Road Trip

Written by Pat on December 7th, 2008

I’m not sure how, but we survived our first road trip with the babies. Shae, the babies, Lunchbox, and I all piled into the little Mazda Tribute and headed North to King City/Lockwood for “Baby Shower North” and Thanksgiving. Eight days, 800 miles, and 8,000 diapers later we finally got back home. The trip was a lot of fun, but travel is definitely a lot more work than it used to be.

If you just want to look at pictures of our trip, here you go.

Northward Bound
The first few years I lived in San Diego, trips up to King City were pretty easy. I took off after work on Thursday night, made at most one stop (at Starbucks if they were still open and it was early enough), and generally arrived about six hours after I left. I could usually make the return trip in about 5.5 hours (less LA traffic and no stops) which wasn’t too bad. Then Shae moved down and slowed me down. She had to stop for coffee and food each way, and she usually drove part of the trip (a little slower than I drove). The trip was now about 6-6.5 hours. Once Lunchbox started tagging along, the trips took even longer. Now we had to drive the Tribute instead of the TL so we had to stop for gas in addition to the food and coffee stops, and we also had to give LB time to do his business. Now we were up to about 6.5-7 hours each way, or a full hour more than it took me without the extra baggage.

This trip, however, was a different story. For starters, there was no way I was going to try to drive home Thursday night after working all day. I’m not that crazy, so Friday morning we woke up and got to work getting loaded up and on the road. I should have known what kind of day I was in for when it took us from 6-10 just to get the car loaded up. Let’s just say that 2 adults, 2 babies, 1 dog, 2 suitcases, a “Pack N Play”, 2 diaper bags, dog food, a laptop bag, a camera bag, and all sorts of miscellaneous other stuff is a Tribute load. There wasn’t any room for the monster stroller so it got strapped to the roof rack. Luckily we had a plan for the return trip, as you’ll see in an awesome photo below.

Anyway, after 4 hours of packing/feeding/changing we finally got on the road around 10:30. Three feeding stops and 8 hours later we finally got into King City. Not only do we have to stop more often with the babies, but it takes forever to feed them at each stop. I never thought I’d long for the days when the trip took “only” 7 hours, but by the time we finally made it I was spent.

After we eventually got to King City and got all of our crap out of (and off of) the car we got to relax for a couple of minutes before it was time for the babies to meet some grandparents. My dad and Dorothy drove down to get some extra baby time before the shower and got to see the twins for the first time Friday night. Jack was so excited he pooped. So to recap, we had 5 people (my mom, myself, Shae, my dad, and Dorothy), 2 babies, 2 dogs, and a cat all staying under the same roof. Fun times.

Baby Shower North
After getting some rest Friday night (or as much as two hungry babies who slept all day would let us), Saturday we headed out to Lockwood for “Baby Shower North”. The last baby shower I had to survive involved a house full of ladies playing baby games while I tried to hide out in the office with LB. This shower involved BBQ, beer, bows (and arrows), and of course LB. The babies made an appearance too.

The 3 B’s were great, but my favorite part of the day was all the people who wanted to hold/feed/change the babies. After almost 7 weeks with the babies we were more than happy to let everyone else take care of the babies all day while we enjoyed some time off.

The other highlight: the gifts. Holy Crap! We got tons of stuff. Clothes, books, toys, diapers, and all kinds of other goodies. Quite a haul for the babies. Thanks to everyone for the presents; I’m sure the babies love them.

Escaping From The Babies
Shae and I haven’t been able to go to the movies for quite a while. For the last month or two of her pregnancy Shae didn’t want to do anything that involved leaving the house, much less anything that didn’t involve bathroom breaks every 20 minutes or so. Obviously, it’s not any easier to get to the movies now (or maybe not so obviously based on the number of people who think it’s OK to take babies to movies…but that’s not us).Well , Sunday we were able to exploit my mom’s love of her grandchildren to pawn them off on her and get out of the house long enough to catch a movie. Shae loves teen movies and vampires so “we” decided to go see a vampire love story aimed at 13-year-old girls: Twilight. It doesn’t matter what the movie was, it was just nice to get out of the house and throw down some popcorn.

Turkey Day:
After a few days in KC and Lockwood, it was Thanksgiving day. As has become our tradition, we spent turkey day at the Fosters’. My mom, my dad, and Dorothy joined Shae, myself, the babies, and Shae’s parents out in Lockwood for Thanksgiving. We also had plenty of dogs: Lunchbox, Ty (Shae’s parents’ dog), Kuge, and Bertha & Brandy (my dad and Dorothy’s boxers). Quite a crew.

Every year we try to get a picture of the Thanksgiving crew (including the dogs) after dinner. Last year we ate late and by the time we got around to trying to take the picture it was getting dark. Mr. Box (seven-months-old at the time) didn’t help matters by running all over the place throwing up dust and getting Kuge and Ty all riled up. Here’s what we ended up with. This year we decided it might be best to take the picture before dinner while there was still plenty of light. Lunchbox may be a year older, but he still wasn’t very cooperative at picture time. We finally got him to stop playing in the dirt long enough to get our picture, so it was time for some turkey.

As always, the food was great. We stuffed ourselves full of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and everything else. The babies skipped the turkey and had some formula. They didn’t get any pie either, but everyone else got plenty.

After dinner, it was time for our annual Thanksgiving evening walk. This is where the giant stroller really came in handy. It may be huge, heavy, and a pain to strap to the roof, but it sure is nice when you need to do some off-road walking after dinner. The thing took everything we threw at it: dirt, rocks, big piles of sticks, etc., and the babies just napped through the whole thing.

That’s about it for the babies’ first Thanksgiving. It was a good time, and they were very well behaved. They even watched a few episodes of the Thanksgiving weekend “Cool Tools” marathon on DIY (the Do-It-Yourself network) with Grandpa Foster. I think Jack wants a new wheelbarrow for Christmas and Ella wants a new screwdriver.

Cruising In Style

Saturday we loaded up the car to head back home, but of course there was a twist. We could barely fit all of our stuff in the car for the trip North, there was no way we were going to fit our gifts in the car for the trip home without a little help. That’s right, it was time to strap the top carrier to the roof of the Mazda. As a kid, I always hated cruising in the back seat of my dad’s station wagon with the dogs in the back and the top carrier strapped to the roof. So of course there I was with two kids in the backseat, Lunchbox in the back, and the top carrier looking super cool on the roof. Good thing my dad had an extra one to help us out.

I thought the trip up was long, but the trip home was even worse. Apparently everyone else thought it was a good idea to head home on Saturday to beat the rush too. The babies fall asleep instantly as soon as the car is moving, but they don’t do so well in stop-and-go traffic. So there we were stuck in LA traffic with both babies screaming for two hours. That was fun. Nine hours and two eardrums after we left Lockwood we eventually made it home, got the car unloaded and finally relaxed for a few minutes before bed. The baby shower and Thanksgiving were great, but it’s always nice to be home.

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