Thursday, July 12, 2012

C is for Cookie

We're back from our two-week vacation!  The next several posts will be re-living it, so if you're already bored you know what to do.

After the most stressful day I've had in a long time (WHAT AM I FORGETTING?!  WHY ARE THESE BABIES THROWING EVERYTHING I'M TRYING TO PACK DOWNSTAIRS?!) we left our home at 9:45pm on Wednesday the 27th of June.  For the first two or three hours we had adrenaline to keep us awake, then I was supposed to sleep while Brian drove.  That's when I discovered that I can't sleep in the van knowing that the driver is sleepy.  Bridget slept like a good girl, but Colin didn't know what was going on and demanded to be distracted.  We put in a Sesame Street DVD to appease him at 2:00am.  We couldn't know then that we would have that entire DVD memorized over the next few days.  Thus the title, "C IS FOR COOKIE."  (I brought many, many DVDs and we watched that one at least 3 times a day when we were on the road.)

 We watched the sun rise in Nebraska and made it to our first stop, North Platte, for breakfast (McDonald's - we ate it at a park).  The boys ran like crazy and we chased them with bites of food.  A guy came to mow the lawn at the park and brought his two dogs.  Emil tried his usual get-to-know-you tactic (a slap) on one of the dogs and got nipped.  Back in the van until our next stop - Columbia, Missouri for a night at the Residence Inn.  (Separate rooms, y'all.  The only way to go after 24 straight hours of serious togetherness.)
Here we are the next morning.  We PACKED that van!  Those white things behind Emil's seat are their high chairs.  Those would later save our lives.  On Friday morning, the 29th of June, we headed out of Missouri to our goal, Charleston, West Virginia.  It was so blazing hot outside, but we were determined to let the kids out at meal times so they could stretch their legs, which is what we did at a lovely rest stop in Indiana.
We were only there for 20 minutes and all three kids were red and sweaty after about a minute.  They're not sunburned (yet), they're just too hot.
I'm going to pause now to mention that my girl, Bridget, is THE BEST!  She was the perfect little traveler - no complaints.  Everything was a fun adventure to her.  The only reward we could offer her was to watch "Barbie Island Princess" every time both of her brothers fell asleep.

I stopped taking photos after this stop.  That's what happens to me when I'm stressed - I stop taking photos.  We went to our first and last Cracker Barrel for dinner on Friday night somewhere near Lexington, Kentucky.  (They advertise the heck out of that place and it is the WORST.)  We decided to stop in Huntington, West Virginia (home of  Marshall University - WE ARE MARSHALL), which was about an hour closer.  Off the exit we couldn't see any buildings even though our GPS ("now we'll never get lost!") said there was a Marriott Towne Place Suites right by us.  The further we got into town the more we noticed tree limbs in the road and police officers directing traffic.  Their power was out because of a wind storm that had passed through.  We circled back to the hotel and decided to stay there since they'd sent everyone else to Charleston (also no power there).  A nice woman led us to our pitch black room with a tiny flashlight.  It was still really hot and the kids were clinging to us.  None of them could fall asleep.  That was a long night.

We woke up to no power the next morning and Brian and I took cold showers to begin the day.  Our British GPS ("ahead, keep left, then take the motorway") decided we should have nothing to do with toll roads, so we were on a two-lane highway through the back woods (and I think West Virginia invented back woods) for the first half of the day.  We stopped for gas early and thank goodness we did - every station we went by after that first one had a line a quarter of a mile long.  (My favorite - when Brian paid for his gas, the woman in front of him was buying baloney.  That made me laugh for miles.)

We got to Topsail Island at almost 6:00pm when we should have been able to get there at 4:00pm on Saturday, June 30th.  What a relief to get there at all, though.  Everywhere I turned I saw a face I haven't seen in person for months and months.  My sibling's kids were playing with each other and brothers-in-law were taking our stuff to our room with smiles on their faces.  Ahhhhh!  I'll drive across the country a thousand times if I know I get to be with my family at the end.  Again, no pictures.  My camera was foggy and I figured the big family photo would have to be enough documentation for that first evening.


melissa said...

Hmmm. I can't decide if you're the winners or the losers. What a relief it was to finally see you after hearing about your crazy travels! I promise I'll get that big family picture out as soon as I can.

Jill said...

Long car trips with small children...nothing beats them.