Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.
A perfect line to steal from Clark W. Griswold, but that was the attitude we took as our family of four hopped in the car for our own vacation and headed North for the 20 hour drive to “The Bumpy Road House”.
While I was excited for the vacation, I was dreading the drive especially since we had decided to power through without stopping. This gets tricky because if you do this and then decide in the early morning hours that you need to stop and sleep, you could be faced with two kids who are no longer sleeping.
We started Friday afternoon and hit the road. Nolin had been counting the sleeps until we would be going to the bumpy road house for several weeks and Grace was just excited to discover a whole new world as this was her first car ride in a forward facing seat…freedom. Again, Nolin had been counting down the days, so he wasn’t too happy when we informed him that not only would we not be there tonight, but we wouldn’t be there until Sunday. We were making a stop in Ohio first to visit friends.
My sister called about 90 minutes into the trip. The call came through bluetooth, so everyone could talk to her. She asked how the trip was going to which Nolin replied, we are never going to get there. Oh buddy if you think this has been long, what will it be like in 8 hours when we are only half way there?
We were making good time, when Nolin announced that he had to go to the bathroom. Jenn was prepared. Like a road trip veteran, she pulled out an empty Gatorade bottle and all was right with the world. Our new family motto: When nature calls…we keep moving.
Around 8:00 we stopped for dinner. We then switched to have Jenn drive and I laid down in the back. Not really able to fall asleep, but at least rest from driving until 12:30 when we hit the Virginia border. We switched again and I took the wheel until around 4:30am. Grace joined the party and kept me company at around 2am. She fell asleep at 4am just as Nolin was waking up. At that point Jenn took over and I crashed. About 90 minutes later, we pulled into a rest stop.
This was the moment I was nervous about. We were both exhausted and now both children were awake. We tried to close our eyes at the rest stop, but that wasn’t going to work, so I started the car and we finished the trip to Ohio. We arrived at 10:30am to an amazing day. Actually we arrived in Ohio with two of the best road trippers ever. Besides Nolin’s one comment in Jacksonville, they enjoyed the entire trip.
When we got to our friend’s summer trailer house, I should have taken a nap. Actually I should have done a lot of things, but instead we got right into the day.
We spent the afternoon on a sandbar across the water from Cedar Point. It was perfect and the kids loved it. We got back on the boat and I realized that my brand new phone must have gotten damaged on the boat ride out because the screen was cracked and it looked like a pen exploded all over it. Awesome. That night we went back to the trailer park, got together with all the other families and had a cook out.
It took a while to get the kids to fall asleep, but they eventually settled down from a long fun day and went to sleep. I probably should have gone with them. Instead I thoroughly (over)enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
I woke up feeling the effects of a 20 hour drive and an over eventful day. After breakfast we packed up the car and finally started making our way to the bumpy road house. I told Jenn not many people drive 20 hours to holiday at a trailer park, break their phone, and feel like they were on the losing end of a fight with a baseball bat and consider that a successful trip. But it definitely was!