...I have the best kids in the world.
That's right. I do. It turns out Alex is pretty content in the car and Austin doesn't mind it either -- as long as there's something to do.
As planned, I left at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, picked Austin up at the sitter's and was on the highway 10 minutes later. The first hour was pretty uneventful. Austin was being chatty and Alex just stared out the window.
Magically, they both fell asleep for the second hour and I got a little lead-footed in hopes of gaining a couple of extra kilometres while they slept.
Austin woke up first and then just before we hit Gananoque (past Kingston), Alex woke up and I decided this was a good as time as any to take a break. Alex was going to need a bottle, Austin was going to need to run off a little energy and I really, really needed to pee.
I found a McDonalds and all three of us did what we needed to do. And nearly an hour later, we all got back into the car. That's right, I said an hour. Roadside stops with two kids sure aren't the same as when Ryan and I could jump out of the car, hit the bathroom, grab coffees or food and be back on the road 13 minutes later.
It was at this point that I turned on my GPS to figure out the directions to my sister's house and discovered that I only had 150 kilometres to go!
The next little while was passed by listening to a mix CD that I had made for the kids. That killed about 45 minutes as we held sing-a-longs to the likes of baa-baa black sheep and Old McDonald. Just like pit stops, the driving mix CD has come a long way from my pre-kids road trips.
I arrived at the 416 to turn up towards Ottawa just as it was starting to get dark and that's around when the kids got fussy. I kept leaning back to give Alex her soother -- which kept her happy -- but with about 60 kilometres to go, Austin declared he wanted to get out and walk. Trying to supress a laugh, I pulled over, hooked up the ipod and handed him an episode of Wonder Pets to watch. He has never before watched TV in the car and the novelty of it did the trick -- he was quiet until we got there.
Exactly 4 hours and 53 minutes after we got on the highway, I pulled into my sister's driveway.
Unfortunately, coming home didn't exactly go as planned. I was going to leave Saturday night -- around bedtime -- and drive straight through until I got home while the kids slept in the back seat. But by 4 p.m. that afternoon, I decided that the weather forecast was looking grim and the thought of driving at night, in snow, while I was tired was enough to make me stay one extra night and hope for the best in the morning.
We left at 9:30 a.m. Alex promptly fell asleep for about half an hour and then was content to play with the toys I handed her but Austin was whiny and restless. Thankfully, a sing-a-long, followed by a steady stream of toys and one episode of Wonder Pets helped him get over it. We made it to the first rest stop past Kingston before pulling over (about 2 hours). We spent the next hour (yup, an hour) getting lunch, eating lunch, hitting the bathroom, changing poopy diapers and running around the playplace at McDonalds (while Alex drank her bottle after lunch).
And amazingly, when we got back in the car, they both fell asleep fairly quickly and for the next hour and a half, I got to listen to my music mix on the ipod. By the time Austin woke up, we were coming up on Whitby. Alex didn't wake up until we pulled into the driveway -- exactly 5 hours after we left my sister's place.
And although I was pretty tired when I got back -- and really needed a break from the kids (which was ok, because after three days of not seeing them, Ryan really wanted to be around them), I think I'd be brave enough to attempt a trip like this again one day.