We might be crazy. Four days on the road with a three year old and an 18 month old. But Mike and I love road trips and we hate flying with little kids and it's been almost a year since I saw my parents or they saw the girls, so we forged ahead with our nutty plan to see America with Thing One and Thing Two in the backseat. Luckily, Jeff and Jeannette were willing to loan us their dual screen DVD player for the car - six hours of Max and Ruby on repeat is actually less jarring to the nerves than the ear-splitting screams of toddlers.
Day One: Boston to Pittsburgh, 600 miles, 10 hours
Ten hours of driving, but you can add another two hours for multitudinous stops including all three meals.
We actually started the day off poorly. The alarm was set, but it didn't go off because it decided that the first day of our Car Trip Outta Crazytown was a great day to get broken. Nevertheless, we were dressed and out the door in record time. I'm still not sure how it happened or how we managed not to forget anything or leave the doors unlocked. Luckily our neighbors had agreed to feed the cats, put the trash out, pick up the mail, and play our Wii for us while we were gone. We hit the open road at 8 am with Dunkin Donuts in hand and the Curious George theme song blaring from the head rests. The girls were PSYCHED! They weren't sure exactly what they were excited about, but obviously it was something awesome! Munchkins and movies in the car! Maggie said it was "like magic."
We had one crazy, emergency, "I have to go potty RIGHT NOW" stop in central Mass., but we got to a rest stop and she made it to the potty just in time.
New York... (We waved to Amy and Roger and Baby Elizabeth as we passed I-87 South and had lunch at McDonald's.)
(snacks and juice boxes)
(take a break to run in the grass at a rest stop)
(threats and cajoling)
(dinner at a Perkin's Pies where, in one of my least intelligent moments as a parent, Maggie and Kate split some pancakes topped with rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream and then raced around the restaurant screeching)
Finally! Valerie and John's house! The girls actually clapped and cheered when we pulled into the driveway and turned off the car. 8 pm! Bedtime, thank god.
Day Two: Pittsburgh, 0 miles, all day
We planned to spend the next day just hanging out at Val's all day and not go anywhere. I'm SO glad we did because all four of us were twitchy and exhausted from being in the car so long the day before and because all the kids had such a fabulous time playing together. Noah and Annalise are the cutest, sweetest kids. Nevertheless, four kids under four makes for a very chaotic day even with group parenting!
We played outside in the yard:
The kids shared toys very well and got along great even though Kate and Noah are still kind of at that "play at the same time but not actually together" age.
What do you think they were talking about?
Baby Annalise, nearly 3 months old.
Val kicked Mags' butt at Guitar Hero
We went to The Coolest Park #1 after dinner (the Coolest Park #2 is in Indiana).
Then we put all three kids in the tub together. Chaos ensues. Val showed us the enormous dimple in Noah's bum cheek. He'll be able to work for the CIA smuggling secret microchips in that dimple when he grows up!
That night, Annalise, Noah, and Maggie all crashed out immediately but Kate stayed up thrashing around in her pack 'n play for ages talking about Val's dog and cars and the pictures of ice cream on her pj pants and I don't know what all. We all sat in the living room chatting, eating snacks, and drinking Yuengling beer and watched her on the video baby monitor until she finally gave up and passed out.
Val and I agreed that life would be exponentially more awesome and much easier if we lived near one another. How nice it would be to just call up and say, "Put a fresh pot of coffee and a Disney movie on. I'm coming over. Oh, and don't bother to get your kids dressed because mine are still in their pajamas, too, the little heathens." Ah, maybe in our next lives...
Coming soon... Day Three: Pittsburgh to Indianapolis, 375 miles, 6 hours (8 with stops)
The girls with my dad the evening we arrived in Indy
PS - All our pictures are up on Snapfish.