Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Great Family Road Trip: Day 2

I have to be honest with you:  I'm a wee bit tired this morning.  I am glad this is our last travel day.  We get to Santa Fe, MN in about 6 1/2 hours (which seems like a hop, skip, and a jump right now) and stay for 2 days.

So, honestly, so far, the trip has been a blast. The kids are not going crazy and they are not going after each other.  I don't want to "brag" but my kids really like each other.  They annoy each other, yes.  But they enjoy playing with each other, too.  I feel sort of lucky to see that up close on this trip.  SO UP CLOSE on this trip.

They, however, do annoy us on occasion.  And that occasion would be the Witching Hour.  We learned about the Witching Hour(s) 4-7 with infants.  It, apparently, doesn't change over one's lifetime.  Happy hour for adults is the same time?  Co-inky-dink?  I THINK NOT.

So what the heck did we do for 11 hours yesterday?  Sometimes we did origami, while squirrel antlers grew out of our shoulders.  

Sometimes we did front seat karaoke.

We passed around fruit salad.

We killed zombies with our brother.

We listened to podcasts on The Blue Pill because we don't have bluetooth in our mini-van and the auxiliary cable doesn't work any more.  In particular, we listened to the Bath Tub story on the Moth...TWICE...because it is So. Damn. Funny. If you have 17 minutes, LISTEN TO THAT STORY.  It is true and hysterical.

Finally, we stopped in Weatherford, OK to eat dinner at a YUMMY Chinese buffet with our family and then went back to the hotel to continue the reunion while the kids played in the pool.

Great day, indeed.  Ready to head out and finally start vacating today.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Great Family Road Trip: Day 1

After spending the morning freezing veggies and raw scrambled eggs, taking Christopher to the orthodontist, and sending Conor to dance camp, we started the Great Family Road Trip.  ((Shorter than Great Blanchard-Dougherty Road Trip.  We have long names))

It was non-eventful.


We prepared a bit more for this trip.  We have two high speed multi-port chargers with Lightening Fast charging lines.  Y'ALL--WE NEED TO KEEP THOSE KINDLES CHARGED.  Plus, we bought a permanent portable hot spot that we're using as needed in the car, too, so the kids can play a few wifi games.  PLUS we brought a ton of coloring, reading, and activity books, which HOORAY are what the kids did first.  Yes, there was some kindle use, but there was more coloring and activity and thumb war than we anticipated.

There was only one fight. And that was when I was yelling at them to stop goofing around so much in the back while I found a hotel.  Wait.  I lie.  I already forgot that one time when Christopher lost his shit because we drank water out of HIS Gatorade bottle and not one of the other 3 in the car.  Dave and I looked at each other and thought, Oh No.  This is the hell we were afraid of.  Fortunately, we're already forgetting about it!!

Dinner was great.  Hotel is skeevy.  Christopher was up at 2 about to puke.  

UGH.  So, a bit  about the sleeping arrangements.  You would think that with two beds, the adults would have 1 bed and the kids would have another.  You clearly have not been slept with us in the last 12 years. If they could design a bed with a space on each side of me, a space above me, and a space below me we would buy that bed.  Then if they could add on spots for each cat, the dog, 3 gerbils, and a chicken or two, we'd start our own reality show and make a lot of money.

The kids have already negotiated who gets what bed with me when.  And there have been more than a few family discussions about the merits of each parent's snuggling.  Last night I was with the younger boys and Dave was with the squirrel.  

Which is why at 2 am, I noted a very awake moose by my side.  When I asked him what I could do to help him get to sleep, he said "My Tummy hurts."  And I had three thoughts.  1) Oh, Shit.  And 2) This will make great fodder for the blog, and 3) OH NO.  This is going to be exactly like our family trip to Disney World where each child and I took turns puking at the various theme parks we visited in and around Orlando.

To be honest, my tummy feels a bit queasy, too.  And FORTUNATELY (may you all knock on wood), no one has puked yet or, um, had other "issues."  

So today is the Big Ass Drive Day.  Y'all:  Tennessee is freaking LONG.  It's the same distance to Nashville from Charlotte as it is to DC.  And then we have to get past Memphis! And then Arkansas, OK, and Texas.  Or Arkansas, Texas, and OK.  I get confused.

We are off (our rockers) as out the door as soon as I get dressed.  So, see you all in another state.  Hopefully no puking or other issues for the rest of the trip.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Great Blanchard-Dougherty Road Trip to California: Prologue

Yes.  We are crazy.  You've known that forever.  But now, I'm going to live blog it.

We are driving to Anaheim, CA.  We're leaving today and stopping in Santa Fe, NM and Winslow, AZ for 4 days, before the final push.  Then we're visiting many of our friends (YOU ARE WELCOME TO CONNECT WITH US!) while Dave and I attend the Academy of Management Conference.  After the conference, we're heading up to the Grand Canyon for a day.  And then we are driving like the wind back to Charlotte.

Nothing like dividing up a 33 hour estimated drive over a few days to keep the family close together.
Why?  WHY, in the name of God(dess), are we doing this?!  Well, Dave and I lived in Los Angeles for a decade.  We want to show our children what SoCal looks like.  We want to show them New Mexico and Arizona, that not only sometimes don't look like they are part of the US, but that they are part of Earth. I *love* the Southwest.  We can't afford to fly all 5 of us out there.  Hell, we can't afford to fly one of us out there.

So driving it is!!

We've loaded up everyone with art supplies and books.  We're going to listen the Harry Potter on Audible.  We are going to attack the hotel pools with vengeance to get all the wiggles out when we are on the road.

I *know* this is crazy.  Fully aware of this!  But some of the best memories Dave and I have from our childhood are those crazy vacations and road trips with our families.  This is going to be one of those memory events for the kids, even if Mom and Dad may be suffering more than usual.

So, here we go! I'm going to live blog the whole trip.  Stick around and witness the madness!!