Well, I had all these great aspirations to chronicle all of the details of our road trip while driving this year from our home in Arizona out to visit my family in Pennsylvania. I was all packed up and organized with technology and even prepared with a spare battery for my laptop. I learned though that I had to conserve on the laptop usage while we were driving because it was a lot of work to keep Lucian entertained in the back seat.
It turns out, Nate did all of the driving for the whole trip anyhow. He was much more comfortable plus I don't think he really likes my driving anyhow. I stayed in the back seat the whole way and tried my best to keep Lucian from being uncomfortable in his car seat. It worked out pretty well. I was really proud of myself for how well we coordinated the space in the back of our little Elantra.
There were a few times when he got a little cranky and then that's where the magic of having the laptop came in handy. I was able to whip it out of the bag and pop in a DVD. It worked out well later in the evenings as we drove because there wasn't the sun glare to compete with the LCD screen backlighting. We brought along an extender audio cable to plug in the cassette tape converter so the sound from the laptop could be piped out through the car's stereo speakers. It worked great! It was like having surround sound in the car. We watched several Muppet episodes from Season 1 (thanks to uncle Dan) and Finding Nemo in its entirety!
As Dory says in the movie, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim."
Now, just replace swim with drive and that's what we did.
"Just keep driving. Just keep driving. Just keep driving, driving, driving. What do we do? We drive, drive, drive."
We didn't know for sure how long it would take us to travel out since it was our first road trip with a toddler so we didn't really plan on a lot of sight seeing. It turns out we made the trip in 4 whole days. We left on June 1st and arrived at my Dad's place on the 5th. We made a couple of stops along the way, but for the most part it was just drive, pee, change diaper, fuel up, rinse and repeat. We packed food and snacked along the way. That really saved a lot of time. We basically had a really good breakfast each day and then snacked the rest of the time until we reached our destination.
We made our first stop somewhere in New Mexico. I think it was Santa Rosa. We stayed in a budget motel since it was close to midnight local time. Lucian even got his own queen-sized bed! It wasn't the best of places, the bathroom was icky (didn't use it but for the basics), but we couldn't beat thirty-six bucks for 2 beds and free wifi. I didn't get to use it but to quickly download email messages before checkout, but oh well. The guy who checked us in was really nice. He even spotted us at the Denny's having breakfast the next morning and asked if I was able to connect to the wifi ok. I hope we can find it on our way back or at least something like it.
Our goal was to try to drive all the way across Texas in a day. It worked out really well. We had to stop at CarHenge though. It's one of our favorite little places. If you haven't ever been to it, it's a must see why traveling through Amarillo, Texas.
We pushed on and made it all the way to the edge of Oklahoma by midnight, local time where we stayed with Nate's great aunt. She's 87 and adorable. She stayed up and chatted with us till 3 am. Lucian got his very own, adorable little room. We had breakfast in the afternoon (it was breakfast in our minds yet) at a cute little place called Buttered Bunns Cafe. Commerce, OK is such an adorable little town!
Next stop was Rosebud, MO to stay with Nate's second cousin, LaVon. She is such a cool chick. She's over sixty-five and tech savvy! She even has a few websites she tinkers with. The boys went to bed while her and I stayed up and geeked out together till wee hours in the morning. I'm looking forward to doing more of that with her on the way back. Maybe she'll be feeling better for some picture taking next time too. She's one of my favorite MomsGoneGeek.
I'll end this entry here and pick up next time to post about our next stop in Troy, Ohio to visit and stay with a very good friend. That will require some movie editing and more photos. I'm also collecting more as the days go by. Pretty soon I'll implode if I don't do something with all of it!
Stay tuned for more Road Trip adventures of TheMacMommy and family!