On the Road

April 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Posted in Life | Leave a comment
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We did it!

Last Monday, the movers came and began to pack up our household goods for the Great PCS of 2012.  Duncan spent Monday-Thursday at daycare, so I’m pretty sure he was in doggy heaven.  Finally, on Thursday, after every last time was either packed and loaded or tossed, we picked Duncan up from daycare and drove off into the sunset (actually, we were driving east, so the sunset was behind us, but whatever).

Devil's Whip

Devil’s Whip in our old neighborhood

We had this idea that if we drove at night, then LC would sleep and it would be easier to just get through the drive.  Honestly, I have debated whether I even wanted to document our trip, because I’m not sure I want to remember it.

Let’s start by saying that we only did a so-so job of prepacking.  We’re off to the East Coast on Tuesday, so when we packed, it was really at the front of my mind not to overpack our suitcases (because almost every time, we seem to be over the weight limit).  In my minimalist think-mode, we neglected to set aside some important things, like pillows.  So Monday-Thursday we had no pillows. Wednesday night we slept on a slowly-deflating air mattress with no pillows.  All this to say that by 6 pm on Thursday when we left I was already tired.

Ripe Eatery

Last meal at our favorite brunch spot.

The plan was to drive to Abilene, a little over 7 hours away.  I made sure to call the hotel to let them know we’d be arriving late. The drive started out well enough. We drove about 2 hours to Van Horn, and LC was still awake when we got there. I had an arsenal of toys up front to hand her when she got restless or bored and I sang to her and recited some of her  favorite books. When we were ready to leave Van Horn, it was nearly 8:30, so we expected LC to fall asleep. It was already over an hour past her bedtime.  Instead, she began to scream.  By now, it was dark (so I couldn’t see her in the mirror) and we were literally in the middle of nowhere in West Texas. After about 30 minutes she was still screaming hysterically and I thought I heard her throw up.  I called W, frantic, and we just picked an exit to pull over.  This particular exit had a sign for an observatory, and I thought maybe there would be a gas station. Instead,  once we took the exit, there was another sign for the observatory indicating it was another 39 miles down the road. Hah!

Anson,  TX

Town Hall in Anson, TX

So we pulled over to the side of the road, and she had indeed gotten sick (and pulled some of her hair out, as we noticed the next day).  As we got her cleaned up and calmed down, a swarm of bugs flew in my car, attracted to the lights.  Fabulous, just fabulous, to have a car full of WINGED NIGHTMARES just as we are trying to get back on the road.  W was great and managed to get them out, but the rest of the drive I kept worrying that we missed one and it was in the back seat feasting on my baby.

Anyway, we got back on the road and she started to cry again, but this time W had a great idea: to play the vacuum cleaner soundtrack that we used as white noise in her room for about 10 months (we recently got a new sound machine that we like better).   And it was a miracle: she stopped crying immediately.  The only problem was, I couldn’t turn it off or she would wake up. So yes, for about  four hours straight I was forced to listen to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. And, it’s not like I wasn’t already tired.  My vision was scarily blurry for at least the last hour of the drive and the last 20 miles or so I had to keep pinching and smacking myself to help me stay focused.  I didn’t come close to falling asleep or driving off the road, but the blurryness of things in general was just not good.

Finally at about 3 am (time change!) we rolled into Abilene and as I parked, W called to tell me that the hotel had considered us no-shows and had cancelled our reservation (someone didn’t see the note about our late check-in).  Fortunately, they did have a room for us.  We  had Duncan with us, so we couldn’t stay just anywhere.

W set up LC’s GoCrib (we love this thing!) and she went right to sleep, and we all slept in till 9 am. Woohoo!  We still had about 3 hours to go, and this time LC slept the whole way and I was able to listen to my audiobook instead of just white noise.

What’s this thing? Can I play in here?

So, we are here, in the land of green trees and four seasons (and humidity and bugs, apparently).  Tomorrow we head to OKC and on Tuesday morning we fly back East for 2 weeks.  We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends, but we are also ready just to be settled.  We cannot get housing until W officially signs onto post on the 15th, so in the meantime we are in limbo. It’s weird not having an address.

Last night we visited some friends who live on post and we got to see their house and we’re really pleased with how nice it is (though we’d love an extra bedroom). I plan to paint this time!  Lots to look forward to and we can’t wait to get settled!

Now, please share with me your travel nightmares so that we can commiserate!

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