As time passes, bad memories fade and I seem to only remember the happy times. This is true in almost every aspect of my life. Even in the roughest parts of my life, for some reason I can pick out the ways it has strengthened me or brought a new joy. This vacation was not all dandy. Driving 4,218 miles alone in the car with two kids is not easy. However, I feel like I am being realistic when I say that I grew so close to my boys during those 16 days. They learned to rely on me and be as patient as their little bodies and heads would let them. I am really glad I went on this trip and I would do it again, just maybe not for a little while.
After only five hours of sleep, we got up and left the house to go vote. Then we went to pick up a rental car for Sam. We waited there for an hour before the person decided to come into work. It was especially annoying since we had been told 30 minutes earlier that they were already on their way in. The discount they gave us ended up saving money, but it cost us an hour.
We ate lunch at a gas station outside of San Antonio. They had a newspaper stand with free magazines of car listings. This kept Alex entertained for a long time. This is a good time to mention the website momsminivan.com. This is where I got the idea to draw a racecar track inside the lid of a shoebox. Alex was able to race his cars around and they didn't fly all over the car. Amen.
Our next stop was for dinner in Carlsbad, NM. I must have been getting tired. I changed four diapers on this stop and Alex broke a display at Wendy's, but we were all still laughing hysterically and the boys were throwing french fries and running in circles. I was embracing the insanity.
During the drive, Alex kept asking for a toy we had left at home. He was repeating, "But I want it!" I replied, "It doesn't matter if you want it, we don't have it." He sat there for a few seconds while the wheels turned, and then he said, "It doesn't matter to you. It doesn't matter to you!" It was heartbreaking. I have to be very careful with my wording.
The next time we stopped was at a rest stop near Moriarty, NM. It was 11:30pm and both boys had been asleep for a couple of hours. I let Alex out of his carseat and put him on the floor of the backseat to sleep. Then I brought Edison into the front seat to snuggle and nurse. Before I knew it, both boys were on the driver's seat with me. Then they were both yelling and pointing at the trucks in the parking lot with us. I realized there was not a chance that they were going to sleep there so I sent Sam a text asking him to book a hotel for us in Albuquerque. We drove the 40 minutes there and were in bed by 12:30am, after 900 miles and 14 hours of driving. There was a Del Taco directly across the street. I accidentally drove by the hotel the first time because I got so distracted. Although I think Del Taco is good at any hour, I figured the boys needed to go to bed.
The boys woke up really early because they were on Texas time. We were up, dressed, fed, had gone to the bank, and filled the car with gas all by 8am. We headed straight to Four Corners Monument. We had a picnic there and ran around for a couple of hours. It was really hot and the boys drank almost all of our water.
We stopped for ice cream in Monticello, Utah. We got gas in Provo and cleaned the disgusting windshield which I could hardly see through. It was dangerous. We arrived at Michelle's house just before 8pm. On the whole drive, I was telling Alex that we would see Keaton on Thursday. He would say, "Why is Keaton thirsty? Does he want water?" I am really glad we ended up arriving on Wednesday because that was just getting confusing.