Monday, June 25, 2012

Road Trip

After Jonathan flew in with the kids Sunday night, he left Monday for a meeting in California.  The kids and I planned a trip later that week to Walla Walla to spend more time with Grandma and Grandpa Sinden.  Me, being an optimist, thought that while the drive would be long, with the right diversions and plenty of potty breaks it would be fairly straight forward.  After all, I had made the trip with three kids two years ago, what's one more?

Brian offered me the use of his minivan to make the trek with the following cravats:
1. the van leaked oil
2. the a/c doesn't work and
3. it has over 200,000 miles on it.

Frugal Cheap person that I am, I gratefully accepted, since I didn't want to fork over $100 a day on a rental.  

It practically takes an act of Congress to get all of the assorted kid and baby things organized, packed, and loaded in the car for a trip.  It never ceases to amaze how much stuff four children need, ranging from the clothes, books, snacks, baby crib, jackets, shoes, blankets, assorted over-the-counter medications, bathroom supplies, electronics, toys, et cetera.  We left sometime after 9, still fairly close to our target time of between 8:30-9.  

Our first pit stop was still in Puyallup to fill up with gas and put more air in the rear tires.  Nobody needed to use the bathroom yet- good.  Onward!  About an hour later we were cruising through Snoqualmie pass when I noticed the car overheating.  The extent of my car knowledge was hot engine = very bad, so we immediately pulled over to the side of the road and I called my Dad.  He suggested we wait 10 minutes for it to cool, and then take it slowly to the next exit to a gas station.  Which we did.  Fortunately North Bend wasn't too far away.  We topped off with water in Bend, checked the oil, said a family prayer for safe travel to Walla Walla, and then kept a careful eye on the temperature gauge.  This little excursion added an additional 40 minutes to our trip. 

211,111 miles!  Brian, this one's for you.

Thankfully the car behaved.  Mostly.  It was on the trip that I discovered that while the a/c didn't work at all, the heat worked a little too well.  Even with the heat and fan theoretically OFF, the car vents still heated the car.  We kept the windows rolled down the entire way.  It was loud, but on the bright side it did drown out most of the noise from the backseat!

Matthew took some pictures along the way.

Not sure why he was inspired by the trucks...

Between the regularly scheduled and unscheduled potty breaks and a looong layover at Dairy Queen in Ellensburg [population 18,000 plus three times that in cows], we finally pulled in at 4:30 PM.  Corinna did extremely well, up until 4 when she'd finally had enough of the carseat and yelled the rest of the way.   This, naturally, woke up Isaac who also voiced his displeasure, quite loudly.  In addition, my phone's gps couldn't get a signal once we were within 100 miles, so I had to rely on memory.  I felt pretty confident up until Last Chance road and then called Grandma who directed us the rest of the way.  

It wasn't the best of trips but it wasn't the worst either, and WE MADE IT!  


Adrasteia said...

Those pictures look VERY familiar! haha I'm glad y'all made it. That drive can be exhausting, for sure. /hug Can't wait to see you!

Rachel Ellis said...

We survived. :p Can't wait to see you too!