My husband had a business trip planned, and the kids had a long weekend from school, so I decided to pack up the chuckleheads and visit my parents.
500 miles, one mom, and three preschoolers, in the new minivan. Watch out...crazy times ahead....
Packed up 4 days of clothes, a few favorite toys, some snacks,the required blankets and the "what ifs". You know, what if we need the nebulizer, the prescription cough meds, the under-the-arm thermometer, etc. I mean I'll be honest, my kids are sick, a lot. It's best to always be prepared.
So, we are packed and the plan is to get on the road early so we still have some of the day to play when we arrive.
The kids were excited. Up at 530 excited. My husband loaded the suitcases, everyone peed, I had coffee in hand, and we were on the road by 6:27. The Adventure begins!
Alvin and the Chipmunks were chirping loudly from the DVD, three hand held games were beeping in the backseats, and I was unsuccessfully trying to find a good satelite radio station. I gave up and settled on a top 40 local station and heard Kesha and Maroon 5 each three times in the first 37 minutes. Which is the first time I had to stop. Because someone dropped his game and a meltdown followed until I could pull over and retrieve it. Might as well pass out some snacks while we were stopped.
The trip is a jump on I-95, a few skips on I-10 and then a long cruise on I-75. I stopped for gas and breakfast and bathroom breaks just as we hit 75. So far so good.
If you have not had the joy of travelling north through Georgia on I-75, let me break it down for you, close your eyes and picture it. Well, it will be tough to read if you close them both, so close one and use your imagination:
Adult Toy store, cotton field, strip club (with trucker parking!), cotton field, adult store, "spa" (with trucker parking!), cotton field, strip club (we bare all!!), strip club, adult super store, spa, cotton field, Atlanta. That's pretty much it.
Music is limited..country station, country station, Christian station, country station, top 40. Don't worry, as you near Atlanta you can add a lot of rap to the mix.
Just after a cotton field and sign for peanuts and pecans, but just before Atlanta, we stopped again. I did not want to have to stop in Atlanta, or get stuck in traffic with a little one that needed to peeeeeeeee.
Here is how you travel through Atlanta.
You get in the HOV lane (when you have three kids your vehicle is always high occupancy so it should never be an issue) and you just GO. Seriously..ignore the beltways and the bypasses. Stay away from exits and intersections leading to other interstates and highways. Get in the HOV lane and go. Don't look left or right, and by no means exit the interstate.
I was in my stride...the travel endorphins were about to peak...I was nodding my head to T-Pain or T.I. or Ice Somebody. And then I heard it from the way-back...."Mom, I have to poop".
Nooooooooo...we were in the stride. We were in the HOV lane. I started to feel panicky. This was not good. I was going to have to find an exit in downtown Atlanta...I was going to have to leave the HOV lane and possibly get lost trying to find a Starbucks so I could get coffee while my kid pooped and I'd be stuck in downtown Atlanta forever...or until I found a kind police officer to escort us back to the interstate..
"I don't need to poop anymore, I just needed to fart". Thank the Lord, crisis averted. And this is why I put the boys in the way back. They can just smell each other's stink and hopefully I can be spared once in a while.
So we made it through Atlanta, and through Georgia, and soon were at my parents house in the mountains of Tennessee.
We had a lovely visit, though as predicted, one of the chuckles did get sick.
The drive home was similar...same music, same strip clubs (with trucker parking!), same cotton fields..there was only one major difference. Just south of Atlanta, all of the kids were sleeping. Never wake sleeping children, right? Well, I had to peeeeeeeee. So I exited by an adult super store, found a semi abondoned Waffle House that backed up to a cotton field, and copped a squat. The kids kept right on sleeping. I waved at a few truckers on the way back to the interstate. As my friends who are moms said, "you do whatcha gotta do". Especially if you are on a road trip with three kids.