Thursday, February 24, 2011

Impromptu Road Trip, concluded

It took a couple of days with a stopover in Des Moines to do it, but we did make it home more or less in one piece. Hallie lost a jacket on the bus from the Denver hotel to the airport, Landon lost a sippy cup, and his car seat ended up flying to Detroit ahead of the rest of us, but otherwise we managed to make the 1,300 mile trip without incident. As with our return trip from California, we wended our way in a rental (a 2011 minivan from Virginia with less than 8,000 miles on it. Virginia--makes you wonder how it got to Colorado for us to then drive it to Michigan. . . .), through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana on our way to Michigan, and once again we only hit questionable roads as we closed in on home.

Hallie wants a minivan of her very own someday.
While most people would not consider hitting the road rather than booking another flight when stranded far from home, we figured that at least three of us had already covered 10,000 miles in the Buick on our previous trips to the coasts, so what was another couple of dozen hours on the road? For this trip, we chose a minivan because we had five of our original six pieces of luggage, two small children in large car seats (one on loan from the airline), and the need to look after said wee ones in relative ease and comfort to preserve what little sanity remained with us Monday morning. We put Landon in a seat in the third row (the other part of which we folded down to accommodate bags), and we put Eliza the second row captain's chair in front of him. Hallie and Mike took turns entertaining the kiddies from the second row while the other drove. In an inspired moment prior to her leaving to pick up Eliza (back when the original plan was to have her do the whole Utah thing on her own), Hallie had brought the GPS with her. We now put it to work telling us about traffic conditions, speed limits, and places where we could find cheap gas en route.

How the girl spent the trip
These amazing kids of ours just took it all in stride. Fortunately, Landon had his trusty Diego backpack to keep him occupied. Although he wondered why we weren’t flying and remarked a few times about wanting his old car seat, he otherwise just sat contentedly coloring in his coloring books, playing with his toys, reading his books, and entertaining himself with Mike’s work iPad (tablets are the future—the kid has taken to Mike’s like a duck to water). Eliza slept nearly the whole way. We won’t keep pressing our luck that these two continue to travel so well, but if they do, yippee for us!

(not our pic, but a good imitation)
The storm that stranded us in Denver left vestiges of snow and ice along our way. At around 4 PM each day, we were treated to the sight of trees and grass covered in frost that glittered like shining silver in the golden afternoon light. We only began to see substantial snow drifts as we arrived outside the Motor City on Tuesday night. By the time we made it to the airport to drop off our rental, most of the roads had been cleared. We arrived at the house to find comically high piles of snow and bills (our first invoice from the hospital beat us home). Oy vey. Our neighbors’ son had collected our mail and shoveled our walks in our absence. Thanks, Miles! You’re awesome!


Mike & Lila Family said...


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