Our first family road trip is under our belts–what an adventure! We drove from our home in Wisconsin to visit my husband’s family in Atlanta, Georgia. Two adults, a 13 year old and a 13 month old meant our mini-van was laden down like the Joad family in Grapes of Wrath! 4 suitcases, 2 large backpacks, a large tote bag, a set of golf clubs, a high chair, a pack n’ play, a cooler, 2 bags of toys, a computer bag, our large diaper bag, bag of snacks, a bag of extra diapers and wipes, a stroller, blankets and extra winter gear (in case of emergency).
Although it has been an unseasonably warm and pleasant November (hello 70 degrees at the start of the month!), of course on the day we planned to leave on our trip there was terrible weather and winter storm warnings throughout the Midwest! We got up at 4 AM to check the weather and were surprised to find that the snow wasn’t really sticking to the ground so we ended up scrapping our plan to delay our trip. Of course within an hour of leaving the weather began to worsen and the drive trough Chicago and much of Indiana was slow going. Happily we managed to beat the worst of the storm! In Indiana a light came on in the van which was concerning but we stopped at a Pep Boys and were reassured to learn that everything was fine. Best luck of all? Our daughter who typically does poorly on car trips was an angel and there was practically NO fussing! We spent the night at a hotel in Indianapolis and like the sophticated travelers that we are had a 4:45 Pm dinner at a Cracker Barrel 😉
The next day we had breakfast at the hotel and hit the road early. Drove through the rest of Indiana and then Kentucky and Tennessee. We cued up music appropriate to the states we hit (think Arrested Development’s song Tennessee) which was fun. Saw some beautiful scenery (not in Indiana of course). Julia had another good travel day and was very well behaved! It was a long day of driving, we arrived at our destination around 5 PM. Was so good to see my in-laws!!! I had worried that after so much travel, Julia wouldn’t be her usual social self but she actually enjoyed all of the attention and crawled right to my MIL and reached out her arms to be picked up 🙂 We had a great dinner of chili and homemade mac & cheese and salad with a wonderful orange dressing. Julia ate a great dinner–even the chili! We were all ready for an early bedtime–driving 13 hours in 2 days is exhausting!