and if you don’t end up liking it, cancel. Sizes are 00-14. The Unstainable Parker

Here are two options in plus sizes — one with “stain release” and one with “stain resistance.”

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. This is interesting.

    What do 2 year old boys like these days? I need a gift idea for a birthday party. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lego Duplo sets that feature a school bus or excavator/bulldozer have been very popular in my house.

      If you’re looking for books, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site or Sleep Train Dream Train are lovely. It annoys me that all the vehicles in GGCS are boys so I read half as girls.

      • I thought I was the only one who reads half of GGCS as girls! It would be SUCH a cute book if not for the all-boy part.

        And +1 to Duplos. I’m switching from books to Duplos/Legos as my default gift for boys and girls. While I still want to support reading, encouraging independent exploration and creativity is key and I think almost more in need right now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Duplos are the best. My 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son love playing them together.

          Love that you read GGCS as half girls too! I thought of writing them to complain but was worried it would just result in a ‘pink’ version where the trucks all have bows and are all girls.

      • anne-on says:

        Magnatiles (if they’re not too $$ for you) are also great for this age!
        And +1 to swapping genders in GGCS, I do it all the time to! I just have to remember which characters are ‘girls’ otherwise my kiddo calls me out (no mommy, that was a boy last time!).

      • I read half as girls, too! AND the new book by the same author-illustrator team (Mighty Mighty Construction Site) does include girl trucks (not 50-50, but MUCH better).

      • EB0220 says:

        We love that book and I’d never thought about the fact that they’re all boys. I’ll immediately adopt your method of converting half to girls. Thank you!!

    • In the same vein as GGCS: Where Do Diggers Sleep At Night? So funny. Feel free to read half the vehicles as girls!

      Are they into play-doh? What about some play-doh stamping/ rolling/ cutting tools?

      • AnonMN says:

        Am I the only one who hates Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? I feel like it is hard to read because it is poorly written. My son loves it though, of course.

        • Nope. I don’t care for Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night either. I think the “gross” humor parts of it put me off, and it’s less well written. I think it has somehow found its way underneath the couch cushions….

    • I like the Green Toys diggers and things.

    • My two year old loves Duplos (he has a train version) and any cars/trains that can be driven around. He also loves pretend food and the IKEA pop-up tent/tunnel combination.

    • Anonymous says:

      We got a lot of use out of the CAT Tough Tracks diggers – dump truck, excavator, & bulldozer. They are cheap too.

      • Kindergarten boy says:

        Yes those are a little bigger than matchboxncars but lightweight (though strong) and perfect for sandbox and taking to parks. A perfect low budget ($7 for a set of 5??) but high impact gift.

    • AnonMN says:

      +1 for Duplos. My son loves the animal sets.

    • You’ve gotten a lot of good ideas. My 2 year old likes his outdoor toys (rake, dustpan, wheel barrow), bubbles, stickers, playdoh and play doh “tool” like cookie cutters, dinosaur puppet, play food, books.

      Also, should we be making the distinction between boy toys and girl toys at age 2? I know stores do. At my LO’s school though, the boys and girls play with the same things.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t distinguish for my own kids. But OP was asking about gifting. I’ve given my own boys dolls/doll strollers/tea sets but I would be reluctant to give a traditionally female gift to a male child depending on the relationship I had with the parents. I usually stick with books/legos/paints which are ‘neutral’ in my mind.

      • Anonymous says:

        In the OP’s defense, I do think that children of each gender are more likely to play with certain things, even at 2, and as a gift giver I think it is appropriate to try to think of something a child is most likely to enjoy given what little you know about the child. Obviously children of both genders vary widely in interests, but I think there are more train obsessed 2 year old boys than girls, and more 2 year old girls than boys that like dolls. You could argue how much of this is nature or nurture, but I don’t think giving gifts to children you don’t know well is the best way to expand their concept of gender expression. I got my son a doll when he was 1, and he has literally played with it once. On the other hand, his female friend manages to find it immediately every time she comes to our house.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I agree. I give my daughter things that are “boy” toys as well as “girl” toys, but I am hesitant to give my friend’s kids opposite-gendered toys. It’s why I stick to things like books, sidewalk chalk, art supplies, etc. My almost 2 year old hasn’t played with a doll once (despite having two of them).

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      My son got the car building Duplo set for his second birthday. They are still a big hit years later.

      • Thanks all! I am saving this whole list.

