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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Yes we arrived back home safe and sound on Monday afternoon - thanks for your prayers for safe travels!

Kayla's reaction to being home? Joe took her out of the van, set her down in the carport and asked her, "Kayla where are we?" She looked around like she was in a daze. We tried again, "Kayla look...where are we?" She triumphantly threw her arms in the air and said, "home!" Yes she was glad to be back home!

Some observations from our trip:

- Drury Hotels are awesome! Starting around 3:00 you can go to the lobby and help yourself to freshly popped popcorn and the soda machine. From 5:30-7 there is a "happy hour" - each adult guest in the room gets a card for 3 free drinks. We enjoyed some margaritas (me) and beer (Joe) and Shirley Temples (Kayla). Plus they had different chips/pretzels out as well. Nice, hot, free breakfast in the morning (eggs, sausage, biscuits & gravy, french toast, waffles etc). 1 free hour of long-distance every day. Microwave and fridge in every room. Ok that's my plug!

- It's funny the things that became "routine" for Kayla while we were traveling. She seemed to sense when we were pulling off the highway/slowing down as she would say "Daddy gas" in reference to Joe filling up the van, not that he was full of gas himself! Or she would ask "out? walk?" and we would say "almost" or "in a few minutes" and she would respond with "daddy gas!" She knew that when Joe pulled in to get gas we would get out and walk for a few minutes.

- She loved taking the elevators in the hotels. As soon as we were checked in the room she would take our hands saying "elevator" in her cute little voice and leading us to the door. She got pretty good at pushing the right buttons too.

- Kayla will pretty much boycott naps while we're driving. She still takes a nap at home, usually 1- 1.5 hrs, but the whole time we were on the road she refused to fall asleep. Ok she fell asleep a few times. The first time was when we left the Science Museum in St Louis to go back to our hotel (she fell asleep almost immediately, and it was only about 15 min back to our hotel). So she can fall asleep then, but not on the 9.5 hr drive to St Louis? She fell asleep for about 40 min from StL to Columbus. She did fall asleep when we left Baltimore (Port Discovery) and went back to my mom's house. (Notice the pattern? Falling asleep after visiting Children's "hands-on" places! Now if only we could find those all along our route!) She fell asleep after we left OKC and heading back to Joe's parents' house - and she slept for 1.5 hrs that time! But yeah, pretty much the whole drive she stayed awake.

- No matter what toys I brought for her on this trip, it hardly kept her occupied. I even had some new things for her that she hadn't seen before hoping that would keep her attention - no such luck. She has such a short attention span. Everything I handed her she would fling in the seat behind her, in front, or on the side, within a matter of minutes. On good days she would be nice and say, "Mommy away" or "all done" so I could actually put it away and not have to search the van all over for everything.

- So she watched a lot of videos. I don't like her to watch so many for hours straight, but it was the only thing to help pass the time. Which reminds me - how come the mom always seems to die in kids' movies? Seriously! Bambi, The Land Before Time, Finding Nemo, Brother Bear, Ice Age - see what I mean? The mom always dies! I find that a little morbid.

- We did listen to some music - ok it was mostly Kindermusik and nursery rhyme songs, but at least it was music and not always videos. I think Joe and I had about 2 hrs total where we listened to "adult" CDs!

- Kayla thinks as soon as she's in her car seat she needs to be eating something. I think she wanted to eat more out of boredom than anything. We would have a nice big breakfast at the hotel, bring our luggage to the van and head out. Within minutes of leaving I would hear a voice from the backseat, "mommy cereal please?" Kayla! You just ate a big bowl for breakfast! You can't possibly be hungry! After about an hour I would hand her a baggie full of cheerios and it was devoured before I knew it. Then she would ask for crackers. I think she could eat cereal 24 hrs a day if I let her.

- Lots of dead deer on the side of the road. I think we saw about 20 on our trip.

- It's virtually impossible to find a license plate from Hawaii. Yes to keep ourselves occupied Joe and I tried to find plates from all 50 states. We found all of them, including Alaska, but no Hawaii. We even saw Ontario, Quebec and a plate from Chihuahua, Mexico (which is close to where we live).

- To borrow those famous last words from Dorothy, "There's no place like home!"

36 comments:

jennifergg said...

Glad you're back!

Nisa said...

I'm glad you're all home and that Kayla did so well on the trip. That's funny that you couldn't find a Hawaii license plate cuz I just saw one yesterday and I was thinking it was odd, but then I thought- this is a military town so I guess it's not that odd.
We have a nice Children's museum here in SA... and a six flags and 2 big waterparks and sea world and we have a pool and lots of nearby playgrounds... hint hint.

~Melissa~ said...

Welcome back! I always feel the need to eat when I'm on a road trip too.

Omaha Mama said...

Yay! She's back!!!

I LOVE this post. It's funny, because Mason literally ate from Omaha, NE to Greeley, CO. Talk about carb-loading! Same thing. I think that he thinks car seat = snack time! His favorite thing to chuck over the side of the seat? Pacifier. I think he was seriously laughing at me as I'd search for it.

