The past week or so, I've been trying to plan ahead for a trip we're taking in May. My sister Katie is graduating from WSU (hooray for graduating, even if it is from WSU) on May 9th and we're all going over to Pullman for the ceremony. It's funny. I don't typically think of our family being that big, but it has definitely grown in the last 4 years! Instead of it being just my mom and us three kids, we now have added Steve, Paul, Juliet and Jilly. Also, my Auntie Karen comes down from Edmonton, Alberta for these graduation-y events. So total, there will be 9 of us! That's a lot, especially considering Katie will be moving home (at least for a few months) right after the ceremony. So there will be 8 of us traveling for the weekend, then Katieand all her gear coming home on Saturday. Quite the caravan load coming across the state.
I've been stressing a bit about such a long road trip for our family (it's typically a 5-6 hour drive, but add in graduation/weekend traffic plus our issues and it could easily be more). Normally, I enjoy road trips and wouldn't mind this at all. BUT it seems each one of the three of us (Halls) have some issue that will contribute to making it a little more difficult. Steve hates being in the car, pretty much any time, but especially for long periods of time. Poor guy gets a bit claustorphobic and thus likes to stop every hour to get out and walk around. Me, I will be 7 months pregnant at the time and my bladder will be at less than normal capacity. Plus, sitting for that long can get quite uncomfortable with all the added weight and pressure. And Jilly? Well, she'll be 2 1/2. I think that's all I need to explain for that one. ;-)
But there are a few bright points that will make the trip easier. We're going to try and leave around Noon on Friday, so we don't get to Pullman too late. Steve normally gets off work at 2:30pm, so I'm hoping that he can get off just a couple hours early without having to take any vacation time. Next, we have great Air Conditioning in our car. Jilly gets really upset in the car if she is too hot, so the A/C will help keep her comfortable. Really, I am so grateful that we have a very good, reliable car, that I don't have to worry about taking over the mountains and completely across the state. We get great gas mileage too. Another thing, we'll be traveling during nap time. I think our loyal friend, Mr. Benadryl, will make an appearance and help coax the Beanie Beast into peaceful slumber at least half the way (hey- I can dream, right?). I was talking to some friends about the trip and Heidi asked if we had a portable DVD player. I said, "No, but I wanted to ask around and borrow one if I could." Well, she has one and offered to let us borrow it for the trip. Hooray! I think that will make things easier on Jilly too. Granted, she is only 2 and sometimes a movie can't hold her interest for the entire length. But stuck in a car with no other options, I think it will help a lot. We'll surely be filling our cooler with lots of snacks and drinks for all of us.
And the best part is on Saturday, we'll probably be caravan-ing it back. There will be three cars and 9 people total, eight of them being adult drivers. That means there will be lots of people willing to come and sit with Jilly for a spell, or better yet, take her in their car and let her parents be alone. ;-) It also means that we can stop occasionally and switch around, so no one has to drive the entire time. I think it will be quite manageable with all the (abundantly willing) help. It's lucky Jilly is as cute and adorable as she is. Everyone always wants to be with her, which makes things so easy on us as her parents. Since Katie's ceremony is at 8 or 9 that morning, we'll probably be leaving Pullman around 12 which will give us plenty of time to get home at a leisurely pace.
I have to say I am really looking forward to this trip. It'll be fun to get out of town and see the place where Katie's been going to school for 2 1/2 years. I've never been to Pullman, so that should be interesting. And the part I am really looking foward to is that it will be May in Eastern Washington, which means it should be sunny and warm! Wahoo!! Ultimately of course, this is a great thing for Katie and something that deserves a lot of celebration! Hooray!!! She actually beat me to a Bachelor's degree. Congrats to her for sure.
I think I've thought this out fairly well and will continue to do so. But if anyone has any awesome suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them!! :-)