Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break! Road Trip!

The girls and I had a super road trip adventure over their Spring Break week. I once drove them 5 hours to Nashville for a weekend trip that went bad and ended up as an overnight trip. But the was a super road trip. It was so long it required an overnight hotel stay and everything! Dave had to work for the week so it was just us girls. Speaking of Dave, big props to him for letting us go. We left on Easter and missed his birthday and he was a pretty good sport about the whole thing. I tried to be as organized as possible and wrote out complete packing lists, stocked the freezer with lunches and dinners for Dave during our absence, booked the hotels in advance, and made arrangements for the dogs during our absence. We.were.set!

The trip down went smoothly. We stopped a few more times than I had planned. One stop was an hour-long stop at the Walgreens clinic because Solana got a surprise ear infection the night before our trip. Fortunately, they were open on Easter and gave us antibiotics for her ear.

One of our many potty breaks turned into an impromptu lunch in the Garden Ridge parking lot. Thankfully, I had packed plenty of healthy snacks and food for lunch. 

When we got to the hotel the girls were excited and ready to play! I, on the other hand, was ready to read for a few minutes and hit the sack. They were disappointed but good sports. The girl at the desk had pity on me and moved us to a suite closer to the lobby so I was able to read in the living room area while the girls were in the bedroom. That reminds me, I should go give that Best Western a nice review online...

We made it to Valdosta, Georgia after lunch on Monday all in one piece and ready for a fun Spring Break! The girls were excited to see their cousin, Grant. I was excited to see my sister, Valerie. And we all couldn't wait to meet baby Lydia. Lydia, as it turns out, is a show stopper. Seriously. Babies don't get much cuter than this one.
Valerie took us to the local amusement park. I think it was called Great Adventures. She bought a season pass that day and has since informed me that we only visited a tiny part of it. We never would have guessed. We spent several hours there and had a blast! Solana and I especially loved the little bird house. 

Chloe, Grant, and I rode the merry-go-round.
There were actually more rides than animals. You just wouldn't know it from my pictures.

Solana rode her first roller coaster!!! See the people behind her with that U-shaped bar that comes down in front of them? She got on that. I was glad that Valerie took her on because I probably would have freaked her out. She had a blast and wanted to go again!

Grant is a full year younger than Chloe. You'd never guess based on their size.

We eventually got rained out. It was a bummer but I don't think the kids could have lasted much longer, anyway.

We spent a little bit of time at the house. The kids played with toys...and Lydia. I got my cat fix from Hercules and Tigress.

Our other big adventure was a day at the neighborhood bouncy house place. I have never seen Solana and Chloe run and play so hard. And it was nice because I didn't mind Chloe bouncing off those walls.

Usually I have to beg, plead, and threaten Chloe to drink. I worry sometimes that she is certainly the most under-hydrated kid in America.  So this was a pretty exciting moment for me.

Some other fun memories:
-The kids playing "run away from the whale" in the back yard.
-Helping Valerie plant her first Square Foot Garden.
-Sewing Teeny Tears diapers the night before leaving.
-Watching the girls chow down on Valerie's pork loin, mashed potatoes, and peas.

The week flew by but we were just about ready to go home. We left for home on Friday a little later than I had intended. It was 1:30 and we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us.

Then this happened. 
 It happened a lot.

 By 7:30 we had only shaved 2 hours off our 6 hour trip. We stopped for dinner. Chloe was fresh from her nap. I was already tired and frustrated. "Screw it," I thought. I let them order hot dogs, french fries, and chocolate milk.

We got to the hotel at midnight. I somehow checked in, got our bags, and two sleeping girls into the hotel room. What a day. I had not mentally prepared myself for 10 1/2 hours of travel that day. I later found out that the college basketball final four or something was happening in Atlanta. That's the mess we were stuck in.

The next morning I felt better. Fresh and ready to go. An hour into the trip we hit traffic again. Chloe had to pee. I pulled over, pulled out the potty seat, put her on it and let her pee on the side of the road. I shamelessly wiped her, dumped the pee (and I think the tissue, too) in the grass as cars crawled past us.  They were probably chuckling at me but I couldn't have cared less. I was a mom doing what a mom needed to do. No sooner had a nice older couple let us merge back into the barely moving traffic than the van starting making a horrible sound and a puff of smoke came out of the hood.

I called Dave, looked under the hood, and didn't see anything. He found a Honda dealer and jumped in his car to meet us. We were three hours from home. We drove an hour toward each other and met at a rest stop and then we followed him home, foregoing the dealership. As it turns out, there was nothing wrong with the van. Either I was imagining the sound or I just really really missed Dave. Or, as the local dealer suggested, the van was just throwing a tantrum from possible bad gas or frustration over the  huge amounts of stop n go traffic.

We got home a few hours later than planned, slightly traumatized, and exhausted. Dave hadn't planned on driving 4 hours that day and apologized for not cleaning the house as soon as we walked in the door. The visit was great but I think it might be a while before I go on another solo road trip with the girls...

I was also slightly nervous about my half-marathon the next morning.

1 comment:

The Hillbergs said...

You are SO brave! I remember you talking about your previous solo trip with the girls! Even though you had so many issues on the way home - i bet it was all still worth it! i hate traffic.