Ode to the Road Trip

I have many pictures to post from our fun little budget vacay to Northern Cal, but first, I’d like to dedicate a post to the driving portion of our time away. There is something timeless about the idea of a road trip. My mom tells of traveling along 2-lane highways in a station wagon with her parents and 4 other siblings when she was a kid. I remember trips to So. Cal as a kid and one BIG road trip to Colorado/Wyoming/Montana/S.Dakota when I was about 11. Also, in college I spent literally hundreds of hours over three years in a van traveling the country with our little school-sponsored singing group. I love the excitement that precedes the departure! Packing music, books, magazines, little projects, and of course, lots of SNACKS! And I especially love car napping. Mmmm.
We have never done anything like this with Carson, let alone both kids. Trent was more optimistic about how the drive would go. I was planning for 9 hours of whining and crying. The reality was somewhere in the middle, but the pendulum swung both ways for what ended up being ELEVEN hours each way. I will say, Carson and Sydney both were troopers. They obviously did NOT like it, but we had no monumental, tear-my-hair-out meltdowns. We borrowed the in-laws Chevy Suburban, which made a WORLD of difference. We packed the entire house in that thing, partly for our time with the Lyons and partly to keep our 3 year old busy during the trip.
It turns out that, for our trip, being the driver was the easy job. I usually ended up in the back seat between both kids, soothing/feeding (with a bottle in her carseat, people–safety first!) Syd and finding something new for Carson to distract him from the fact that he was miserable. We sang songs, we watched movies, we colored, we did stickers, we read books, we made animals out of pipe cleaners, we played I Spy, we had drinks and snacks…one thing we did NOT do was sleep. After a couple of hours, I was begging Trent to let me drive because I was going bonkers. On the 11 hours down, Carson finally fell asleep around hour 9.5. Five minutes after he fell asleep, Sydney woke up crying. Those were the only 5 minutes they were asleep at the same time. FOR ELEVEN HOURS. The double-child-sleeping time increased a tad bit on the way back, but we were all happy to be home and get into our own beds. But, you know what? It was worth it! We had an awesome time and we saved a bunch of money. Here’s some pictures of the drive down. I actually wish I had taken more!
This was a rare moment when I let Carson use my camera.
Quiet resignation is her trademark look.

AND we’re adding “Watching movies in the car” to the “Things I said I’d never let my children do….and changed my mind once I actually HAD children” list. Lifesaver!