Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Way Back When-esday: On The Road Again Edition

Francie, giving the Blue Angels a thumbs up at the Museum of Naval Aviation
Fiver, trying on some Mr. Magoo glasses at the Louisiana Children's Museum. Little did we know that he would be sporting some Mr. Magoo glasses of his own not long hence.

Francie, celebrating her sixth birthday at a restaurant in the French Quarter. She even got some beads!

Fiver, showing some serious apprehension about the Gulf of Mexico

Francie and Fiver in New Orleans, one month before Hurricane Katrina

Francie and Fiver, at a rest stop in Alabama. The sign reads: Alabama, We dare defend our rights. Looks like Fiver is doing some defense of his own.
Fiver, less than enthused on the drive through Virginia.
Francie, slightly more enthused on the drive through Virginia.

Date: Summer 2005
Francie: almost 6
Fiver: almost 3
Location: The Eastern Seaboard, USA

My kids are great travelers. The military tends to do that to a person.

To be fair, only the older two kids ever had to traipse around with the Navy; the younger two kids take their cues from the older two, and from them they have learned that:
  • cars are fun!
  • car seats are NOT fun
  • because car seats are NOT fun, Mom gives you extra snacks to make you happy
  • snacks that she won't let you have at home, like CANDY
  • and TOYS! she gives you new little toys
  • and if you are on a really long trip, you get to stop for fast food, which also doesn't happen at home
  • Dad likes to drive in three-hour blocks, so unless there is a bathroom emergency/diaper blowout/severe carsickness episode, just sit tight

When Rob was called up with the Navy reserves, we decided that it would be fun to meet up in Pensacola, Florida. The kids and I could spend as long as we wanted down in the sunny South, we just had to be back before school started.

The only kink in the plan was the trip. We couldn't afford to fly all of us down there, plus a rental car, plus accommodations . . . you can see where this is going. We were bound for a road trip.

So I packed up the van, packed up the kids, and started on a five day, thousand mile journey. Alone. With no DVD player in the van. Just me, the kids, and a lot of Wiggles CDs.

It is a testament to the presence of guardian angels that we were able to make it safely and sanely to our destination.

We were able to stay with family and friends from the Navy on our way down (it's mighty handy the way the Navy leaves people all along the coast like that), and after white knuckling it through some tense traffic situations (seriously, how do people drive around Atlanta every day? I would have an ulcer), we made it to Florida.

We had a wonderful time, and we packed in as much fun as we could. Of course, after not seeing Rob for six months, our idea of fun was sitting in the same room looking at each other.

The drive home was not nearly as exciting, and putting the kids in the car and listening to them cry while they waved goodbye to their father was one of the hardest things to do. But now, almost four (!) years later, they don't remember the leaving at all.

All they remember was the fantastic time they had .

Visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation for more Way Back When-esday!