Last weekend we headed out on Isaac’s first road trip and what I think was the first road trip that hasn’t had others for Zach and I since before we were married. We were asked several times why we’d choose to drive 12+ hours to Dallas and back instead of taking a 1.5 hour flight. For Zach and I the decision was fairly easy for us…we didn’t really talk about it, we just agreed and moved on. It wasn’t until we were questioned that we thought about it.
After traveling on a total of eight different airplanes for three different trip (two to the east coast and one to the west coast) with a baby between the age of 5 and 8 months, we found that while Isaac is good, for the most part on airplanes, there is a lot of stress for us. If he gets fussy, we have to calm him down quickly or face the rath of those around us. With airline policies, we have to pack light (no pack n’ play, extra toys, diapers, or clothes), we have to be as condensed as possible. Security lines with a baby, four carry-ons, a diaper bag, and a carseat are NOT fun. Not to mention trying to get food or go to the bathroom. Then we’d have to get a rental car, figure out how to install the carseat in this new car. The list goes on, but really, we just decided a road trip sounded like fun.
We’ve been on several cross-country road trips. Before we were married, even engaged I think, maybe the spring of 2003 we flew to Oregon to drive a car back for Zach’s dad. Zach learned on that trip, that I’m not always the greatest road trip companion, as I’m not very good at the driving part (I get sleepy within 30 minutes of being at the wheel) and not so good at the helping the other person stay awake (I fell asleep telling him I wasn’t going to fall asleep, only to wake two hours later still arguing with him that I wasn’t going to fall asleep). In November 2005, we jumped in my car with my little sis for a trip to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. Our time with one set of grandparents was cut short and we ended up in Las Vegas with another set for Thanksgiving. I proved again that my road tripping skills are not the greatest, which almost caused my sister to be stranded in Santa Fe (long story). In July 2007 we headed up to Oregon and Washington with Zach’s dad. By this time, we’d just planned me out of the driving schedule and if I felt like driving it was a bonus for everyone else. 🙂
All that to say…Zach loves to drive, and we plan road trips thinking that Zach will be doing most, if not all, the driving. We decided it would be easiest with Isaac to drive through the night. Our trip down was perfect. Zach drove 444 miles, and then handed it over to me and yes, I drove the last 444 mile, including navigating through 3 cities I’ve never driven in. Isaac was a champ. He woke like normal, but just fussed enough to let us know he was awake and hungry. He only really got fussy about 10 minutes away from the hotel, but who could blame him, it was noon and time to eat and play. The one thing we didn’t plan on was that Isaac would be so intrigued by the hotel room, that he wouldn’t want to take his nap and therefore we wouldn’t get to sleep either. Thankfully, I did manage to get him to cuddle with me, it just took a while.
The wedding was the next day. So we went out to dinner and gift shopping with some of our friends. We got a little lost and turned around in Dallas a bit, but what do you expect when you are relying on drunk people with iPhone maps to navigate you. 🙂 We ended up having dinner at this little Cuban place. I ordered Sweet Potato Fries for myself, but Isaac ended up hording them. He wanted to share with me and those we just about perfect….a little too greasy, but they were soft and fit his hands just perfect.
Isaac slept straight through the night. In fact, as I was getting ready for the wedding, I was afraid I was going to have to wake him up, but he finally got around to waking up just in time. This was Isaac’s third wedding, and I have to say he wasn’t as well behaved as he has been in the past. I think he liked the way his voice sounded in the big, open church because he kept “talking,” at least he wasn’t screaming, right?
The wedding was beautiful and held in a very beautiful church. I wish I’d had the mind to figure out the Nikon and put it to good use, but after about ten shots I was done and decided to just enjoy myself. The reception was also beautiful and including an open bar. I had a few glasses of wine and we enjoyed yummy food, friends and a wonderful photo booth (too bad I lost the family photo, I hope to get it back and will scan it if I do, it’s cute). We didn’t dance. We should have, but I didn’t want to be a spectacle. Isaac was tired, so we put Isaac in the Ergo on Zach’s back and he went right to sleep. They were already getting enough attention, if we’d decided to dance on top of that, everyone would have been looking and I don’t like when people watch me dance. I also wish I would have danced the Greek dances. But again, that fear of what others will think crept in. I’ve kept it at bay for so long….darn thing.
After the wedding, most of the guys were drunk and it was still early (about 5ish) so we headed over to one of the hotels to go to the pool. It was a roof top pool, which in idea is cool, but is really just the same as ground level. We stayed there for several hours. While Isaac loves the water, he prefers his independence and crawling around and pulling up on furniture.
That evening, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed another evening of Isaac sleeping straight through the night!
On Sunday, I wanted to go to the zoo. We’d been told to go to the state fair. But we had to start driving home that afternoon/evening, so we didn’t want to do something that would drain our energy too much. So we decided on The Sixth Floor Museum. First let me say, it wasn’t until we were driving past the “grassy knoll” when someone in the car stated where we were, that I knew that JFK was shot in Dallas. I don’t know where I thought he was shot, but I didn’t think it was Dallas. I guess that’s what happens to history before you were born….you miss details. Anyway, since I really do like history, especially when I can be in places that carry history while I learn about it, and you can only do these types of things while you are in those historical places, we decided on this place. It was just five minutes from the hotel.
It was actually great. Isaac fell asleep in the Ergo. They gave you headsets with recorded audio, so you got an actual tour. It was neat. I really enjoyed it. Although, my legs and back were getting tired by the time we got to the conspiracy section, and Zach took a whole class in high school on JFK conspiracy theories, so he was done at that point, so I stopped my audio and quickly browsed through the photos and memorabilia.
We then headed out of Dallas. We made a pit stop at 7-11 to get slurpees, but all the machines were “flashing red,” so we were going to stop later, but never did. They had Hawaiian Punch slurpees, which was a major part of our 2005 road trip to the Southwest. I had to call and tell my sister and I really wanted it. I do hope that flavor comes back. It is my favorite.
We left early…around 3, so it wasn’t time for bed for Isaac, so we didn’t know how the trip home was going to be. He slept a bit (and so did I) as we made our way to Oklahoma University. Why did you go there, you might ask. Well, they had a Pita Pit and we really do like those places, so we decided the 10 minute detour was worth it for dinner and it was. We both got two pitas, one to eat and one for the car ride home.
Then we took the long way across OK….I slept off and on, attacking bugs that were inside the car when I was awake. Zach was sick of driving. I think Isaac was even done, as he woke up several times and just wanted out of his seat. Luckily, if I talked to him and played with him, he didn’t scream. I tried to drive a bit in the early morning (3 or 4 am), but I didn’t last as long as I did on the trip down. Thankfully, Zach is a rockstar and finished it up for us. We got home at 6am and went straight to bed….and we all slept until 10, when Isaac woke up. Mom came over and watched Isaac and I think Zach and I slept until noon. When Isaac decided to take a nap, so we unloaded the car. We rested on Monday and then back to work and life.
In the end, I’m very glad we took the trip. There is something about driving in a car for such a long time that is so bonding. It was great to spend such quality time with my two boys.