Monday, April 02, 2012

Tour De South 2012

Because we completely lost our marbles, the Smith family drove to Florida for Spring Break.

Yup, we did.  In a car.  With an 18-month old.  For a million hours.

Road trips are nothing new to my sweet husband and me.  We love road trips.  We have this awesome road trip system that goes like this: he drives, I navigate.  Except we have a GPS.  So it's more like this-  he drives, I: sit, nap, look at scenery, gasp loudly when I think he is too close to other cars, eat snacks, half-heartedly offer to drive then think of excuses for why I actually can't drive, read books, get car sick, eat more snacks, nap again, choose what we listen to on itunes, and backseat drive.

I love our system!

We have driven all over the east coast using our system.  Last summer we didn't take a big family road trip, and we sorely missed it.  So this year, since Lenny has the week of spring break off from work, we decided to hit the road again and drive to Florida to see my grandparents.  Our system worked great again, except this time it went more like he drives, I: sit, turn on Elmo on the DVD player for the baby, give the baby a snack, give the baby a drink, hit play again on the dvd player because the baby turned it off with her foot, give the baby a toy, hit play again because the baby stopped it again, threaten to take Elmo DVD away if the baby touches the player again with her foot, give the baby a drink, move the DVD player away from the baby's toes, put in another Elmo DVD, give the baby another snack, find the baby's blanket, find the baby's shoes, reset Elmo, gasp at a car that gets to close, turn Elmo's volume down, find another snack, start Elmo again...

Driving to Florida with a baby is awesome!

Cozy and ready to hit the road.

Traffic on 95.  Obviously.

The other awesome part about driving is that we get to visit friends along the way.  Friends we don't see too often.  Friends we love.  We decided to break our trip up a little to make the long distances a little more manageable, which not only helped us be able to see friends but also kept us from driving too late at night.  We've learned the hard way that while we are pretty hard-core road trippers, we are NOT drive-at-nighters.  Sometimes you have to know when to pick your battles, and we have chosen not to battle night fatigue while operating a moving vehicle.

I have to say that this whole trip had me a little more than nervous.  I anticipated a lot of meltdowns.  I was pretty anxious and had a pretty-near meltdown the day we left that caused my mom to have to come over and rescue me by watching the baby while I packed.  But as it turns out, I had very little to be nervous about.  My precious child exceeded our expectations yet again and took the trip like a champ.  She got to ride forward-facing and watch her Elmo DVDs on a borrowed player, which kept her way more than happy.  She danced, sang, and ate the leftover pulled pork I brought.  She was happy and content even in the horrible traffic we hit.  She finally told us after about four hours that her diaper was dirty, so we stopped at a rest stop to change her and let her stretch her legs with a "lite" version of hide-and-seek.  One of us would hold her and say, "Quick!  Go find Mama/Daddy!"  Then we'd let her loose and she would run over to where the other of us was half-hidden by a chair or pillar or counter.  She would squeal with delight and literally fling herself into our arms for a huge hug.  She had the whole place chuckling.  Finally she decided she was ready to head back to the car and was out like a light in about five minutes.

We got to our friends W and G in North Carolina around 10.  We let Sweet Pea stay up until 11:30 hanging out with us.  She loved our friends, which makes sense, because they are pretty awesome.  W is Lenny's friend from Kindergarten; those two have been friends for almost 25 years, which is both amazing and makes them sound super old.

We spent the next day hanging out with our friends and having a lovely time.  W had to work, so the rest of us met him at the mall for lunch.  Our lunch was great, albeit peppered with several tantrums from a certain un-napped, over-tired 18-month-old who became obsessed with playing on a toy truck.  Sorry, guys.


Hey, kid!  Exhausted, much?
After a quick run to Old Navy during which the baby slept in the stroller, G took us to this super awesome park on the campus of her alma mater.  She even got us tickets for a train ride and a carousel ride.  The weather was perfect and it was so fun to hang out.  G first tried to introduce Sweet Pea to the Easter Bunny, but apparently the Easter Bunny was a little terrifying.

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 It's funny, even though it was our husbands who grew up together, I feel like I could have known G my whole life.  We've only ever hung out a few days together, yet every time I see her I wish I lived down the street.  She is so warm and fun and I could chat away with her for hours.  My beloved Anne of Green Gables would call her a "kindred spirit." Sweet Pea took to her like a fish to water, and if you know Sweet Pea, you know she's not like that with everyone.  I think she just knows deep down who has a heart of gold.  I mean, seriously, she even trusted G with her life next to a giant, terrifying bunny!

So then we went to the swings.


Followed by a train ride.


After our train ride we played in a train car, and Sweet Pea loved pretending to be a princess while everyone from the next train waved at her as they drove by.

The people may love her, but in the end it's Daddy who has her heart.

Look familiar?  10 million points if you remember the other shot!

And that was our first 24 hours.  I like how it ended with a giant bunny flying up and down and in circles.  Seems about right, at least for the little girl who was so tired she was practically hallucinating!


1 comment:

  1. Your road trip system sounds about right ;) so glad your trip is off to a good start! Have fun!


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