Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet? Sort of. We've made it to today's destination, the Hampton Inn just off I-77 somewhere in Ohio. It's cold and it's cloudy and we are remembering why we love Charlotte so much.
We left at 10:00ish this morning and arrived here for the night around 6:00. Day number one of travel went great; it really did. No traffic - bonus for leaving several days prior to Thanksgiving. No snowy weather - bonus for coming north for Thanksgiving rather than Christmas. No car problems - bonus for spending the bank account last week and getting everything in tip-top shape.
After two short hours of driving we stopped for lunch at McDonalds because of the ginormous play land. We let the kids run loose for a good half hour before climbing back into the van for another leg of the trip.

I'm fairly certain Annalyse will get sick any day now thanks to a darling but way too friendly little five-year old that pummeled Annalyse with a hug and kiss in two seconds time. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I turned around and this blonde-haired darling flew off the end of a slide and planted a big one right on Annalyse's cheek. The Mom of the blonde-haired darling thought this was all fun and cute. I didn't, but still managed to smile politely. I think.
The last time we drove to Michigan we made the 13 hour drive in one day there and one day back. It's doable but it's tumultuous and horrific. I exaggerate slightly, but now that I am here in the Hampton typing away in my flannel jammies and comfy-cozy, I'm abundantly thankful we're not still in the car with several more hours to go.
And besides, although these sleeping sweethearts can melt your heart, I promise you that there were many minutes of loud tears and wails.

Grady Lee hardly made a peep all day. He was engrossed in his Leapster and sat quiet listening to stories on CD. And, I've really got to get this on video: he sings his little heart out right along with Chris Tomlin! I know it's considered a joyful noise and all, but to the random person that might hear him sometime I'm sure they'd think it was just noise.
Micah was content for 75 percent of the time and stayed occupied with a can of slime from yesterday's birthday party for a good couple of hours. As long as the dear child had a snack in one hand and his can of slime in the other, he was, for the most part, good to go.

Annalyse, however, had an agenda all her own. Tears: check. Wails: check. Screams: check. Tantrums: check. Consume an entire container of Gerber Puffs: check. Dirty her diaper soon after getting on the road after lunch: check. 
The drive was scenic for most of the day since we traveled through Virginia and West Virginia through the mountains. The boys love seeing the mountains and enjoy the many overlooks, and even laugh when their "ears do funny things and make strange noises!"
Two of the much-anticipated mile markers on our trip to Michigan are the tunnels through the mountains. The boys asked about 15 minutes into our trip this morning if we were almost to the tunnels. You better believe I made sure they knew when the tunnels were approaching after listening to them ask a bazillion times if we were almost "to the tunnels yyeetttt?"
This picture shows the boys contentedly watching a movie and enjoying a lollipop. How nice.
This picture shows Grady enjoying an ESPN something-or-other and completely satisfied in his own world. How nice.
The picture I didn't take, but should have, is of Annalyse shrieking during this. The boys were oblivious. Grady had no clue. I finally decided that since no one else seemed bothered by the ruckus, I was going to tune it out too. Thank goodness for Facebook and Email on my phone.
After a quick Subway dinner we headed straight for the swimming pool. None of that "wait an hour after you eat before you swim" rule for us. No way - Grady and I were all about getting energy out and letting the kids have fun without being strapped to a booster or car seat.
By 7:30 pm Annalyse was whining and yawning and Grady Lee commented that "I sure am tired tonight, Mom." And so here I am, 8:30 pm, all the kids are sleeping and I'm hammering out a play-by-play of today's less than exciting events.
After another short seven hours tomorrow we'll be, Lord willing, in good ole Michigan and getting settled in the house I grew up in. My mom will be giddy and tearful. My dad will dwarf us with hugs. My boys will destroy their basement and litter it with toys in three seconds flat. Annalyse will open and empty every cupboard and drawer in arms reach. And Grady and I? We're totally leaving our kids with my parents and finding some place quiet and comfortable to relax.


  1. You should mention the two boys in the background of the Annalyse eating picture were a delight........

  2. Poor sweet Annalyese! Hope today was a better travel day! ENJOY your family!!!

  3. Aw, this post makes me just a little nostalgic for a long road trip! Seriously! But I do think that 1 year olds are just about the most difficult age to travel with on long car trips...all that time buckled in a seat is just plain hard on them...thus lots of screaming. I still vividly remember a similar trip here from Chicago when Sophie was that age. Anyway, hope that you are there safe & sound & enjoying all those hugs & relaxation!