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We Made It!

March 19, 2013

wemadeitAlthough the trip did not go exactly as planned, we made it.  Friday afternoon I was planning to do my last trip errands.  Dan walked in the door around three and greeted me with the shocking announcement, “My dad says it might snow tonight, and he thinks we should leave today.”  A lot of running around in circles ensued and an hour later we were sitting in the van outside our house with Patty waving us off.  Ten minutes after waving us off, Patty looked out her window and we were still sitting at the curb.  We really worked up an appetite with all that running around in circles and we decided to break into the snack bag Patty packed for us.  It included madelines!  We decided to go ahead and eat those.  Then I called Patty to say how much we were enjoying  them.  “Go!  Just go!”  She urged.  “Go! Go!” I shouted to Dan.  And we were off.

The children were all asleep by eight.  Except Miss P who fell asleep while we were eating the madelines.  It was so nice driving in the quiet van that we briefly contemplated driving straight through the night.  But we are both very sleepy people, so around midnight we stopped at a little motel in El Paso (Illinois).  We experienced our first (and only) delay at the hotel… a heated pool.  At seven a.m. energized by a free continental breakfast that included as many donuts as you want!  the kids were standing at the front desk with swimsuits, floaties, and goggles on.  I’m not sure if the hotel manager opened the pool an hour early for us out of compassion, or to get rid of us sooner, but we were swimming at 7:15.  By 7:30 the kids were done swimming.  By eight the van, or candy-wagon, was again hurtling south, with the kids talking about how that hotel (their first) was the best hotel they have ever stayed in and what a great swim they had.

I think I have discovered the secret to long distance driving with a baby: CANDY.  We just kept the treats coming and Annie pretty much just kept smiling.  She so enjoyed her first lollipop, that when that was over I started giving her Twizzlers.  Then (why not?)  I gave her a bag of Cheetos.  It was great. She did vomit all over the hotel room.  But other than that, it was great.

Dan drove the first 14 hours, until, after much rearranging of seating assignments, found myself in a carseat and insisted on a turn at the wheel.  While at the wheel I listened to a psychology professor lecturing on the pursuit of happiness.  He said there is only one way to guarantee happiness: low expectations.  That was certainly the case for us this weekend.  After all my fretting ahead of time, the drive ended up being just fine.  Dan and I agreed that being cooped up in the van wasn’t really much harder than being cooped up in the house.  In some ways it was easier having everybody strapped down.

As only my Minnesota friends will understand, I would drive twice as far for those blades of green grass (pictured above).  Sweet Home Alabama.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2013 9:05 pm

    One more week until my return to the south. I think I may join the children in laying in the grass!

  2. Kristine permalink
    March 20, 2013 9:14 pm

    Oh good. I’m so glad you had candy. I was going to suggest the economy sized bags of candy but I wasn’t sure if you would want them to partake in such gluttony. And also, Katie and I are thinking of visiting. Mainly to see the grass.

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