Friday, June 27, 2008

Many the Miles

The post-it-notes that have adorned Maria's headboard for the past week as a visual countdown to our roadtrip reveal only one night to go. I have mixed emotions as I contemplate and prepare for our sojourn. I've never driven this far without Don. I have often wondered if I could make it back east on my own. Here's my chance. I'm excited and scared spitless all at the same time.

Our girls only trip will encompass 12 days and 2,800 miles. Our pilgrimage will take us into Tennesse where we will spend our first night after 8 hours of driving. We will continue on to North Carolina where we will pick up Caroline's bestfriend, Jenna. At this point my co-pilot will transform into a giggling tweener. I wonder if Maria can read a map?

The next morning we will head out bright and early to drive to my Aunt Karen and Abby's house in Delaware where we will sleep in clean beds and shower in pristine bathrooms. The thought of their home after having stayed two night in hotels makes me positively giddy. We, along with my six-year-old niece, Hailey, will enjoy their hospitality and the beach for two days before heading to Pennsylvania where we will hang out with Dad and Mom, the sisters and cousins. The trip from Delaware to Pennsylvania, although comparatively short to the other legs of our journey, will consist of me, and only me, accompanied by 4 little girls. Whose idea was this trip?

After 6 days with Mimi and Pop, the sisters and cousins, it will be time to begin the long road home. Our trip home will take us through Virginia and back through Tennesse for one last night at the Marriott. Then home sweet home.

How do I plan to drive these many miles with just me and my girls?

10. With my new Sarah Bareilles CD blasting our trip theme song, Many the Miles. Caroline has mandated that we can only play the song once an hour.

9. With Lots of DVDs. Our Honda Pilot has a built in DVD player of which I plan to take full advantage. The children's minds may be mush and I may lose a few precious years of sanity but everyone should arrive alive.

8. With my cell phone at the ready for those moments when I'm feeling sleepy or lonely. My mom has already instructed me to call her and check in several times each day.

7. With a box full of coloring books, toys, CDs and whatever else Maria thinks she'll need to stay busy.

6. With another box full of snacks.

5. With a 3-ring binder of maps and our itinerary meticulously prepared by Don. It will be like having Don right there in the car, minus the cracking of pistachio nuts. And minus someone else to drive. And without his innate sense of direction. And sense of adventure. Ok, it's not like he'll be with us at all. I wish he were going.

4. By restricting fluid for all members of our travel party. We may arrive at our destinations a bit dehydrated but you know I have issues with public bathrooms. Maria said yesterday that she wished we could have a potty right there in the car so we didn't have to use other bathrooms. She really is my child!

3. With a cooler full of Diet Coke. #4 doesn't apply to me. I'm driving and I need caffeine. I will not give in to whimpering pleas for liquids.

2. With pure determination to make it back east so that I can spend precious hours visiting with my family. I'm really hoping that this will be a trip that Caroline (and maybe Maria but she's so young) will remember for years to come.

1. With lots of prayer. I don't think I could have made this trip 10 years ago. But I am confident in my God who holds my future in the palm of His hands. Whatever happens does not take Him by surprise. That is very comforting.

So tomorrow we leave. I'd like to tell you that I'll be blogging along the way, but I don't have a laptop. How sad is that? I'll try and post when I'm somewhere with a computer. If you think of us this week feel free to say a prayer.

Simply Stated: Are we there yet?


Stephanie said...

wish i could go with you....I love a good road trip.

Have fun girls....I'll miss you

Cindy said...

Have fun, laugh a lot,make precious memories, and just don't think about it when you do have to use a public restroom---hey, at least it's not a "squatty potty"!