So, let me tell you about the rest of our road trip…
We left last Wednesday night, and actually got out on the road ahead of schedule. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. But, I had been packing little by little each day leading up to the trip, then I got all the car seats in, the pack ‘n plays, and most of our luggage before my husband got home from work. My parents were nice enough to come over and watch the kids while I did the packing, so don’t think I just left them hanging out in the house to entertain themselves…although my 4-year-old is getting better at that.
We got everyone in pajamas, strapped in their car seats, a DVD in the portable players I bought for a steal after Christmas, and we were off. Before we even got to Chicago, my 4-year-old wondered if we were almost there, and if I could give him his sippy cup, since he couldn’t reach it. Um, no. To both. We were in a rented mini van, and it would have required me to perform some sort of gymnastic move to get back to his seat while driving on the freeway.
Luckily, everyone dropped off to sleep after a couple hours, then we stopped for the night in Indianapolis. No one was happy about being woken up, but they did enjoy breakfast in bed the next morning. I’m pretty sure every staff person at every hotel we stayed in hated us.
After “breakfast,” we headed to Nashville, Tennessee. By the time we got there, everyone and everything was covered in a layer of orange fluorescent dust. I’ve been so good about giving the twins whole grains, fruits, and vegetable, but if Fruit Loops in bed and Cheetos in the car keep them quiet, that’s what they get. “It’s OK. We’re on Vacation,” was my motto for this trip.
I was actually pretty proud of myself for going with that motto. I’m definitely a Germ-a-phobe, and let me be honest, hotel rooms gross me out. I actually Clorox wiped the entire rental car before we left, and packed a can of Lysol to spray down the hotel rooms. BUT, I didn’t even use it. I did wipe down the handles, toilet, light switches, and TV remotes (the dirtiest part of a hotel room,) at each room, but that was it! I know it may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, it was. I didn’t freak out when my kids were walking around the room without shoes, or even when they crawled. I also let them sit and play on the beds. I do admit that none of the rooms had comforters on the beds, just blankets covered in clean (I hope) sheets, otherwise it might have been a different story.
I was even semi relaxed when we took them to restaurants. I did bring high chair covers, and wipes, but have you ever touched one of those sticky high chairs?
After unpacking, we headed to downtown Nashville in our hotels shuttle. We were all starving for real food, so we stopped at a restaurant. The hostess suggested a big booth, instead of high chairs, so everyone could run around. In theory, this sounded like a great idea. Especially since the kids had just been trapped in car seats for 5 hours. In the real world, this was a terrible idea. See exhibit A.
So, we ended up putting the twins in their stroller and stuffed them with french fries, while we slammed our drinks and lunch so we could get out before getting kicked out.
We then walked around “Music” city, and it truly is amazing. There was music coming from every bar/restaurant, and even musicians on most street corners. There was a really cool pedestrian bridge, and it was nice not having to wear jackets, like at home in our below zero climate.
We were all pretty exhausted after our walk, so we just rested at the hotel room, then headed out to Florence, Alabama the next day. That was where we stayed for the walk with all the other families that drove in from out of town.
As I wrote about in my last post, it was a really wonderful fundraiser. I’m so glad we went. Not only did I get to meet and make new friends, but I got to learn something about myself and about traveling with 3 kids. Even though I was very nervous about the trip, we made it through without any major meltdowns or disasters. And, I actually had fun! You’re probably thinking that on vacation that’s a given, but when you are responsible for other people, your own happiness often gets put on the back burner. I got some time to myself to shop and hang out with my new friends, plus I tried to be relaxed (as much as this anxiety ridden person can) when I was with my family. I’m still getting used to having my preemie isolated babies out in public, but I’m getting better, and that really is all I can do.