For all you number types out there, I'd like to start this post with a few stats:
We hit the road Wednesday, April 5th from our home in Kentucky to Tulsa, Oklahoma for my sister's wedding on Saturday.
639 miles...each way.
11 hours...each way (on a good day).
Crammed into the passenger portion of our minivan we had: 2 adults, 4 kids, 1 car seat, 3 booster seats, 15 stuffed woo's, 4 neck pillows, 4 regular pillows, 4 backpacks, 6 books, 3 purse style bags, snacks and drinks for everyone, and 2 coffee's. Then, of course, there were the contents of the back....1 large suitcase, 2 small suitcases, 2 toiletry bags, 3 wedding suits, 2 wedding dresses, 4 boxes of wedding shoes, and 2 wedding gifts.
After three days in town for wedding festivities, we'd have to load all this back up, minus the gifts, and head for home.
Now the story begins.
It all started off great. I had most of the laundry done two days prior to departure so I was able to focus on the packing the day before. There's this 'mode' I enter when it's time to prepare for a trip. It's not entirely unlike the mental checklist for a trip to town, but it was for five days and included specific attire for a big occasion. Then there are the contingencies, accidents and unexpected weather to factor in. But this aforementioned mode I enter, allows my brain to process most of these events for our four children and myself, and to a lesser degree, Scott.
I had us mostly ready for our 6:00am departure (lets be real...that really means anytime in the 6-7:00 hour) by 10:00 the night before, leaving only our morning toiletries and last minute add-ons to remember before we loaded and left, which, to our slight surprise, was within our desired window. I even remembered my bridesmaid dress, which was a near miss hanging on a bathroom door! We got no more than four miles down the road when I remembered what I had forgotten. Our swimsuits. One of the main points for our hotel choice with the kids is the pool so they have the opportunity to burn some energy, which we intended to let them do that evening upon arrival since they will have just spent so many hours on the road. Our two youngest don't swim alone so our participation is required. The groan left my body as my head dropped and Scott knew as he asked, "What did you forget?" Never mind the obvious blame game there, we didn't have time to get into it. I told him I forgot our suits and that he either needed to turn around or would have to stop somewhere so we could buy new ones before we arrived, since a promise to swim is iron clad and would bring on the gnashing of teeth if we even attempted to break it. He said, "I can buy one in five minutes, can you?" ***pause for the laughter of women everywhere*** I didn't even have to respond. He turned us around and headed back home. Our oldest son ran in behind me to 'lay one down' so I told the hubs he could thank me later, for not having to stop for the bathroom within spitting distance of the house! Our second departure was fifteen minutes past our desired window, but we were on the road, no turning back, Tulsa bound.
For the most part, our travel was uneventful...good traffic, rain and wind off and on and the usual raucous pit stops that are unavoidable with four kids eight and under. If they don't get the wiggles out of these stops, they will do it in the van, and that is no good for anyone! We do jumping jacks, stretch, and run in place, in the coffee line, in the bathroom, in the parking lot...anywhere but the van. Sure, we get looks, but we generally get those anytime we go anywhere with this squad, and I'm ok with that, especially since very few looks are actually of the rude variety...and we do little to avoid the attention.
A little past the halfway mark of our trip, several stops under our belts all requiring a near rearranging of everything for each kid to get out of the van, and again to get back in their seats, Scott looked at me and said, "Enough. We are buying a bigger van when we get to Tulsa." As impulsive as this sounds, we've been in the talks for almost ten months, had shopped online and even been pre-approved for the loan, just in case. But this trip was the tipping point and his executive power kicked into full gear. He had the dealership number pulled up and was talking to a salesman within minutes. I just kept laughing, but when we were talking numbers with the bank an hour later, I realized he wasn't joking. As long as we could get the deal he wanted, this was happening!
When we rolled into Tulsa about 6:00 local time and saw that the dealership was less than a mile from our hotel, it was all I could do to make him wait until morning. The kids were over it and we were all starving. My mom met us at our room with pizza and a beverage then we headed to the pool!!
Time for bed.....three busy days of wedding festivities and possible vehicle buying still to come!