Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daytona dispatch #1

I'm sitting at a table with a view of the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th floor of a condo in Daytona Beach. Just how I got here with my sanity intact is a miracle. Two years ago when we made this trip, Danny was six months old. What I remember about that trip was how long it seemed and how little we thought to plan ahead for the fussy child contigency. Two years and one more child into parenthood, we've wised up quite a bit.

Instead of trying to squeeze 9 hours worth of driving into one day with two kids, we broke the trip up into two days, driving from noon to dinnertime one day and breakfast to lunch the next. One dinner out, free hotel breakfast and lunch at our destination was the plan. It worked. We were on schedule both days. (You know how much I LOVE schedules!!)

The trip was not without its glitches, though. Fitting the trip around Fiona's need to nurse (which still seems nearly constant) was going to be tricky. We got on the road Saturday around 1 p.m. after tying up loose ends, cleaning the house up and eating lunch at home. I guessed that Fiona wouldn't need to nurse again until at least two hours into the trip. I was wrong. She was crying incessently right out of the gate. My plan was to use a power inverter to power the pump and give her a bottle. The inverter blew a couple fuses in the van, including the fuse that powers the outlet for the inverter, the cigarette lighter (where we plug the phone charger in) and the clock. We'd been in the car only 45 minutes and I thought, "Boy we're off to a great start." We had to stop often and at most stops it was as struggle to get a distracted baby to eat. We finally rolled up to a hotel at the halfway point at around 6 p.m., checked in, ate dinner and went to the pool. Both kids slept great and we rolled out again at 7:00 a.m. after breakfast. Despite being quite well fed, Fiona started crying shortly after we left. I went back there and contorted myself into a safe, semi-comfortable position and nursed her. It worked. We had to stop only twice, once for gas and once for OJ at the Florida border. (I just love that they still give away a cup of free OJ at the border. This is one of those things I remember from childhood. The woman said they'd been doing it for 60 years.)

Through all this, Danny was fantastic. I'm so proud of that boy. We set him up on the back bench with a toy box filled with books, his drink, blanky and monkey and a little compartment full of his favorite cars. He spent most of the time driving his cars, looking out the window and eating food that I literally threw back there at him (he was delighted with the flying grapes, pretzel sticks and cheese, let me tell you!). I went back a few times to read to him. I set up the DVD player for an hour, but he didn't seem interested.

Right now, PopPop, Jim and the kids are napping and I'm watching sailboats in the sound and the ocean whilst drinking my new favorite drink: iced coffee with a scoop of ice cream. I think I'll call it a coffee float.

1 comment:

Jax and company said...

Yeah!!!! You did it! Success! I hope the rest of the week goes as well! I miss you terribly, I miss road trips, I miss vacations, I miss my van. Sigh