        W/r/t to gender and toys, I’ve never met this little boy and I know nothing about him beyond his age and gender so those are the two things I included. It’s a good point to try to not be so gendered about toys. I actually always appreciate it when my daughter gets gifts that are not the obvious girl gifts, whether that’s clothes in neutral colors or toys that are not princess specific. I think my friend will appreciate same so I will go with something less boy-specific I think.

        Incidentally – there’s a nice kiddie book called Katy and the Big Snow about a snowplow who really wants to clear some snow. Especially seasonally appropriate now.

  2. Kat, I just looked back at Friday’s sneaker post and it includes ads for some seriously horrifying books from Amazon. Definitely NSFW.

    The “from sites we love” section of every post for the last few couple of weeks has also contained a gross yoga photo.

    • There was one of those “from s it es we love” that was around for weeks that was supposed to be some kind of training device/gardening toy(?) for your pelvic floor. Definitely related to LGP stuff. I was always terrified I’d accidentally click on it when trying to click the collapse/expand comments button. I also have the one with the crotch shot yoga pose right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      To play devil’s advocate… by calling the yoga photo “gross” you are illustrating the culture it is trying to fight against.

      • I would call a photo of an open wound or a dirty diaper “gross” too. Graphic photos of bodily fluids just don’t belong on a page many people view at work, at least not without a warning. Sure, this stuff is all natural and the woman in the photo shouldn’t be ashamed, but there is a time and place for everything. The photo also looks like it might just be clickbait and not a real story.

  3. Parenting win says:

    I was home with the kids (3.5, 7 months) yesterday. DH and I traded off but it was still a crazy snow day. The 3 y/o was having a borderline fit because I couldn’t play with her at the exact moment she wanted me to. I stopped, explained “mama has to do a few things before we can play. I have to do one work thing on my computer and empty the dishwasher. Then we can play.” Tantrum starts. I ask, “would you like to help with the dishes so we can play faster?” “YES MAMA!!!” And she did the entire silverware and all plastic dishes/Tupperware while I did my work email. Smiling like a kid in a candy store.

    • I have been giving my kids chores since 18 months. They actually act better if they have something “important” to do. So they feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, carry their plates and silverware to the sink, wash the tabletop and chairs, sweep the floor, dust whatever they can reach, and “organize” tupperware or pans or silverware. It’s all concentrated around breakfast and dinner time and the kitchen/ dining room because it keeps them busy but close while we prepare meals.

      I’m very accomplishment-oriented and it seems like my kids are too. They love to show me the empty dishwasher or the clean seats. And I love to heap praise on them and then go read a book together.

    • +1 million to chores – I have a feeling my kid can do a lot more than I assume he can. (This, after watching him turn on the tap, roll up his sleeves and soap his hands at daycare, then wipe them on a paper towel and throw it in the trash.) He’s been ‘helping’ me sweep and cook (ahem – assemble pizza) since about 18 months, wipe up spills, and throw things in the trash. So cute. Also helps give them a sense of accomplishment about doing real things. We also try to make sure he observes both Mr GCA and myself doing chores so he doesn’t assume ‘laundry is mommy’s job’.

    • Parenting win says:

      My gloat was way more about the meltdown prevention/connection that mama can’t play bc she has stuff to do :-). We love chores around here. This one has been setting the entire table since she was 2 and a bit- we just sometimes eat off minion themed plates and all have sippy cups because sometimes that’s what she picks (we have white melamine plates and cups we put at her level).

  4. Running Numbers says:

    +1 to giving chores from a young age! My son isn’t quite 18 months and I am amazed by the things he understands and can do with little instruction. He puts his shoes away, will throw things in the trash when prompted and carries dishes and drops them in the sink. He helps me clean the windows whereby I operate the spray and then he’ll wipe them down. When I dust, he gets a clean duster of his own to “help”. It’s adorable for me, helpful for me, and I swear it gives him a sense of purpose. Plus, he likes doing what he sees his adults do.

    • My daughter just turned 17 months and when I picked her up at daycare yesterday, I asked her to put the stuffed monkey down before we left. She walked it over to the toy bin across the room and actually put it away. I was floored. So now I guess I’m off to buy a toddler cleaning set.

