As promised - details of the 12 hour ride
Factor in two kids and a poodle with killer breath and it makes for a house of horrors on wheels.
Leg 1: Palm Beach Gardens to Gotha
We started out about 15 minutes behind schedule, mostly because Big E had a last minute poop right when we were loading him up. Foul on him. This leg of the journey was uneventful. No stops. Big E had a snack and Little E took a nap. We were fresh and had ice cold Coke Zeros. We could take on the world.
Leg 2: Gotha to Ocala
We spent a few hours in Gotha visiting with the extended Yoy family. Big E had a great time playing with his Grandpop. We had lunch together and then loaded everyone back up. We made it about an hour and a half until traffic on 75 came to a stop. Some guy trailing his boat dumped the boat onto the highway. Awesome. Thank goodness we are semi-familiar with the area as we jumped off the highway, gassed up, and got back on a few miles north. Time lost: 30 minutes. At this point we are running about an hour behind schedule. I can live with this.
Leg 3: Ocala to Gainesville
I know you are thinking, wait, that is only like 30 miles. Yes, we are aware of that. But are you aware that there is a Pita Pit in Gainesville? The gravitational pull was too strong. I released the steering wheel and that minivan just drove itself to the PP parking lot. Even though we had eaten lunch 3 hours earlier, we had to indulge. Big E even got a free cookie for having such good manners while ordering. I was so proud.
Leg 4: Gainesville to some random town in Georgia
This part of the trip is awful. We counted the anti-abortion billboards to pass the time. We counted twelve. We concluded there must be some crazy sh*t going on in North Florida. The small towns all run together. The battery on Big Es DVD player dies. We turn the music up really loud to drown out his constant chatter. Little E is an angel, as always. No one naps. Not even Mrs. Yoy. Poodle is breathing her death breath in my direction. It smells like rot. I gag.
Leg 5: Random GA Town to Mr. Yoy's office
We gas up one final time. Little E has a major poonami requiring a diaper change. Gas station attendant gives me a dirty look when I throw said poonami in the trash at the gas station. We are starting to feel like we are never going to get home. Big E is whining away in the way back seat. He keeps dropping items: giraffe, water, stickers, crayons! If we do not climb back there to retrieve the item Big E immediately turns on the tears. I search feverishly for an ejection button. Can't we just launch this kid out of here? I climb in back to feed Little E his bottle. Wait, we are only in Forsyth? How can that be?
Leg 6: Mr. Yoy's office to our home
I drop Mr. Yoy off to pick up his car. I head home. I could do this drive in my sleep. It is about 15 minutes, but tonight it feels like hours. We finally make it home. Twelve plus hours later. I want to crawl into bed, but now I must unload the car and pull out items we need for bedtime. Sound machines, sheep, bear, Elmo, duck, other duck, other other duck!
We are flying to NY in a few weeks. If Big E does well on the flight, his first in an actual seat, our days of driving down to South Florida may be over. And that will be fine by me.