Last weekend we took our mostly annual Labor Day family road trip to celebrate my boy’s great-great grandfather’s 98th birthday. The trip itself takes us a little more than ten hours to drive round-trip, excluding any stops–which, when you have a baby, means it takes about twelve hours. The hubby and I mostly equally split the task of driving. I drove down to Savannah the first day, with him picking up the rest, and then on the return drive, he took Florida, I took all of Georgia, and he picked back up in SC. Essentially, I made him do most of the back-road, two-lane driving. I’m nice like that.
Impressively enough, despite the fact that out of the six of us traveling together in the van only one of us is a morning person, we managed to be on the road at five a.m. sharp. This is miraculous in ways that I do not believe the everyday human being can even begin to comprehend. I made good on my promise, being that morning person, to take the first two hours of the drive even though it had those icky two-lane roads through winding woods in the dark where I was constantly on the look out for Bambi or an opossum. “Country life”: not really me.
So, anyway, twelve hours on the road gives you lots of time to muse.
1) Looking in the rear view mirror when it’s still dark and you think you’re the only one awake in the car, only to see the ghostly pale glowing face tends to make the heart beat faster…until you realize that it’s just your father-in-law’s reflection illuminated by his i-phone.
2) Almost eight year olds don’t sleep on car trips. At least mine doesn’t. Ever.
3) Give the hubby a snack and he will spill it. Give the hubby another snack and he’ll spill it, too. He calls it the 10% rule. I call it the 50% rule and insist that it applies to more than just popcorn.
4) I should have packed more baby wipes.
5) It’s nice to have grandparental diaper changing support on a twelve hour road trip.
6) It will always rain in Georgia while driving 95 on Labor Day weekend. Always.
7) Some people on 95 in Georgia can’t drive in the rain. Ever.
8 ) Florida has speed traps galore, and the local citizens (at least that’s who I assume paid for all of the billboards advertising these speed traps) like to let you know. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who has been pulled over for racing through town when there are seven large signs indicating that the town is a speed trap. My favorite hand lettered sign outside of a local coffee shop on the main strip, “Go fast in Waldo? What was I thinking?”
9) Don’t pack the camera in the back of the van if you’re in the front of it. There were so many sights that would’ve made great pictures, and I missed them because my camera was in a bag under everything else in the back.
10) I really do enjoy road trips. How much fun would it be to take a long one and actually get to stop along the way at some of the more unusual places? Maybe one day.
I don’t know if we’ll be making the trip again next year. It’s harder and harder for great granddaddy as the years pass by, so we’ll have to see. Someday the trips down there won’t be as frequent, and I hope that we’re able to replace them with something fun and meaningful, even if it has a different meaning for all of us.