I grew up in Missouri and every summer we would road trip to Utah to visit family. I have fun memories of the long drives and I actually really like road trips… or at least I did until I was the mother of three small children. The last and only long (20+ hours) road trip we have taken as a family was two summers ago. We drove from KC, Missouri to St. George, Utah to Salt Lake, Utah and then home again over a two week period. It was insane.
Why have we sworn off road trips, you ask? Well, a week before we left on that trip, Kesler burned his shin on the tailpipe of my mom’s van. We didn’t have it checked out, but looking back on it I’m pretty sure it was a third degree burn. He was only 20 months and even back then, he was our emotional one. He seemed okay before we left and we tried to drive throughout the night so the kids would sleep, but of course Kesler would have nothing to do with it. His leg ended up getting infected on the drive and he pretty much cried all night. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t because of Kesler, and so I was too sleep deprived to even take a turn driving. Soren drove the entire night and I held Kesler. I think there were instances of peeing in bottles so as not to wake the kids by stopping and spilled smoothies in the van -but it’s all a hazy memory. We recovered a little in the morning, but somehow still had like eight hours to go. It was the longest drive ever. When we finally got to St. George, it was a relief, but I woke up with the worst migraine of my life the next day from the strain of the drive. It was awful. So awful. On the way home we did a little better by stopping overnight in Cheyenne and getting a hotel, but during that return trip, Soren came down with an ear infection that landed him in the hospital for two days the day after we got back. I’ve never seen him screaming in pain or even heard of someone going to the ER for an ear infection before. I think that there were special circumstances to make it harder than it had to be, but it was certainly bad enough that Soren won’t even consider a long road trip again. I mean, would you?