For the last 12 days, our family was in a bit of a time warp. Somehow at lightning speed, we started our travels from South Florida and made it all the way up to northern Indiana, only to come back down to Tennessee for a while and journey on back through sweet home Alabama.
When we pulled up to our exit last night after getting off I-75, I said to Greg, "Doesn't it seem like we just left here??" I vividly remember the last minute stops we made the former former Wednesday night before we really pulled out of town -- getting gas, some cash & a quick bite to eat -- before we plugged in a quick trip to Warner Robins, GA. After that, I guess it was all history.
We had a great time while we were away. Yes, yes, we did have 2 long-suffering nights with Mia, which bookended our trip (and had a common theme so I think we uncovered its culprit), but other than that, nothing catastrophic occurred (thank goodness), although I can let Greg tell you about what happened on I-465 in Indiana.
Road trips with a child can be thorny territory at times. The first long road trip we ever did with Mia took far longer than needed ... but subsequent road trips have been a breeze. This past week, as we skirted Mia on 6-hr adventures from state to state, Mia held up pretty well. She might have screamed "NO!!!" at some people more times than we would have liked, or had a few meltdowns here or there, but in general we were able to pass the time fairly well.
Much gratitude given to this guy:
The DVD player. It's a mixed blessing, you could say. But as we just flipped Mia's carseat around now that she's 2 (you could technically keep her flipped until she's 35 lbs), it is a helpful way to pass the time when you're driving on boring interstate. And she even fell asleep to it once too (score: you skip the whiny/tired phase).
It's not something we want to utilize 24/7, nor do we want her to think it's the only way to pass the time in the car, which is why we listened to music, looked for trucks, motorcycles, and animals while we drove to keep her interested and not going stir-crazy. Yeah, we are patting ourselves on the back.
But hands down, the best part of our trip was seeing everybody. I personally loved talking with all my Wiley sisters-in-law & KT every day the weekend that we were in Indiana. Mia got to see her uncles again and Uncle Luke taught her how to shoot a Nerf gun. She saw Jackson graduate (modeling positive behavior, no?). She saw both sets of grandparents in IN & TN and was upset when she could no longer ride in their cars again. "Mommo's car?" in Indiana. "Granddad's car?" in Tennessee. She hung out with her 2nd cousins in Indiana and for a second I considered hiring them out in November when baby #2 is due to watch over her because she pretty much thought they were the coolest thing e'er.
We said goodbye to the Wiley guys as they went on their bike trip to celebrate Jackson's graduation...and then packed up our things to move on...
In Tennessee, Mia had a blast with her Granddad. She really enjoyed her time with him & would start doing their infamous, "AHHHHHH!" upon detection of his presence. Nana's schedule was obviously limited due to her school schedule, but we all made the best of it on the weeknights & they "got" to watch her for us Friday night.
Mia also stopped by Nana's school Friday for a special treat!
|Jamming @ the Fergs'|
We had dinner with our long-time friends, the Fergusons, in Nashville Thursday night and loved the reunion. Here's where I insert the sappy sentiment: Some friends just feel like family. Even though they're miles away and we haven't been able to hang out on the regular in FOUR YEARS!
Friday during the day we met up with "Great Aunt Ann" & her sons (Greg's cousins) at CFA. Mia played with them in the playhouse for probably 2 hrs while we got to talk with Ann.
Friday night I met one of Greg's long time HS buddies & we got sushi with he & his wife and then toured Big Kenny's studio. Yeah, that's where Greg's buddy works. Not your typical Friday night for us!
Saturday as we launched southward to Alabama, we hung out with the Moores in Alabama who treated us to both lunch & dinner! It was so nice to eat real food after being on the go so much. Jenn puts the "sweet" in sweet home Alabama -- the very model of southern hospitality!
Then, we hopped back into the car to head to Dothan, our last stop, where the perfect late night hosts greeted us. The Childresses really were the perfect end to our trip, because they didn't care we arrived at 11, or that Mia wanted to hang out with all of us till 1:30, or that we snooped around for a toaster Sunday morning. Mia thought their baby Rylann was the neatest thing and after we had church & lunch with Will, Kristen & Rylann, we drove like the wind back to Tampa and Mia slept almost the whole way! (4 out of 5.5 hrs).
And then, there was today. Major recovery, clean-up the nasty kitchen day and run a few errands. Mia was so tuckered out after her trip, but she's sort of forgotten our normal naptime routine, so very late in the afternoon, she ended up on my shoulder, finally asleep, and then I smoothly slid her off my shoulder onto our bed. And started blogging.
So that's where we are now. She's awoken. We're going to eat dinner and probably head to the park to ensure she's legitimately tired for bedtime tonight.