Sunday, June 10, 2012

SE Roadtrip 2012: Awesome or Huge Mistake?

I have already been asked if I would do the Southeast roadtrip again if I knew... and the answer is yes! and maybe a tiny bit no. The tiny bit no part is that clearly it was too long of a trip for James, resulting in some sleep deprivation for him, and a fever when we got back. (Thank goodness he waited until we got home to get sick!)  So if we were doing it over we would make the trip shorter.

So here's what I learned about roadtripping with a baby:
  1. Don't get greedy- keep the trip to 10 days or less.
  2. Visiting friends is the best part!
  3. When staying at multiple hotels, it's best to pick one brand and stay with it. That way, each time you arrive somewhere "new" it still feels like coming home. We found the Red Roof Inn to be pretty consistent with refrigerators, microwaves, surprisingly decent coffee, and good room rates.
  4. Pack everything you need in case the baby gets sick. (We did, but didn't use it until we got home.)
  5. If you have a rule about when to travel or not travel with the baby, for the love of everything good and happy- follow it!
  6. Try to keep the baby's schedule on the road, otherwise his schedule will be a mess when you get back. Also, good luck with that.
  7. Don't expect to do too many things in a day, and accept that tons of things might go wrong. That's okay, it's part of the adventure. Also, it makes for funny posts by Kevin.
  8. If you're going to do this, you should be secure in the knowledge that you will spend tons more time with your spouse and child than is normal. That's great! But things might also get a little snippy here and there. You need to be okay with that and realize it's just part of the intensity of roadtripping with a baby.
  9. Roadtrips are awesome!
Smoky Mountains, TN 2012
James, getting in the car. 

Yes, it took forever to pack for 18 days. Yes, we were crazy enough to entertain Jeff and Caroline on the very day we were leaving for this crazy trip. And yes, it took us 12 hours of driving straight through the middle of the night to get to North Carolina in time. That was hard.

But we finally visited Audra and Rob at their home in North Carolina, met their adorable son Carter, and even spent part of Mother's Day with them. I got to see the two cutest people ever, Sarah and Aaron get married. By Day 4 we were wandering around Charlotte, NC without a clue what to do, but at least we started our BBQ binge!

Days 5-6, we visited Atlanta, Georgia for the first time and had the best BBQ ever. We stopped in Macon, Georgia so that James wouldn't lose his mind, and we got to visit some Ocmulgee mounds. We visited Trey and Sunny in Jacksonville, Florida, and got to meet their son Cort for the first time.

Savannah, GA 2012
Savannah, we love you! 

Day 8, we fell in love with Savannah, Georgia and by days 9-10, I had declared Charleston, South Carolina imminently livable. We stopped in Columbia, South Carolina and then kind of wished we hadn't.

On day 11, we hiked up Clingman's Dome Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We visited the Katy and Luke, and got to see a lot of Nashville. Day 13 was all about Elvis's home Graceland and some great Memphis BBQ. And then we washed all that BBQ  down with bourbon on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail on day 15.

Having rocked the South, we left and visited Chrissy, Jason, and Owen in Cincinnati, Ohio and even had some Cincy chilli with them. And we did all that before Memorial Day! We did more before Memorial Day than most people will do the entire summer. It made me feel like we really had a jump on the summer. Sadly, it was all a bit much for James and he was sick for a week after we came home. Oops.

Yes, traveling so much was incredibly hard, but it was also fantastic. We've been home over 15 days now, and the time has flown by with boring nothingness. Who wants that?

I love exploring, and going to the South before it got really hot seemed like the way to do it. The best part was definitely seeing our friends. You'd think we'd have kicked the travel bug by now, especially with James behavior, but no. We're doing it over at the end of the month, in New England with a focus on seeing our friends and family and not cities. But it's much shorter! It's um, 9 days.

Atlanta, GA 2012
James can't wait to get on the road again!

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