  5. I have a question for those of you who used the okay-to-wake clock with success. We got the clock last week for my two year old daughter. We tell her each night that when it turns green, mom or dad will come in to get her out of her crib. She seems to understand the concept – she repeats it back to us, and when we come in, she tells us that it’s turned green. Other times of the day she’ll point to the clock and say “turns green, mama comes in.” Her wake times have always been erratic, within a range of approximately an hour, so sometimes she’ll wake up 30 minutes or so before it’s set to turn green. Historically, she screams and cries until we come in…the entire time. So now she’s screaming and crying until the clock turns green. Any advice for helping her contentment until we come in? Should we go in when she first wakes up and explain that she can’t get out of bed until it turns green? That seems a little counterproductive to me. Or should we just let her cry and hope that she eventually gets the point? (Note: she’s an epically persistent crier. When sleep training, which we seem to have to revisit every 4 months, she’ll cry for hours…)

    • Anonymous says:

      After she falls asleep at night, but a stash of books or easy puzzles in the crib in a corner for her to occupy herself when she wakes up.

      • Yup. Took about two weeks of persistence. We made a big deal about crossing the threshhold of the door. So we would stand just outside, remind her that she can play QUIETLY until it turns green, and then leave. No interaction, no responding to questions, just a simple repeated statement and then gone.

      • EB0220 says:


    • Momata says:

      We have a baby monitor that allows for the parent to walkie-talkie into the kid’s room. We used that to remind our then-2yo that she had to wait patiently until the green light came on and then mom or dad would come in; that she could read books, play with stuffies, etc. She is also an epic crier so it took a couple weeks of reminding her until this really sunk in. Fortunately none of the episodes were longer than 30 minutes. I do think it sank in with persistence and now I think most of the time she goes back to sleep.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Can you set it a little earlier, so she doesn’t wait more than 5 minutes or so? We were successful with it when we started at right around her typical wake time (which still varied) and then slowly pushed it back in five minute increments once she stopped raising a fuss and started sleeping a bit later.

      But be warned, then we pushed it back too much and my H started going in before it went on, so that totally messed up whatever training we had.

  6. Elizabeth and Clarke says:

    Has anyone purchased anything from this company? How is the quality and customer service? Also, why are all the shirts white?

  7. Unfortunately she throws everything out of her crib as soon as she wakes up.

  8. Posting for a family member. If you worked in DC and had to work from home yesterday due to blizzard and hired a staff member from your (beloved) daycare to come watch kids while you’re in the house, and they showed up reeking of pot and clearly high. Would you a) say something to the babysitter (mom was at home the whole day and didn’t really have a different option so didn’t say anything at the time, b) say something to the daycare? c) Neither because otherwise you’re really happy with the daycare and that’s hard to find and you don’t want to rock the boat?

    • Marilla says:

      I would send them home ASAP and inform the daycare. That’s not a safe childcare arrangement even if a parent is working from home.

    • Anonymous says:

      D (send the babysitter packing on arrival), and A. I have to say that because the parent didn’t say anything at the time, I think the parent has really weakened his/her authority to tell the babysitter this is unacceptable. She/he would essentially be saying its okay for you to be high while watching my child in my home, but not at the daycare center. Or tell the owner, yeah, I can appropriately supervise your high employee, but you can’t. It doesn’t make sense.

      • I agree with this… I assume she was so taken aback that she didn’t say anything at the time, but unfortunately now she’s in a tough spot.

        It sucks, but I would say something – to the babysitter, and to her employer. If an employee at my own office was clearly on a substance I would tell HR, and we’re not even dealing with children – it’s just common sense that you don’t come to work drunk or high? I thought?

    • To be clear, it’s not clear that she is ever high at the daycare center (but probably something to look out for). I think it’s easy to criticize someone but if you’re at an agency that will probably experience cuts and you’re a month back from (non-maternity) leave with no PTO and your husband is in overseas I think you make the best call you can at the time. Yay America!

      • Marilla says:

        I’m sorry that your family member is in such a tough spot. It is hard and I think the US approach to leave is crazy, and having to handle parenting alone is also not easy. But I would never ever allow someone impaired to watch my kid. I think your family member should certainly inform the daycare and say, you know, I didn’t have the presence of mind to address it on the spot but looking back it is completely dangerous and unacceptable that this is how a staff member behaves.

    • anne-on says:

      Send them home and inform the daycare. That just shows bad judgement on the part of the staff member in so many ways. And how would you feel an incident happened at the daycare and you knew about the behavior and didn’t report?
      It would be one thing to me if you happened to find out for example, on their off time that this staff member used drugs/alcohol to excess (say via facebook/running into them) – not the best judgement, but not related to their job functions. It is a totally different thing when they show up for a job, with someone connected to their other job, impaired.

