Friday, July 28, 2006

Through The Woods And Over The Hill

Estimated time of departure: 7 a.m. Actual time of departure: 7:10 a.m. This is almost unheard of in this family, especially when the morning began with this exchange:

JP (from his room): I can’t find my other shoe!
Me: Which shoe are you looking for?
JP: The other one!

To leave within 10 minutes of when I want to leave doesn’t happen for a weekly trip to CafĂ© Francisco for breakfast, much less for a six day road trip. But it did, because I rule with an iron fist, and because Kristy said, “Okay, I’m ready to go.” And she meant it.

Here are the highlights of the first leg of the journey, our trip to Greensboro, GA:

Mile 99 – C says, “Are we almost there?”

Mile 189 – C says, “Are we almost there?”

Mile 244 – Until now, the three older kids have sat quietly with headphones on watching DVDs and GK has slept. That’s right, GK has slept the first three hours, allowing me to make great time, which is what a family road trip is really all about. We make our first stop of the day and all hell breaks loose as we pull into the parking lot of the McDonald’s just outside Birmingham, AL. Once parked I look back to see that S had spilled her chocolate milk all over the front of herself. But S didn’t have any chocolate milk, not recently, anyway. She has vomited an earlier chocolate milk. Believe it or not, this is our first experience ever with carsickness and it happens 30 seconds before the door is open and she would have been standing in a McDonald’s parking lot. We get S some clean clothes out of the back and Kristy throws the soiled ones away. GK wakes up.

Mile 254 – GK wakes up again and she’s not happy about it, not at all.

Mile 301 – S and C fall asleep, just two more and my prayers are answered.

Mile 322 – GK wakes up again. Everybody is awake and we pull over for our second stop of the day.

Mile 341 – JP is asleep.

Mile 353 – GK is crying. Make our third stop of the day. JP is awake.

Mile 375 – GK is crying.

Mile 386 – GK is crying but Kristy gets her to stop without the van, and forward movement, having to stop.

Mile 470 – Arrive at Mimi & Pop’s community, blow past the guard shack at 40 mph without stopping and only GK’s right hand visible from the window, tiny middle finger fully extended.

Once we got to my grandparents’ house, the kids made themselves busy testing all doors that lead to the outside. The sliding glass door from the eating area to the deck went through a lifetime of sliding in 10 minutes and you couldn’t see through the handprint smudges at the three-foot mark. When they were inside, they were touching walls, every square inch of pristine cream color and the bright white moulding was manhandled. I wish now that we had made them wear their formal white gloves.

When their cousins, Alec and Terryn, arrived a short time later it began a full night of going in and out, exploring, frog handling, asking when we were going to do something else, complaining about the food and whining because we said, “No, we’re not going to the pool tonight.” Pop did cook some excellent food (quail, mashed potato casserole, green beans and mushrooms) and it was promising to find out that C likes the taste of quail, though this is probably the only place he’ll ever get it.

Today we travel on to Statesboro, GA, for more cousins and aunts and uncles. We’re looking forward to it, though not for the three hour drive ahead. I hope GK needs the rest.