Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day Three-Hundred Forty-Five: Twenty to Go!

Last night's late-night driving adventure didn't exactly go as planned.

We ended up picking Robbie up from day care around 5:30 (about 90 minutes later than I'd hoped) and hitting the road around 6 after picking up some Chick-Fil-A. That already set us for a very late night of traveling, but we had a cooler full of Diet Mtn. Dew, and I was feeling pretty good. Besides, it isn't as though three a.m. is the latest I've ever been up, and we've made this drive in that amount of time once before.

Robbie was really very good up until he went to sleep. I was afraid sitting still for so long wouldn't be too popular with him, but he dropped off around 7:30 or 8:00, like normal, with very little complaining. (Thanks again, Skillet, for giving us a CD that inexplicably always puts our sleepy toddler to sleep) About an hour after he fell asleep, Robbie started to fuss, but Kim was able to calm him down with some gentle lullabying, and we went on for another hour.

Then, 10:00 hit right around the time we made it to the north side of Dallas. He woke again, pitifully crying, "I want to get out! I want to go in my bed! I need my pillow!" Kim looks back, and he's doing everything in his power to stretch his body to its full length. In the past, he'd slept for hours in his car seat with no problem. Now, apparently he's too big/old for such a trick, and he was working himself into quite the fury trying to lie down and get comfortable. We thought maybe he'd cry himself back to sleep, but after half an hour, it was clear that it was getting worse, not better. We were at Denton and still had about five hours of driving left ahead of us, so we made the decision to find a hotel and sleep there for the night and come the rest of the way in the morning.

The first hotel we could find was a Best Western Inn & Suites. Brand new, too. I walked into the lobby and asked what the best rate they had for 2 adults was. The guy behind the desk did some searching on the compy and then came back with, "One-hundred nineteen." This was not pleasing to my ears. However, he did say, "We have a holiday rate right now, though, so I can give it to you for seventy-nine."

Sold, mister.

The room was really, really nice. It was larger than Kim and I's old apartment. There was a lot of room for Robbie to run around in, a full-length mirror for him to play with, a couch to climb on with a chaise lounge (the cushion was the perfect size to make a small bed for Robbie on the floor), and a view of the swimming pool outside the window. (Robbie liked to watch the waterfall) Furthermore, they had free Wi-Fi so we could hook up my laptop and pull up Robbie's favorite youtube videos, and there was a swivel chair that worked as perfect rocking chair to get him to settle back down. We also brought in our bowl of cookies. After all, the previous forty-five minutes had been perfectly traumatic for the kid, so we wanted to make this experience a fun one so that he will recall road trips with fondness and not dread.

We all dropped off to sleep between midnight and one and slept well. I felt really refreshed upon waking this morning. (Wow, so THAT'S what seven hours of sleep feels like!!!) Everything about the hotel was fun, the staff was nice, and even the breakfast was good. We may look into making an overnight hotel stay an annual part of our Christmas road trip.

Anyway, we're here safely. Apparently we're doing presents tomorrow and then dinner on Thursday before heading down to Oklahoma for Kim's family's Christmas on Christmas day. Hoping we don't get struck by the nasty ice storm that may be headed our way and striking Wellington on Thursday.

What I've learned? Hey, it's Christmas. Just go with it.