19.06.2015 - 21.06.2015
My husband is on a car forum online, and he learned that the yearly driving event they do was going to take place in PA. It would be Father's Day weekend, so it seemed like a good way to celebrate. Both the start and end of the drive were a couple of hours away from us, so we booked hotels and turned it into a weekend trip.
Thus far, our only trip with DD2 had been our night in DC the summer before. We still were facing the same challenges as then: keeping the girls from waking each other and keeping DD2 happy in the car. Again, we opted for hotel suites for the first issue and hoped for the best for the second.
On Friday, we left town in the morning and drove to Crayola Experience, which was near the start of the drive. We fielded many questions from DD1 about how far away we were and tried to keep our sanity when DD2 spent over an hour screaming and crying in the car. Once we got there, though, they had fun.
That evening we faced our first challenge again. We had a 2-room suite, so DD1 would take the pull-out couch, but what about DD2? Their bedtimes were close enough for them to share a room, but DD2 was typically waking up almost 2 hours before her big sister. Keeping her in our part of the suite would keep them from waking each other up, but it would mean an early lights-out for us. We were all tired and I was under the weather, so we chose to keep her with us. It worked out for me, but my husband ended up wide awake and watching TV in the lobby at 1 AM.
We made it to the starting point for the drive the next morning: a covered bridge in Allentown. Although families were welcome, we realized that we were the only people who brought along their kids. Then we looked at the itinerary. For some reason, we had thought that we'd be visiting 1 winery and 1 state park. Maybe we misunderstood, but now we saw that there would be stops at 2 wineries and no state parks: not exactly kid-friendly. I was a bit worried, but we managed. The first part of the drive was through various covered bridges with only brief stops, so that was fine. Our lunch stop--Hot Dog Johnny's in Belvidere, NJ--had a swing set, so that also helped. Both wineries had some green space where the girls could run around a bit, and we had packed lots of snacks, so we made it through that part of the day. Everyone on the drive welcomed the girls as well.
By the time we got back from the group dinner, all of us were fading. We again chose to have DD2 in our part of the hotel room and turn in when she did. There was no insomnia this time!
The end point of the Saturday's drive was a bit closer to home, so we only had a 2-hour drive back. We had some crying from DD2, but not as much as before. We made it back having lost a sippy cup and a rattle, but with our sanity intact.