      • Agreed, shockingly bad judgment. I’m sorry that the mom has a lot on her plate right now, but the only appropriate move there was to treat it the same as if the sitter had simply not showed up.

    • Another fed anon says:

      In case it’s useful / you find yourself in a tight spot again, I just wanted to mention the federal agency I work for has an emergency back-up care program. It pays for 5 days a year and they can usually get a nanny to your house within a couple of hours (although it’s better if you can call the night before). You might check whether your agency offers something similar; ours is not super well publicized. I work at State and ours is through WorkLife4You.

  9. Anon in NYC -- Paging SC says:

    I saw your post from yesterday about really fast meals and wanted to give you a few that are in frequent rotation in our house.

    — Tikka masala chickpeas + veggies. Get a jar of one of those simmer sauces (you can find it at TJs, or I can find them at my regular grocery store), a bag of frozen veggies + a can of chickpeas. Heat up a little olive oil in a pan, pour the frozen veggies in and let them warm up, add in the drained/rinsed chickpeas, then add in the simmer sauce. Bring to a simmer. You can sub out the chickpeas for meat (if raw, obviously cook the meat first), and you can bulk it up by adding rice (you can buy pre-cooked frozen rice from TJs, or get some minute rice). FWIW, this re-warms well, so you can make it in advance.

    — Black beans in the crockpot. My kid loves the Smitten Kitchen black beans (https://tinyurl.com/js32dvf). I don’t make the cumin crema, but for the adults I like to make pickled red onions. I also add cotija cheese. I don’t soak the beans, so depending on the strength of your slow cooker I found this can take anywhere from 3.5-5 hours on high (my Instant Pot is more like 3.5-4, my previous slow cooker was 5. I just tried pressure cooking these, and found it took about 37 minutes). I sometimes will put the beans over toast (like she suggests), or over rice. I will occasionally put a fried or soft boiled egg on top of it. These beans freeze well too.

    — Pasta w/ homemade tomato sauce. I’m sure this is already in your rotation, but we make pasta sauce and freeze it in ziploc bags. When we come home we cook the pasta, warm up defrosted sauce in a pan, and then add the pasta to the sauce. Takes less than 15 minutes. You can add store bought frozen garlic bread to bulk this up, and make a salad or a veggie.

    — Steamed fish. I have one of those bamboo steamers. I put some parchment in the steamer, then steam the fish for about 5 minutes or so. Top with sesame oil and soy sauce (or hoisin). Serve with a side of veggies + rice. I usually do some sort of white fish.

    — Also, just as a general idea: roast a sheet pan or two of veggies on the weekend. Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc. Then you have veggies all week and you can just microwave them, and you just have to think about the entree.

    • I do a lot of scrambled eggs with veg, couscous, veg, and tofu, and stirfry.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        My kiddo *hates* most forms of eggs. We made scrambled eggs (with cheese!) yesterday for the snow day and she basically turned her nose up at them. Loved the toast covered in jam though.

    • Your comment about homemade tomato sauce made me laugh – right after I had my baby a VERY culinary inclined friend brought me some frozen pasta sauce he made so we could “have a quick meal”. It was of course a lovely gesture and the sauce was delicious, but I still think “you know what else is quick? sauce in a jar.”

      We JUST started roasting veggies (green beans and broccoli so far), but I hadn’t thought about doing a big batch and reheating – do they reheat well or do they get soggy? That would be my concern.

      I love tikka masala so I’m definitely going to try the chickpea option.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        lol that is true. I do have plenty of jarred sauce in my house too.

        I usually reheat roasted veggies in the oven so they retain some crispness but generally they will be softer than when first roasted. Not mushy though.

        • Frozen Peach says:

          Old roasted veggies with a little balsamic vinegar are amazing in grilled cheese.


        • If I make veggies for the week, I just take them out a bit sooner so they’re firmer and then the “right” softness for reheat. This works with two sheet pans if you want to use one for later and one for that day (just leave one in longer).

          My go to easy dinner lately is – a big family pack of washed spinach/kale mix and 1-2 two cans of cannellini beans. I saute with a little garlic and dinner is ready in less than 5 min. Add a not quite done fried egg on top (omit for egg-averse kids) and sprinkle with parm to make it a little more fun; add crusty bread to make more filling if needed.

