My senior year of college, I had a car on campus. Granted, it was one of my Dad's fleet, so it was ginormous and kind of slow. Also? I was damn glad to have it.
The drive from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Lewiston, Maine is 500 miles. I averaged a ten hour journey, what with my Diet Coke habit and bladder size. With typical 20-something exuberance, I thought it was all great fun.
In typical East Coast fashion, I went through at least part of 8 separate states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. (I mention this because it would take me ten hours to drive to El Paso from Austin and I'd still be in Texas.)
I marvel at my parents' trust in me and confidence that I would make the drive safely. I am a safe driver; this is true. I was surrounded by massive amounts of steel; this is also true. However, I am their youngest child! And this was before cell phones! Ugh. I clearly have some lessons to learn. I literally walk Jack to school every morning and watch him walk through the doors and into the cafeteria before I walk away. (Today, I watched him walk through the cafeteria line and purchase a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to have later for snack. You're busted, kid.)
Anyway, I also marvel at my younger self's ability to drive 500 miles and like, not be dead tired when I got there. I probably unloaded the car and then went to a party. Oh, college.
In startling contrast to these good old days on the road to Bates, we drove to New Orleans for Thanksgiving this year.
I learned a lot during this time on the road, which can be summarized thusly:
1. I am not as young as I used to be.
2. Jack and Sawyer are not as old as I used to be (in those college driving days).
3. Eleven hours in the car with two children is *about* eight hours too many for it to go well.
Here are the highlights.
After years of visiting Durel's parents in Katy, our bladders and internal clocks are set like Greenwich Mean Time to stop at Hruska's in Ellinger, Texas. So, obviously, we did.
That was a good choice, as it always is.
Sawyer had his first kolache -- ham and cheese. Despite the bright morning light bisecting his face, he was enthusiastic about the entire experience.
Jack knows his way around a kolache, which means he was able to overlook their dazzling array and instead, hone in on a cinnamon bun as big as his head. You can't say no to that. Well, you can, but we were trying to stave off tantrums for another four hours, at least.
A few hours later, we stopped at Cracker Barrel. Despite my stubborn support of Cracker Barrel, our experience was, at best, underwhelming. There were some cute moments, though.
There are not pictures of the low points of the drive. Trust me, there were low points. Durel and I were a little punchy as we neared our destination.
And then, just as Cracker Barrel had disappointed us, the liquor laws of Louisiana did not.
Eleven hours and 44 ounces of daiquiri later, we were there. (Oh Lord no, we didn't finish them. But it was nice knowing that we *could have* if we'd wanted to.)
Hope your holiday journey has its own rewards. Also, hope you get to mention bladders twice today and feel really good about it.