Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's do it!

Have you seen that Seinfeld episode where Kramer has a cough but can't/won't go to the doctor? He happens upon a dog named Smuckers, who has the same cough, and ends up taking the dog's medication. A few weeks before our big vacation, Rich contracted a cold and ended up with the Smuckers cough. And then Anna fell victim to the virus with less than a week to go.

We wanted to complete the trip to Orlando in two days, arriving at somewhat of a decent time on day two. I had hoped that we would be at the hotel early enough to take the boat over to Downtown Disney, where we could grab dinner and walk around some of the stores. That was another advantage to Port Orleans, Riverside - the boat that would take you to Downtown Disney. Although this mode of transportation would not save us any time, it would be entertaining for the girls.

A co-worker of mine suggested hitting the road really early. Like 4:00 AM early. So that is what we decided to do with the hope that we would avoid some morning traffic in the New York area. The girls have never had an issue sleeping in the van so we woke them up around 3:45, made Allie and Em go to the bathroom and cathed Anna. Surprisingly enough, it took them a good 45 minutes to an hour to fall back asleep. They were completely quiet but awake. I think there was some excitement surrounding the trip along with the fact that they are rarely out and about when it is pitch black out.

And pitch black it was. Almost as if a black fleece blanket was hovering in the sky. I volunteered to drive the first leg of the trip seeing as it was mainly my hair-brained idea. We made it two hours and through most of Connecticut before we hit traffic and vomit.

The girls woke up when the van slowed down and we have learned that if they don't have anything in their stomachs, they get car sick. So both Allie and Anna ended up puking. THANKFULLY, it wasn't very much and none hit the car seats. We ended up with 10,000 receiving blankets when the girls were infants. Do you know that those things have many, many uses? I always keep some in the van. (They are great for wiping down wet shopping cart seats.) I had packed extra for this trip and Grammy was able to grab some and save the car seats.

We decided to take the alternative route of the Tappan Zee Bridge around New York City. Our first scheduled stop was the first rest area on the Garden State Parkway. All other stops were unscheduled, of course.

So unfortunately, this trip ended up being a bit of a photography disappointment for me. (Don't fret - there will be a ton of adorable pictures of the girls with characters and princesses.) I don't know if it is just me but it was a bit frustrating to drive by all those wonderful views and not be able to stop to photograph them. Like Bridgeport at sunrise. Cityscapes. Old farms.

Somehow in my mind, prior to the trip, I thought I would be able to photograph everything to document our adventure. Didn't. Happen.

Here's what I did get:

Snacking in the van at a rest stop.


Here's the Delaware Memorial Bridge.


And if you look real close, you can see D.C. over there.


And this one is courtesy of Grammy. (I was driving at the time.) Emily napping with a hospital blanket on top of her head.


That nap ended when Allie ripped the blanket off of her head.

The drive to Orlando was fairly uneventful but it was harder on the girls than I expected it to be. They didn't nap as much as I thought they would and they were definitely tired. At one point, Allie told me that she was tired so I suggested that she take a nap. She replied with, "Our car seat aren't snugly, Mommy. Our beds are snugly."

The difficulty in driving with three three year olds is trying to make good time. We used the travel potty in the van for Allie and Em and we cathed Anna in the van as well but just to make a quick pit stop took half an hour. And if we stopped for a meal where everyone got out of the van, it took an hour.

We did have a portable DVD player set up in the van along with some new toys. The big hit ended up being this wooden puzzle I picked up on clearance at Target last year. It has the letters of the alphabet and under each letter is a word starting with that letter. For example, there is an apple under the A. They LOVED that puzzle and would insist on completing it on our drive over to the parks.

I had also purchased (for about $1 each on clearance) these small princess message boards, which are just a whiteboard with a pen. Those were also a big hit because the girls don't usually get to use pens/markers. And wouldn't you know that those cheapo pens stopped working after the first day.

So our driving plan didn't really work out. I was a bit aggressive in hoping that we would make it into South Carolina on the first day and be back on the road by 8:00 AM the second day. We almost made it to South Carolina and we didn't hit the road again until almost 9:00 AM. Again, it is impossible to get everyone up, dressed and fed. Especially when Mommy has to do everything. "No, Mommy do it!"

When we hit Orlando traffic at 6:00 PM, I knew that my plans for dinner and window shopping at Downtown Disney were blown. The girls wanted to be at Disney at that point. Emily kept saying, "Come on, everybody. Go. Go. Go Why isn't everyone going?" I tried playing a new game with them. I told Em that she was an animal and I would give her hints to figure out what animal she was.

Mommy - "You have four legs. What are you?"

Emily - "I'm a kid."

Mommy - "No. Keep trying. You have fur."

Emily - "No, I don't. Let's not play this anymore. It's terrible."

By the time we reached our resort, Emily had no voice. At first I thought it was from her random screaming. Yes, random screaming. The girls will do this now when it is quiet - let out an ear piercing scream just for fun. It turns out that Emily was also coming down with the cold/cough.

After checking into our resort, we opted for dinner at the food court type place. The food was okay. Not completely terrible but not great. From the time we arrived at the resort until we went to bed, the girls wanted to know where the characters were. That's all we heard. "Are we going to see some characters? Where are the characters?"

Turns out that finding characters would be our first mission.

~To be continued tomorrow~


bearie1 said...

We drove to Disneyland one year when our kids were a little older than yours. Maybe 5 and 7. We live in the Seattle area and it is a very long one day drive. When I was little we used to go to Alabama and my parents would get us up at 4am, stick us in the car, and drive until we woke up for breakfast. I thought we could do the same on our trip to Disneyland. Didn't work for us either. Kids didn't go back to sleep, nor did they nap later. Ended up with two very tired kids. I think the difference is that when we used to travel there were no seat belts or car seats. They just made a bed for us in the back of the station wagon so we were actually laying down to sleep. On the return trip we didn't leave as early. Live and learn, right? Hope you had a good trip and made lots of wonderful memories. Elaine

Wendy said...

Just reading this made me decide that we are so NOT doing Disney. The drive alone would be the end of me. We drive to NH every year and that's only 8 or 9 hours. No way NO WAY could I handle two days of driving. Or riding. Or reaching back to hand back toys. Or find wipes. Or clean up puke. Oy. You and R and Grammy are brave souls :)

Anonymous said...

what hotel did you stay at

Sarah said...

bearie1 - I remember sleeping in the back of our station wagon too!

Wendy - It's even better when you sit in the back with them. Their own personal servant!

Anon - do you mean in FL? We stayed at Disney - Port Orleans hotel/resort

Anonymous said...

Oh, the days of laying in sleeping bags in the way back of the Country Squire wagon . . . I am old.
Really enjoying reading about your trip!

Anonymous said...

thx ya we just got back and we stayed at Disney's Wildeerness Lodge

Mommy, Esq. said...

Great post. We did a 2 day trip to Outerbanks with two 21 month olds and a 6 weeker and it was rough - most rough on me who ended up really sick and spent one night in the ER once we got down there. I found the DVD player to be very effective - did you use one? We just strapped up a portable one between the driver and passenger seats. I also found that many stops made the trip so much longer but it was hard to winnow them down (and ours were in diapers I can just imagine potty-trained kids). I'm waiting until my twins are 6 to go and we're flying.