Road Trip Recount

We’re back!!!  I love traveling, and this trip was great, but it is also nice to be home!

To recount our 5 day, 1,000+ mile road trip (prompted by the can’t-miss wedding of our friends), I have decided to organize my thoughts into 2 categories: “shout outs” & “boo, hiss”.

Shout outs:

–  to the bride & groom (what a great weekend!)

– to the family who helped watch the kids so we could enjoy the grown-up events (Grammy, Grandpa, K & C, you were awesome – and you brought so much great energy and fun stuff for the kids!)

– to late-night Grammy (who helped make a nest of pillows to soothe a sleepless S at 3am)

– to the friends who also made the trip (such fun hanging out)

– to the friends who offered to let us stay in their home while they were traveling (would have made our journey infinitely easier, if we had managed to get there…more on this travel disaster later)

– to the friend who loaned us her DVD collection (you could have named your price)

– to our kids (who spent 25+ hours in the car and were absolute champs)

– and to my husband (some quotes from him coming soon)

Special shout outs:

– to T (Happy Birthday! see note written on the road and posted here soon…)

– to my husband (who wore his paper Father’s Day tie proudly and protected it from the rain with his paper Father’s Day umbrella)

– to grandpa (who brought tennis rackets for the kids, and whose Father’s Day card from E included images of (1) family and (2) the little-known, but very well depicted “Father’s Day fairies”

Shout outs to strangers:

– to whoever decided that the VA welcome center should have a play structure (you saved us…twice)

Welcome to VA, indeed (DSC_0601)

Welcome to Virginia, indeed

– to the clerk at the random campsite (who violated policy and let us picnic, play and potty break there even though we weren’t camping…you saved us too)

1 of 4 play structures at the campground we crashed (DSC_0606)

1 of 4 play structures at the campground we crashed (can you see it through the trees?)

– to whoever decided the petting zoo on Long Island should be free to the general public (how awesome is that?!)

"Petting Zoo" (DSC_0639)

OK, the hotel called it a "petting zoo", but let's exercise some judgment. That is a bear.

– to the Holiday Inn worker (who *tried* to help soothe the sleepless S in the lobby) and

– to Marriott (who let us use points to stay at hotels along our route on both legs of the trip – once in violation of policy…shhh – and gave us a free upgrade because it was T’s birthday.  Hello, jacuzzi tub.)

Boo, hiss:

– to that Friday night glass of chocolate milk (prompting a S puking episode which E recounted in great detail when introduced to a very gracious bride on Saturday morning – yes, her wedding day)

– to night terrors (up with a screaming S for 2 hours the night before the wedding, from 1:30-3:30am…saved only by infinite sympathy for a terrified child and an amazing Grammy with her nest of pillows . . .  and yes, S slept in, but the other two were up as usual every morning of the trip, which meant mom or dad in the lobby with them three hours after finally getting to sleep that night.  Hello, 6:30am)

– to the idea that popped into the brain of the nice hotel worker who *tried* to help S – bless his heart, but he just made it worse by showing the screaming S the sprinkler heads he had installed to keep monsters out of the hotel lobby (we were just starting to settle a little, and are now terrified of the monsters that must be lurking just outside the window…and why aren’t the sprinklers on???)

– to New York traffic (really? on a Sunday?)

–  to our GPS (more on this later)

– to the NJ gas station that had 6 cars – no exaggeration- waiting at every pump (and not 10 minutes after we had finally gotten out of the New York traffic)

– and to whoever designed the tiniest bathroom stalls ever at this same NJ gas station (since, while my husband was in the gas line, I had to take all 3 kids with me into a disability stall so I could pee – with the door just slightly open – since that is the only way E,S,T – in his stroller – and I could all fit.  Note to self: if you must keep the door slightly open, lock the stroller wheels, since it will be T using his feet to propel himself backwards off your knees that will put the stroller in reverse, send the door flying open, and attract the attention of fellow travelers.  Good thing I had already lost my dignity while talking to the bride about brown vomit a mere 48 hours before)

– and finally, boo hiss to the cough that T developed during the drive which woke him up every half-hour from his bedtime on, finally prompting us to make an unscheduled post-midnight stop at a hotel 3 hours from home.

But… (I try to avoid leaving you on a low note!) that is where things turned back around.  My amazing husband charmed a hotel into letting us stay using points (this was the violation of policy…see future post…) and we settled into a great rest of the trip.

To summarize: Amazing trip to NY, amazing wedding weekend, amazing friends and family, (brief blip: not-so-amazing 14 hour first leg of return trip), then a super fun last leg home (complete with Chick-Fil-A, a stop to play, and a DVD so engaging the kids wanted to stay in the car even after we pulled into our garage).

Don’t you just love road trips?!?!  And to think we get to do it all again in July!

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