      • One quick thing that I have started to do is take any extra roasted veg, chop them up and make muffin pan quiches. All you need is eggs, cream/milk/whatever you have, salt pepper and if you’re feeling fancy some grated cheese on top. 15 min in the oven and your breakfast is made for the week. They freeze well too.

  10. A non-mom friend just recommended this week’s Ask Polly column to my on nymag and it is really great. I think it would speak to a lot of people on this site (career choices, getting pregnant, etc.)


    • Marilla says:

      Wow – reading now and loving it. Thanks.

    • BTanon says:

      Really liked this, thanks for sharing

    • anne-on says:

      That is just about the best advice response I’ve ever read. Good points all.

    • Love it.

    • The Zen Cows, I’m dying. This is my issue with my prenatal yoga class (which I’ve realised makes me irrationally grumpy). “Stress is bad for the baby….” Um, I think when they say that, they mean people living in unstable situations, warzones, or poverty. I’m at on a Saturday afternoon, I’ve just had brunch…pretty sure baby is not going to be traumatised by my mildly hectic middle class existence.

      • I couldn’t get through a single prenatal yoga class without at least 3 eye rolls. I kept going back because I read that it sped up labor (and I have to say my labor was very quick, whether that’s related or not) but oy vey on all the sentiments.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Agreed. Also, I found that all the prenatal classes (at least by me) were about 75% talking and 25% moving. I wanted yoga!

        • This is why I’ve been hesitant to get up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to go to the only prenatal class my studio offers. I just keep going to my regular classes which are an actual workout, and assume the benefit of yoga is the yoga and not the prenatal jibber jabber.

          • Sarabeth says:

            I did normal yoga until 35 weeks with both pregnancies. I was careful about modifying, but overall it was fine.

        • I find them so annoying but keep going because it is helpful to figure out appropriate modifications (and I paid for five classes). I love yoga but this…ugh!

    • So relevant on so many levels.

      The only thing I’d add about being in a high-powered corporate job is the rampant s3xism and harassment that you have to deal with ON TOP OF everything explained in this article.

    • Anonymous says:

      I loved this, thank you for sharing! Also, I hate yoga.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      (“LeBron’s shot is a little off but that’s understandable, he’s been trying to get pregnant for two years now!” “Man, that’s a rough road.” “Don’t I know it, Bob!”)

      best. quote. ever.

  11. anne-on says:

    Just a ‘when it rains it pours’ vent. My normally very flexible, mostly predictable job just got randomly crazy due to deadlines that got ignored until JUST NOW by the powers that be, compounded by other normal projects not being able to be dropped. So I’m basically working all hours while also dealing with a small child on winter break (and massive snow outside) and trying to manage my au pair’s hours due to school being out. My husband is basically ‘on point’ the second he walks in the door, and there has been SO MUCH TV and Ipad happening.

    The one bright spot is that if I power through this week, it will all be mostly done by 3pm on Friday. So much wine is in my future….

    • Hang in there! Sounds like the end is in sight. I think I spent half of last night, semi-awake doing mental math with various contingencies involving snow days, delayed starts and teacher work days and au pair hours.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      We can do it! I’m taking Friday off for my husband’s big event (see below) and I CANNOT WAIT OMG. Just so much to handle before then…

  12. Frozen Peach says:

    Another vent, because apparently it’s just that week.

    Just need to put this in writing so I can try to focus on my day. Work is blowing up in 8 different directions. I just had a call with China scheduled for 9 tonight. The single biggest event of my husband’s career in the last few years starts tomorrow and goes through Saturday. Long story there, but he’s been left in the lurch by some colleagues and is having to finish a huge group project himself before tomorrow. Our childcare for this afternoon fell through late last night, so we totally reshuffled our day and I took our daughter to preschool (I do not normally do this– oh my goodness I have new respect for all the moms here who do this routine on the daily– I am an amateur and was late even with Elmo’s help). I am already totally spent for the day but I need to find a major, major second wind, because there is SO. Much. to get done at work and as soon as I’m not here I’m full-on covering for my normally extremely present partner. And my birthday is Sunday, and did I mention that we have a houseguest for said event arriving tomorrow?

    • Oh gosh! Can your houseguest help at all? I know if I was staying with someone and it was crunch time, I’d love to pitch in however I could.

