Wednesday, July 29, 2009

we made it

The total flying time from San Diego to Atlanta was just shy of four hours. Still, our total time of travel, from doorstep to doorstep, has taken over 12.

Oh, how I wish I could write about all that has happened today - and post pictures to go with the story - but it's late and I'd wake up my sleeping family if I turned on lights looking for my camera and cables. So the pictures will have to wait until later.

For now, I want to convey that the toughest part of our day was walking around for over an hour in the massively huge Atlanta airport ... with four small children and 12 pieces of luggage ... while trying to find out where the rental car counter was.

And then, spending another hour, in gale force winds and a torrential downpour, finding our van - realizing that two of the three rented carseats were installed improperly - and the third carseat was missing an entire strap. So, we'd need a new carseat and the replacement process would take 30 minutes.

As as we were waiting for the carseat to be ready, the car rental representative pointed out that the weather is rather treacherous and if the car feels like it is being blown off the road by wind, we should seek immediate shelter beneath an underpass, get out of the vehicle and run to the lowest lying ditch that we can find. Then, she demonstrated how we should lay flat as a pancake and cover up our head with our arms.

As we were leaving, she sweetly added, "Welcome to Georgia, Y'all! Thank you for choosing Hertz!"

By now, all of our travelers were hungry. But the mere sight of pretzels that everyone had been eagerly snacking on earlier, which are now the only food that we had remaining (along with one pulverized banana and a bag of M&Ms), caused a tremendous amount of crying. So we fed everyone M&Ms. And then drove to the nearest McDonald's and loaded the kids up on french fries and milk shakes. And then we had to stop for two separate potty breaks.

It took us a longer amount of time to get out of the Atlanta airport and drive to South Carolina, then it took us to fly from California to Georgia. Henry screamed from the backseat for the last hour of a three-hour drive. And because I was unable to safely focus on my driving, I had Charlie hook me up with an iPod and headphones. So while I jammed out to Cold Play, my family heard "WAH Hold You!" (translation, Hold Me!) on repeat for a solid 60 minutes.

It might seem cold to drive while your child is in hysterics in the backseat. But I knew that if we stopped ... we'd ... NEVER ... get ... there. So we drove and drove.

We no sooner walked in the door, when Henry, ripped off his clothes and ran around looking for a potty. I took him in to the bathroom and perched him high on the toilet, but something didn't feel right for our little guy. So while I forgot for a moment that I had a child who was in the midst of potty training, and turned to greet my mother and Jim, Henry slipped off the toilet and climbed in to the bathtub where he had a gargantuan poop.

Everyone, including Henry most of all, cheered.

All told, this has been an awesome day. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is safe. And Henry didn't unload on the white berber carpet.

We couldn't be any happier.

(Hopefully, this post is coherent. I think I fell asleep midway through writing it.)


  1. You and your hubby should get medals!! And Henry's huge poop? Awesome!!

    Have FUN!

  2. Hurray for healthy and whole.

    It's not heartless to drive with a screaming kid. Don't we all do it?

    Seriously, when my husband came from from army training to find our daughters out of the hospital and 6 weeks old, I jokingly said, "Y'know, the first time one of them started crying in the car, I wanted to pull over on the highway and fix it." His response: "Can you pull over on the highway, so I can fix it?" After about a week, he got used to it.

  3. So glad ya'll made it safe and sound, may the rest of your treat be less eventful and just as fun??!??!

  4. Totally coherent.

    What an adventure, but it all came out great in the end (um, or in the bath tub).

  5. RE: the driving while baby screams...I live in Kalgoorlie, a 6 hour drive from Perth in Western Australia. Most of that drive is straight roads through bush, and the occasional town. No fast food (well, one Subway half way now!). If I don't keep driving through the crying/whinging, we would NEVER get there. So I completely understand! I usually have Miss E (nearly 4) vomiting several times (carsickness), which seems to coincide with Miss H (11 months) having just fallen when we stop to clean up, we then wake Miss H, who screams for 1/2 at least before going back to sleep.

    Fun times. And family wonder why we don't come visit more often...

  6. We have made it safely to London and enjoyed a brief trip to France (The Normandy beaches) It gets much easier with teenagers. As moody as they are, not one of them as pooped in the tub....yet.

    Enjoy your trip.

  7. Welcome to South Carolina! We are getting ready for a long car ride with our twin boys to see family. I was wondering if I remember from a long time ago on your blog...did you all have little tables that attached to the carseats or was that someone else? I have been looking for some and can't decide.
    Thanks, Carolyn

  8. I'm in withdrawal. I love reading your posts everyday. Seriously. I do. I even went so far as to nominate you as my very favorite blog. What it will amount to, I don't know. I just wanted to share that I love your blog and am currently in withdrawal mode b/c of the lack of posts. However, I am happy that you are vacationing, seeing your old pals, and having a great time. Enjoy your time and I can't wait until you return.

    --Laura in IN

  9. Yeah! Have a great visit!

  10. About a month ago, I'm driving along, Miss P is screaming to high heavens, and of course after 10-15 mins to trying to be rational with her, my blood pressure rises, and with it, the weight of my foot increases on the gas pedal... few moments later there's a siren... "Do you know.. oh my goodness" says Mr Officer as the loudest blood curdling scream comes from the backseat. "You certainly have your hands full.. slow down and get her home safely ma'am".

    So hurray for screaming kids ;-)

  11. Well that explained why he was crying! It's so hard when you just don't know! I'm glad u made it there safely!