Saturday, December 19, 2009

Road Trip Warriors

We dubbed ourselves the "Road Trip Warriors" because we daringly attempted and successfully completed a 42-hour round-trip drive to the Hampton's (for Christmas) with the two of us, Larkin, and our dog, Sera. And we're all still in one piece! We have some crazy, funny stories to tell (e.g., blizzards, cops, and a completely full truck), but actually, we had a ton of fun... we actually like road-tripping!

Here are the warriors, en route. We split up the 21-hour drive (each way) over two days, so in total we had 4 days of driving. Good thing we were gone for two full weeks.

Larkin absolutely LOVED having her sister, Sera, sooooo close for the whole ride! Sera could have thought of places she would have rather been, I'm sure, but she endured and the two of them bonded even more during the trip. Larkin would often just let her hand lay on Sera, just so they'd be touching... so sweet! There were a few times when they pushed each other aside for something - just like any sibling would do - but, 95% of the time they were all sweet back seat partners. Here they are awake and asleep (the best time for driving)!

Now, as any road tripper knows, the key to happy trailblazers is to have many activities to keep the kiddos entertained. Here are a few pics of Larkin being entertained. Some of her favorites included her Doodle Pro, her light stick, and a good stuffed animal.

The Chevy Avalanche comes with a DVD player for the back seat, so we hoped that a movie or two might entertain Larkin. Well, they did... but for no longer than 20 minutes a pop! Larkin has never really watched TV - it's just not something we really do with her at home, so she really didn't care a whole lot about it in the car either. She did, however, get a bit of amusement from Happy Feet (she loves Mumble because they have a dancing penguin doll at her school) and a couple of Backyardigans episodes. Here are a few pictures of her enjoying the DVD player... don't you love her laid back, foot up look?!

This picture was from a stop when it was so frigid - single digit temps and 40 mph winds - that we nearly didn't get out of the car. But, we had to go to the bathroom and get food. Since we couldn't take Sera inside with us (we hate those "no pets" rules!), we just ate in the car. So, this is a pic of Larkin eating her dinner while standing up in her carseat at the stop. We wanted Larkin to stretch her legs since she was sitting for so long, and she thought it was so fun! Don't worry, she got strapped in again before we got back on the road.

This might be my favorite photo of all from the drive... it's of Larkin walking out from Cracker Barrel. Through all the many road trips we've taken over the years, we've learned a thing or two. One of our secrets is to be picky about where we stop. One place we like to stop at is Cracker Barrel. The secret of Cracker Barrel is that they want you to feel like you're at home, so intentionally (and smartly) they design every single CB exactly the same. By the end of the trip, even Larkin knew that the bathrooms were straight back! We stopped at a few CBs during the trip and despite the frigid weather, I let Larkin walk outside to stretch her legs. So, here she is on one of those walks. Is there anything cuter than Larkin in her faux-fur-trimmed coat?! And, check out her "purse" (it's actually her changing pad)... she insisted on carrying it the entire way in and out of the CB! She turned many a head, cute as she was, walking in with her "purse" and going straight back to the bathrooms. It's a precious memory, for me anyway.

This was a great road-trip and the only thing we'd consider changing next time might be to rent a Winnebago - they sound so practical now... ha!

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