You guessed it. I have more than a couple screws loose. when I got this invitation to a wedding in NJ I thought
…1) that’s not too far
…2) how fun, the kids would love it
…3) I have that weekend off and it’s a long one at that
…4) it’ll be fun to have a little vacation.
What I should have thought?
1) Are you absolutely crazy?…350 miles in a car with 4 kids 8 and under (ALONE) over a holiday weekend?
2) You’ll have to spend 48 hours in a hotel room with said kids who have no manners and are barely controllable at home.
3) (you’ll be tired from driving 350 miles while screaming at them to stop bickering / hitting / fighting with each other alternating with asking when we will be there or when the next bathroom break will be) …and see #2
4) you’ll have to get them dressed up and the boys think that wearing clean underwear is dressed up – god forbid they might have to wear long pants? (I’m not wearing them, it’s summer out, they’re too long)
The drive down was all you might imagine. We were supposed to leave the house by 2:30. I remembered that I had forgotten my wallet about 15 minutes into the drive. By the time I had all of the kids packed into the car and we were leaving Richmond it was 4 PM. It was a mere 20 minutes into the drive before the first request for a potty stop was made. I growled. By the time we made it to DC there was screaming in the back seat (from a girl who went right before 4 pm and a mother who was sick of her not going when she had the chance! – she uses it to get things she wants to to get out of things!). So we pulled off at an exit that said there were 2 McD’s. Only they must have been 10 miles away cuz after 5 minutes of driving and no McD in sight we turned around and stopped at a (very shady looking Mexican joint). By this time I noticed that I hadn’t brought my EZPass and I had $2 in cash in my wallet and was starting to panic about the tolls soon to come. So back on the highway we went and I stopped at the first rest area in MD but it must be a victim of the economy cuz the building was closed – which I found out after I had taken all 4 of the kids out of the car and walked practically all the way up to it. Now more panic set in but I took the opportunity to take out the packed lunch and fed them while driving. As we approached Baltimore I couldn’t remember how much money the toll bridge cost and I was digging through the coin jar hoping I had enough and…thank God, I did. We made it to the next area and I got everyone in the bathroom with minimal trouble – and got $ from the ATM. Back on the road the traffic got thick and we hit a crawl. We went about another 100 miles when we had to stop for the girl who never empties her bladder and then all 5 of us back in the car. Meanwhile we have been trying to watch Mulan for the last 200 miles but the DVD player sound keeps cutting in and out as I travel through different cities/towns which must have a radio station on that frequency. By the time we get on the NJ Turnpike it is getting dark and I have to squint to read the printout from Mapquest – cuz I am probably the only person in America who is too cheap to have a GPS! The when are we gonna be theres are pretty frequent by this time and I’m reduced to repeating at random times 10 minutes…10 minutes…10 minutes…
At 11 PM we drive into the parking lot of the Hilton and we unpack all of the stuff and head in. The kids all have gotten their second wind and are excited beyond belief. As I get to the desk I ask …um is this the Sommerfield Suites? and the nasty woman behind the desk says…”This is the HILTON” – you want the Hyatt …well dammit they both start with “H”…Matthew at this point has had enough…”let’s just stay here” and “NO, I’m not going” were just some of the things as I dragged them all outside to the car again. Then we proceded to get lost for another 15-20 minutes trying to find the Hyatt because this is a freaking maze of oneway streets and poorly marked u-turn lanes.
By the time we got into the room it was nearly 12 and the kids were way hyped up and running all over the room. By the time I got them into one of the beds it was nearly 1 am and they showed no sign of sleeping but eventually I fell asleep and …I think they did too.
The events of the day are fodder for another entry and I am too tired to relive it again!