We haven’t really taken our girls on that many long road trips. Our normal road trips are to visit family about an hour away. We decided to take a trip to Philadelphia because Steve was given free tickets to a suite for a Philadelphia 76er’s basketball game (against the Boston Celtics). One of our babysitters, actually our first sitter she started watching Natalie when she was 3 months old, goes to school outside of Philadelphia so we saw it as a chance to visit her at the same time. We looked at the maps and saw that it should take about four and half hours to drive the trip. We knew that we were going to be going through some high traffic areas, like DC and tried to plan accordingly for traffic and necessary stops so we figured it would take us about 6 hours.
I made sure we had water to drink in the car and some snacks so that everyone would stay happy in between stops. I even packed empty ziploc bags in case my nausea and a car ride didn’t agree with each other. (That was probably one of my best ideas.) We loaded up the car (we were only going to be gone one night so we didn’t need that much stuff) and left Richmond around 10AM. We were “on track” for getting to the hotel around 4 and the girls were excited about seeing Sarah. We had the GPS set with our final destination and we were ready to go.
Then around 11 – I had to go to the bathroom. I encouraged Natalie to come with me, but of course she had decided she didn’t want to wear her shoes in the car and it took me longer to get the sneakers back on her than to actually make the bathroom break. We decide that since we had to drive 2 miles off the interstate to find the Wawa and that the GPS showed the interstate only another 3 miles up the road we would drive through Spotsylvania for another 3 miles listening to the GPS tell us where to turn to find I-95 again. We get back on the interstate and continue heading North.
We got near DC – thankfully it was around noon so the traffic was not horrible, but the GPS started having problems on us. We realized the problem was because so many of the roads ran parallel that the GPS (through Steve’s blackberry) couldn’t decipher for certain what road we were on and it would tell us too late that we should have been on an exit ramp. We ended up going 495 and I don’t know what happened through this portion because somehow we again ended up in a suburban area. We finally found our way back to an interstate around 1 and at this point I had pulled out goldfish to hold the girls over until we could find a place to stop for lunch. I had been feeling nauseous for the last hour and had cracked and closed the window numerous times. Somewhere between the combination of turning around to hand out goldfish, the way the sun was coming into the car, and my stomach getting empty I really started to feel sick. I cracked the window again and ate a handful of goldfish then quickly realized that was not a good idea. Thank goodness for the ziploc bag! Poor Steve, the girls were hungry and fussy, I was sick, and he was trying to find a place we could stop and just get out. I know he was wondering what did I get myself into?
Thankfully we found an exit in the next 10 minutes and they even had a Panera. I could not handle the thought of greasy fast food and getting back into the car to ride for several more hours. We stopped got lunch, got some fresh air, and then packed up everyone again in hopes that the girls would take naps.
Megan must have been worried about missing out on something because she just would not give it up. We tried everything, a DVD, a CD, “quiet car”, she just was not going to go to sleep. “Quiet car” did help Natalie go to sleep. Megan did finally crash as we drove into downtown Philadelphia, about 30 minutes from our hotel.
We did have to make one more stop before we made it to the hotel. Because of all of our suburban side trips during the day we realized we may not have enough gas to get all the way to the hotel and instead of play the where is the closest gas station in an unfamiliar area we stopped before we hit Philadelphia (and were able to squeeze in another bathroom stop). We finally arrived at our hotel right at 5PM. An hour later than we had anticipated, but we made it there safe and sound without any more excitement.
Sarah watched the girls Friday night for us so that we could go to the basketball game and they had a blast hanging out with her at college.
Here are a few pics of the girls with Sarah on Friday night and Saturday morning when we took Sarah to breakfast and visited the town near her campus.
Thankfully our trip back home wasn’t as eventful and we were able to stop by Ikea so that Natalie could play in the kid’s area (Megan wasn’t big enough) and we could check out a few things. We made family memories, but I don’t know when we will plan the next family road trip.