You have to look REALLY close but if you squint you can make out the time in this picture. It read 3:15.
3:15AM that is.
This is the time that we got on the highway after stopping to gas up and get coffee.
The plan was for everyone in the house to go to bed when the kids did at 7:30 so that we could hit the road in the middle of the night. It took me a bit longer to fall asleep but I was out before 9:30. The alarm clock went off at 2:30AM and Rich and I showered and got dressed. At 3 we planned to carry the sleeping kids into the car where they would continue to sleep until a respectable hour like 8AM. well, apparently we forgot to let the kids in on that part of the plan. They woke up when we entered their rooms and all 3 were wide awake and excited for the trip ahead.
Kathryn and Zack sat in the middle row of the van as Lauren had requested to sit in the back by herself. When the kids got into the car I surprised them with travel pillows for their necks and snuggies to keep them warm during the ride. At this point they still didn’t know about the surprises in the tote bags. They all stayed awake for a good 45 minutes or so until Zack and Lauren drifted back to sleep. This was right around the same time that rich got really sleepy so I took over the driving and he went to sleep too. Kathryn stayed awake with me, in fact she was awake the entire day.
Kathryn and Zack as we pulled out of the driveway
We made great time since it was the middle of the night and we hit no traffic despite being the day before Easter. Rich and I lived in Northern VA for a few years around the time that we got married and we still have family there. We have done the trip from New England to VA so many times that we knew that we wanted to avoid Rte 95. We planned out an alternate route that added a bit of time to the trip but it eliminated nearly all of the tolls, gave us much better scenery and ensured that we wouldn’t hit any traffic.
I had breakfast packed so we enjoyed muffins, juice and fruit once everyone was up for the day. With the exception of bathroom breaks we didn’t stop until lunchtime. We stopped just south of Winchester VA just long enough to grab sandwiches for Rich and I am hit a drive though for happy meals for the kids. They changed out of their pj’s at this time too. The kids were doing so well in the car that we decided to eat lunch in the car so that we could continue driving. The next day was Easter and none of us wanted to spend the Easter in the car.
Zack fell asleep mid snack in the afternoon
We grabbed an equally fast dinner in South Carolina and kept driving. The kids were total rock stars the entire day. I purchased a new DVD player for the trip and they only watched 2 movies the entire day. The girls had their DSi’s but they never played them. The LOVED the contents of their tote bags and their binders. We listened to the Disney CD’s that I made so many times that I lost count and I enjoyed them as much as they did. Rich was a great sport about it too.
As I mentioned, electronics weren’t really needed on the way down. The biggest hit was the pipe cleaners which became hats, stick figures, swords and animals and the license plate game. Rich and I got really into playing the license plate game even when the kids were sleeping. By the time that we returned home we had found 47 out of 50 plates!!!! We couldn’t find Montana, North Dakota and Hawaii for what it’s worth.
At this point, Rich and I had a big decision to make. In planning I had made a hotel reservation for us for that evening and we had until 6:30 to cancel it. We had 3 choices, keep the reservation and continue driving until we made it to Georgia, stop before that time but have more driving to do the next day or really push ourselves and drive all the way to Kissimmee that night which would put us there around 1:15AM. We were feeling great at that point and we really felt like we would be ok to complete the trip but we wanted to be safe so we kept our reservation and stopped for the night. We arrived in Brunswick Georgia around 10pm and once again all 3 kids foiled my plans by being wide awake. We put them to bed while I took a shower (why is it that you always feel so dirty after a day of traveling???) and prayed that they would be asleep by the time that I was done.
Thankfully they were so that the Easter Bunny could pay a visit.
I finally fell asleep after a long 22 hour day. To be continued…..