Not only was I ambitious in my plan to drive my 2 small children across the country in 4 days, I also thought I was going to have the time and energy to actually blog about it each night in the hotels. What can I say? I aim high.
Now that a week has gone by, we have arrived safely in Seattle and I’ve gotten my bearings, let me tell you a little bit about how the trip ACTUALLY went, based on the plans I laid forth in Road Trippin’.
Original Plan for Day 1, 7/24:
• Drive from Exton, PA to Fishers, IN: 619 miles, approx. 11 hours with stops
• Test out long range walkie talkies (“Breaker one-niner we have a stage five toddler tantrum happening here, over!”)
• Perfect the reach and angle needed to bottle feed infant between stops
• Have dinner with the Hubs’ family in Fishers
• Say goodbye to the Stepdude and the cat
• Drive from Fishers, IN to Lafayette, IN: 66 miles, approx. 1 hour
• Collapse into hotel room
Off we go!
We ended up leaving an hour later than we had hoped, of course. We carried a good pace in the morning. Then, after a stop for lunch, I finally handed the Boo the Kindle Fire my sister had loaded up with his favorite shows and movies. I don’t know if he was motion sick or just inhaled his apple juice and animal crackers too fast or what, but he projectile vomited ALL OVER himself, the Kindle, and his brand spankin’ new car seat. So, I had to pull over for a time and clean all this up. Of course, being the prepared Chief Mommy Officer of this trip, I had a change of clothes at the ready as well as an entire container of cleaning wipes. The Kindle kept playing through the vomit and the cleanup so, take notice folks. Kindle Fires take a licking and keep on ticking! To prevent the Boo’s clean clothes from getting wet after the car seat was wiped down I wrapped him in a couple of disposable changing pads and away we went.
My plan to avoid frequent stops to feed the little lady was thwarted when she decided that she did not want to take any formula from a bottle. I tried feeding her from the front seat 3 times – 2 different types of formula (ready to eat liquid and mixed powder). She was not having it. Only Mommy would do. So, I ended up having to stop about every 2 hours to nurse her from the front seat.
The original plan was for us all to caravan together, with the truck in front to keep the pace. Hence, the walkie talkies, which are not as “long range” as you’d hope. But… with as many stops as I had to make with the kids and with my ability to go faster than the truck to make up for the time taken for stops, we split up from each other and I actually ended up about an hour or so behind the truck. Not much walkie talkie action.
We revised our meeting spot from Fishers to Greenfield, IN due to construction, which was no problem. As we got close to Greenfield we were about 2 hours later than we had planned, due to the above situations. The Hubs’ family was totally understanding and accommodating and awaited our arrival. I was about 45 minutes away when I realized something was wrong with the car. I couldn’t accelerate past about 60 mph but my RPM’s were going berserk. This was not good. I noticed that I was decelerating uncontrollably so thankfully was able to pull off onto an exit ramp. At the top of the ramp, the car went dead. My first thought was “Oh my god we just sunk A TON of money into fixing this car HOW CAN IT BE DEAD???” As I was calling my husband in a panic, a trucker pulled up behind me and approached the car. He was kind enough to push the car onto the left shoulder… so that he could get his truck around me. Thanks, dude, see you later. After a few minutes I was able to get the car moving again and pulled over into a gas station. Turns out, in our automatic gear shift there is a gear below drive – “L.” I had never used this before and, apparently after my last stop, I accidentally threw it into “L” which, if you can believe it, does NOT mean LaurDoone but instead means Low. I was trying to cruise up to 75mph on the highway in Low gear. Hence, car fall down go boom. Oops. Stupid L, what is it even there for? There’s not even a dashboard indicator that you are in L. Oh well, now I will pay very close attention to the gear shift and was just supremely grateful that I did not, in fact, kill the car. Phew.
We had a lovely dinner with the Hubs’ family and were so glad we got the chance to see everyone and say a proper goodbye. Sent the Stepdude and the cat on their way, and headed up the hour to the hotel where we promptly collapsed somewhere around midnight. Day one DONE.