This weekend I single handily attempted to drive the eight hour trip from North Carolina to New York with my four kids (made it in twelve) ages 13, 11, 9 and my favorite 17 months. So, let me share a few key factors here. I’ve never traveled long distance with the children without my husband before and did I mention I have a toddler who (eats solids and drinks juice) refuses to eat when mommy is around because he likes his milk fresh; unpasteurized & unprocessed.
I get up at 5am and dress the baby while he’s still sleeping. I wake the other children so we can hit the road. We jumped in the mommy rocket at 6 am and hit 85 North. Everyone is sleeping and it’s peaceful! It’s great until I get to Alexandria, VA where they decided to reconstruct the entire city during rush hour and the drama begins. Of course this is when the baby decides to wake up, we need a bathroom break and every one’s hungry. So, here I sit in miles of traffic with minimal exits in sight. We are moving at two miles per hour and I also have less than a quarter tank of gas. An hour later, the highway starts to open up again and I get off at the next immediate exit. I go to the local burger barn so we can use the rest room and grab some grub. Okay, we now have empty bladders and full tummies, let’s gas up and keep on movin‘. North bound we get into more bumper to bumper traffic after the Fort McHenry tunnel. “I wish everyone had an Easy Pass” me included. We could all just scan and go! So finally we get through all the traffic. We are moving again. Through Baltimore we go! Everything is moving at at a good pace. We get to Delaware and I get excited because I know that after Delaware, I’m going to jump on the New Jersey Turnpike and I’ll be only one state away from my final destination. Okay, we are at the home stretch.
So I thought… I get on the New Jersey Turnpike and I’m doing good for the first hour. The baby decides to exercise his power, and throw a fit (what do I expect we’ve been traveling for about fiftyleven hours now) I need a rest stop right now! Of course nothing works the way it’s supposed to. My oldest tried everything to console him and it wasn’t going to happen. I have to hear my baby scream his heart out for the next ten to fifteen minutes which seems like hours to me. I finally see a rest stop. I take the exit and tend to my Buddha baby! So, it’s definitely nap time. I get him and calm him down and of course he wants the regular organic milk, but that’s okay because I know he’ll be off to dream land. I strap him back into his car seat and I decide it’s time to get to grandmas house. I enter the turnpike and low and behold bumper to bumper traffic for miles. We’re moving in between five and ten miles per hour. I see where this is going! My nerves are a bit frazzled because I too am ready for this trip to be over. The baby wakes up… SO SOON! I definitely see another rest stop visit in my future. I’m looking for the rest stop sign, I have another 7 miles to go. GREAT! So, I inch my way to the rest stop slowly but surely. Great, time to put the baby back to sleep. I do so successfully. Time to make a go at it again. So, I finally get back on the New Jersey Turnpike with just a little bit left to go.
Whoo hoo! I’m at the end of the turnpike. I’m making my way to the George Washington Bridge. Why, oh why is there a forty five minute to an hour delay to cross the GWB. Did everyone decide to travel this weekend? Is it a holiday and I forgot? What am I missing? Okay, Every ones is restless at this point. All I can say is we’re almost there! We finally make it to the toll booth after an hour and change. Now, I begin to see the end of my journey. I just have to sharpen my New York City driving skills and (quick) cut through traffic to merge onto the Deagan Expressway to get to my second home. I fight my way through these lanes and take the exit for the Deagan. I get on the Deagan and not even thirty minutes later at 6:15 pm we FINALLY make it to Grandma’s house. I’m exhausted! I make a personal vow never to do this again. At least not until the baby is completely weaned from me. The sad part is… I still have to turn around and drive back home in a few days at the end of our visit. So not looking forward to it!