Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Griswold Road Trip

One of my very good friends, Jen, recently made the move from Chicago to Cincinnati. I love having her nearby (2 hrs is a lot closer than 6) and have seen her once a month since she's moved - compared to twice a year when she was in Chicago.
Jen had planned to come up the weekend Chase was born (she was going to be in town for my sprinkle - aka mini shower - anyway). But, seeing as I was laid up in a hospital bed and Chase was already overwhelmed with the amount of visitors he had, we decided to hold off for a better weekend.
So, we decided on the last weekend of February. Dustin and I wanted to go down to Jen's rather than her come up here because we had yet to see her new home and also wanted to bring her the bed from one of our previous guest rooms (now Chase's room) that she was to be the new owner of.
The plan was to leave Friday afternoon, drive down to Dayton, drop Addison off at Gammy and Poppy's, and head on down to Cincinnati. One of these days I am going to learn that things just don't go as planned!
We got on the road an hour later than we wanted (about 4pm) because it took forever to strap the mattresses to the top of our car (Dustin's idea, btw - I just wanted to stick with the head and foot boards!) We looked like the Griswolds, inside and out. 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and a packed very large SUV. You would have thought we were going away for a month, not just one night.
We finally hit the road and after 1/2 mile on the interstate, realized the rope holding down the mattresses were coming loose. So, we pulled over on the first exit and Dustin spent 1/2 hour tying them down with more rope. It was freezing cold and had started to snow. I was beginning to have an emotional breakdown, wondering if we were going to make it at all. I was ready to pitch the mattresses but Dustin was confident he had secured them well enough to make it to Jen's.
*****Another post about how Addison handled my breakdown will follow.*****
We got back on the interstate and almost immediately were at a standstill. 30 minutes, 1 mile, and another breakdown later, I made the decision to turn around and head back home. The radio reported that the interstate was closed ahead, the roads were getting bad and we were in rush hour traffic. Dustin thought I should have kept going, but I just couldn't do it. I was so disappointed that we wouldn't be making the trip and really upset that we had spent hours packing the car and driving for nothing.
As were were heading home, I threw out the idea that we could all just head straight down to Jen's. It would save us an hour because we wouldn't be stopping to drop Addison off and the roads weren't closed that way so I was certain traffic wouldn't be an issue. Dustin was all for it (he is the one who slaved packing the car in the cold and snow, after all) and we headed down South. I went between 10-25 mph for an hour and a half and almost turned around a dozen times.
It had been nearly 3 hours. Addison was being a good girl and Chase was sleeping. Eventually we had to tell Addison that we weren't going to Gammy's and that's when bad turned worse. She had a complete meltdown and was very intent that she "didn't want to go visit Mommy's friend Jennie's house." She then complained of a tummy ache and all I could think was how perfect it would be if she vomited at a time like this! It was way past her dinner time so we thought she was probably hungry. Thankfully a little Wendy's took care of the tummy ache and her bad mood. The pit stop gave me an opportunity to fill Chase's little belly, too. We had smooth sailing for the next hour and a half until we finally arrived to Jen's. 5 HOURS LATER!
We were an hour and a half past Addison's bedtime, but as soon as we got to Jen's she wanted to go to her "play room". What? So we fibbed and told her that Jen had a really cool playroom. You try reasoning with a 2 year old who was just told she would not be seeing her beloved Gammy after we talked it up all week!
Fortunately I think she was tired enough that she didn't really care that there was no play room and went right to bed. We are so lucky that Addison can adapt so well to new environments and circumstances. She never puts up a fight about bed time and sleeps through the night no matter where we are.
We settled in around 9:30 and had dinner. I also had my first glass of wine in almost a year. Boy did I need it!
Another special person came over to see us - Aunt Beth! She lives 10 minutes from Jen, so it worked out perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. Beth is in her residency right now and is on a night rotation. She had just gotten off at noon that day, after having worked 17 hours straight, and slept most of the day. I was a mean sister and woke her up as we were getting to town so she could come over. Don't worry, she wanted me to!
It ended up being a very nice, though short, visit. We were happy to introduce Chase to Jen and to see Beth again. And we were thrilled to reclaim the top of our car for the ride home!
Needless to say, these pictures were taken after the 10pm hour and everyone was just beat. But you know me, I had to take some.

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