      • avocado says:

        +1. Maybe your houseguest would enjoy taking kiddo on a fun outing? I remember once my mother showed up for a visit when I was in full-on all-nighter report-writing mode. I basically handed her a fistful of cash and a list of fun places to go and begged her to remove the child from the house for the next few days. They had a blast.

    • This sounds awful, I am so sorry. But you can do it!!

      Seriously, I hate talking to Asia at night so much. I’d rather do 6 a.m. than 9 p.m. any day.

    • anne-on says:

      Oh my goodness. So much commiseration! Try to break work down into smaller chunks and give yourself 5 minute brain breaks periodically (as I’ve been doing!)
      At home – can you get some emergency helpers/sitters/etc. in? I would totally and happily help out a friend I was close enough to go visit. Are there any day care teachers you can ask about evening sitting so you can concentrate on work stuff?

  13. Pumping at work question: it’s my second day back to work after maternity leave (yay snow day yesterday!) and usually I just pump at night in the dark, so for the first time I’m really getting a good look at what’s happening when I pump. I set my timer for 20 mins and saw that when the timer rang, there was still a thin stream of milk coming out. Do you usually wait for the milk to stop flowing or just pump for a set period of time? I have low supply, so part of me wants to get every drop and the other part just wants to get on w my day.

    Also I’m now afraid that in my exhausted haze, I’m going to get up to go to the bathroom w/o putting my nips away :)

    • AnonMN says:

      I would pump until the milk is gone if you have the time, but would also consider upping the suction level if you haven’t already and/or ensuring that your pump parts are not needing replacement (mainly the membranes). These should up the pumping efficiency and may help get everything out in under the 20 minute time.

      Fortunately our pump room had a “leaving” mirror, so I got a solid view of myself prior to exiting. I totally had the same fear though.

  14. Summer "Family" Vacation says:

    Tis the season to plan summer vacations. My uncle, who I was and am very close with, is turning 70 this summer. He was like a dad to me since my dad died when I was a kid. His immediate family, including my two cousins (whom I love like sisters), is planning a party for him in August where they live (upper part of Michigan). Before looking into the details on logistics, I said that my family would go (husband, two kids, 3 and 6, and me), and I committed to going to my mom (his sister) who lives in the same area as us. The only problem is that the logistics are completely out-of-hand. We either: (1) pay 700/pp to fly out of our town to the closest town to our uncle (still an hour away); (2) drive 2.5 hours to big airport (most likely the night before) and pay 500/pp and still drive an hour to the town; (3) rent a van and drive 17 hrs (that’s the estimate for driving straight through, which includes crossing borders). Oh the only hotel in the town is booked full, so we would stay about an hour away (at 300/night). My mom is advocating option 3, and is in the “we will be there regardless of how impossible the travel” camp. I’m leaning towards not going, at this point. Am I being unreasonable? Any suggestions on how to talk about this with my mom?

    • avocado says:

      You are not being unreasonable. The fact that your cousin failed to book a room block at the hotel is enough of a deal-breaker for me.

      When you say “Upper Michigan, ” do you mean the top of the mitten or the UP? If it’s just the top of the mitten, it might be doable to get a direct flight from your home airport to DTW and drive the rest of the way from there. Flying anywhere in Michigan but Detroit is a royal pain.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many nights would want to stay if you could go, assuming the price wasn’t $300/night? I’m just wondering if renting a house, or house sitting for a family friend or something would be possible? If you would want to stay for at least 3 days or so the travel might be worth it; which option depends on how tight money is. (I’d be looking at #3; you’re going to kill a day on plane travel anyway, and if you have 3 adults driving and screens for the kids it wouldn’t be completely insane. If I had the money option 1 no question).

    • anne-on says:

      Any chance there are any house rentals on Air BnB or VRBO? If not…yeah, I’d pass on the family trip and maybe just fly out yourself?

    • Llama mama says:

      You should definitely go.

      If you want the family to go, I’d go for option 3, I’d break the trip up as a driving family vacation and do an evening drive (6 hrs), stay in a hotel, have breakfast, drive 2-3 hours to a fun activity, then have dinner and do the last leg of the drive. Stay 2 days near uncle, then start heading back. It’ll take 5 days but ify Ou build the vacation around it, why not?

      And/or look at flying into DTW and driving the rest, as mentioned above. Should be a direct, relatively cheap flight and will knock a lot off that 17 hours.

      Look for air BNB. Or ask whomever is throwing the party where they suggest people stay- maybe there are options you overlooked.

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