Brenna was a good traveler due to all of the movie watching. Yes - talk about guilt! Ah well - if it keeps them happy while driving, so be it!

This was a great post!

Tarrah said...

Welcome home! I'm glad you guys had such a great time. My daughter is the same way when it comes to eating in the car. She always askes for snack as soon as we start going. Kids are just too funny with the way they adjust to being away from home.

K.T. said...

Do you know I have the same problems with the kids in the van when we go on a trip...I think it has to be a common mommy problem.Glad you are back!!!

Linda said...

Glad you're home safe and sound.
Last summer I did the license plate game too. I got all of the states except New Hampshire. I'll give you one Hawaii for one New Hampshire!!

Kathy/Lessons from the Laundry said...

I'm glad you were clear on who was drinking the margaritas and beer! THanks for the tip about the hotel. We've never stayed in a Druery Hotel, but you sold me...or was it the fidge and microwave.

How did Kayla react the first time you put her back in the car? That was always hard when my kids were little. They thought a trip to the store was going to be several hours long.

Jessica said...

Welcome home! Glad to hear that your trip went so well!!

Conny said...

I just love coming back to your blog enjoying the beautiful pics of your adorable daughter!

Me said...

Welcome back!!!! It sounds like a great trip, but it's always nice to be home isn't it? :)

Trace

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Welcome home! Sounds like you had a nice trip. My kids do the food in the car seat thing. As soon as their bottoms hit the sit, they are hungry. Drives me nuts!

L. Noelle said...

I'm so glad you had such a great vacation! Kayla is soooooo smart! I have never heard of Drury Hotels, but If I'm traveling now, I'll keep my eyes and ears open! Thanks for all the updates!

PEA said...

Welcome home Michelle, Joe & Kayla:-) So glad you made it back safely and I'm so proud of Kayla for doing so well on such a long trip!! Hopefully you can now get back into your regular routine and enjoy being home again:-) xox

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Welcome home...you were missed!!!!

Tammy and Parker said...

Yay! for a wonderful trip!

Beck said...

I think the reason for all of the dead moms in kids' movies is because mothers are the people who keep children safe - and so the absence of mothers is the plot device that puts the movie child in danger and sets the story in motion.
Yep, that's all I picked up in university.
Welcome home.

smileymamaT said...

What a great hotel. What a loonnnggg drive! (and after all those free susages, maybe there coulda been just a wee bit of "Daddy gas!" hee hee...
I love the image of Kayla in her purple shirt walking next to Joe by the trees. Wonderful. She looks so much like my own little blond, blue-eyed girl about 11 years ago! Who is a (gasp) teenager now...
hey, Welcome home!
T

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amy flege said...

its good to hear you made it home saftely. still wish i would of had more time to try and figure out how to get to st louis so see you...oh well! oh and we love drury hotels too.. they are great!

Sara said...

Glad you are home safe and sound. Great memories for you all!!!

Shelley said...

Welcome! Sometimes that is the best thing about holidays - no matter how much fun was had - i9t is the joy of coming home.

chelle said...

Welcome home!

Omaha Mama said...

Hey Michelle. I tagged you for an EASY meme over at my place.

Barb said...

I know you had a wonderful time on this trip but I'm sure it feels so good to be home again.

Thank you for sharing all of it with us. And yeah, I can see where it might be difficult to spot a license plate from Hawaii. After reading this, I know I'll be looking for one now. LOL

My weekend is getting ready to kick into high gear, so I just wanted to take one quick minute to come over and welcome you back home.

Miranda said...

I bet your glad to be home! Hope you had a wonderful vacation!

LeslieAnn said...

slieWelcome Home! ♥

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Welcome Home Safe and Sound! So glad you had a good trip but even gladder that you're home!!

Sarah said...

glad you made it back safely! We're about to head out for a 4 day weekend trip for a wedding only 7-8 hours away and we're worried about keeping our girls occupied. We've borrowed a portable DVD player, bought a new DVD to watch, just for the trip, The Wizard of Oz (speaking of Dorothy's famous last phrase). I just got back from Walmart with a smorgeousboard of snacks, think we'll survive?!
Sarah

Karen said...

Welcome back :-)

annie said...

What a nice recap Michelle, there is no place like home for sure!!!
I'm going to try to file your hotel info in my brain for future use.
Glad you are back.

Susie Q said...

There really is no place like home after a long trip or anytime!
But you will have such sweet memories of a wonderful time spent together!
It is tough to keep children happy on a long trip! Our Grace is 9 and if we did not have the DVD player, I would pull my hair out! *smile* She makes a room of her own in the back seat of the van...toys, books, art supplies...a pillow and blanket, snack stash, stuffed animals. You would think she is going to a deserted island for years!
Sweet Kayla really did so well! I get bored after a few hours myself!

Get some rest and enjoy your home!

Hugs,
Sue

AZ Chapmen said...

welcome home some see what i have been up too.

Deb said...

Glad you made it back safely!

A Special Family said...

So glad that you had a great trip!!! I prayed for you often!!

WELCOME HOME!!!

Christina said...

Glad you are all safe back at home, we are flying home tomorrow, so wish us a happy trip back too!