Greetings from the Low Country! We arrived at our destination on Saturday, approximately 24 hours after leaving our house! This included many, many, many stops. Stops for food, fuel, potty, spiders and one over night hotel stay. I stocked up on car trip snacks, yet it didn't seem enough for my four. Every time we passed a blue sign, inevitably someone would be starving. Like chew their ankle off starving. Car rides were much easier before the kids could read. Even the three year old's were able to point out the McDonald's Logo on the Blue Rest stop signs!
Heavy rain and traffic made it slow going for us on 95 South. Our goal was to go a little more than 1/2 way on Friday, stop for the night, then have about a 3 hour ride on Saturday. It didn't quite go as planned. What should have been a 6-7 hour ride on Friday, turned into an almost 10 hour ride with my gang. What made it even slower was 4 kids needing to use the potty! We would ask everyone to "try" at each stop, but it didn't work. The highlight of our road trip on Friday night was our spider stop. This happened about 10 minutes after we packed everyone up from a really, really bad roadside diner. All four kids, screaming "bloody murder" (as my mother would say!) while a spider descended on it's web from the movie screen down into the back of the van. This was a first for us and needed to be addressed immediately.
We were all quite relieved when we pulled into our hotel very late Friday night. A recently renovated Hampton Inn in Fayeteville, NC. Room was fine - not what we booked - but we made it work. The kids liked that it was the type of hotel that "you parked right outside your room"! The highlight of our stay was Ms. Paulette the "breakfast lady". She made us feel very welcome and was so pleased to meet my "Blessings" as she called the kids. She made us at home and the kids fell in love with her.
Here are some lessons learned from the first part of our trip -
Plan ahead - make a hotel reservation in advance - don't take your chance pulling off the side of the road. We saw two couples turned away at the hotel because it was sold out. no one wants to go hotel to hotel in a thunderstorm looking for a room - you also end up paying a higher rate this way.
Pack smart - I packed in small bags, so things were easy to reach. One small tote bag for things that I needed for the hotel, one small bag of extra things for the car.
Bring a bucket - I keep a bucket in the car. People may make fun of it - but it is great. It can be used to collect trash, leaking juice boxes, excellent for car sickness and can be used as an emergency potty in a pinch!
Pack extra snacks!!!
The last two day's on the beach made the road trip worthwhile! Sunday it was in the 80's and Sunny. Monday it was in the 90's and Sunny. Looking forward to another beautiful Carolina Day today!
I hope that you are enjoying your spring break - wherever you are!