Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Road trip day two- back for more

A little more about this road trip...
One of my cousins is getting married this weekend in Iowa. I haven't been to Iowa since my Grandfather died six years ago. That means some of my family has never met the girls. My mom and two of my sisters decided to make a road trip of it and I figured it was as good as time as any to go.

So we are caravaning in two mini-vans since one of my sisters has four kids and I'm hauling my two. Bill did not come along. I'm pretty jealous of him right about now.

The itinerary
We started out the day about two hours south of St. Louis (two hours according to the navigation system which means 3.5 hours for us). We planned to spend a little time seeing the arch and letting the kids blow of some energy before heading the rest of the way to our final destination...Dubuque, IA. The nav said five hours from St. Louis to Dubuque. It was a little more than that for us.

The fun begins
We got to St. Louis and found the river front to be flooded. This means we spent a lot of time finding detours to the arch. It's a big giant half of a McDonald's arch. You can spot it from Mars. But I can't tell you how to actually drive to the parking for it. We drove past it countless times and waved at it. At one point a guy cut me off and flipped a U-turn in the middle of the road. I railed on the horn and Reagan shouted at him, "DUDE!" I suppose there are worse things I could have taught her to say in that situation.

Elevators
Elevators shall be avoided for the rest of the trip. Once we finally found a parking garage, we had to use the elevator to go up one level to exit. The elevator came, the kids ran on, the door shut, and off they went. All of the adults were left standing in front of the elevator while you could hear the kids screaming from the elevator as it took off. We started laughing and then we hear the kids getting off. They went the wrong way and were a floor below us. Kids were running up the stairs, Mom was running down, while my seven year old niece had Reagan in a stroller and couldn't take the stairs. She gave a frantic, I'm stranded, "HELP!" The nine year old was crying because we were laughing and was coming up, I was going down. We all missed each other several times. We finally got everyone back in one elevator and headed up when a couple got on with us. We were still laughing so hard they were a little scared to get on.

But that wasn't enough of the elevators. It turns out there is an elevator in the arch--a really, really long ride elevator. It's not so much an elevator as a spaceship like evacuation pod that happens to ride up and down the arch. It is small, it is cramped, and it freaked out my two year old nephew, Landon.
Here is my mom, my sister Megan, and Reagan and Bailey in our "pod" up into the arch.



We got to the top of the arch, took a few photos, and got in line to head back down in our space pods. They are so small we had to go in two pods. There are eight of them that are stung together like a monorail that run up and down the arch. My sister, Tara, and her kids in one, the rest of us in another.
Pictures from the top of the arch. Looking out the little windows:




Landon was so freaked out going up, that he didn't want to go back in to go down. The doors were starting to close so she picked him up and tossed him in, kicking and screaming. While he was kicking, his shoe flew off. Her five year old noticed it and as she was throwing one kid in and blocking the door, the five year old was popping out to dive for the shoe and the door continued to close. We could hear Tara screaming and in between screams we hear "Landon, JD, shoe." Our doors had already closed and the pods were starting to move while we still hear shouts. We couldn't see anything going on, we just had visions of one of the kids left behind at the top of the arch. Losing the kids one floor in a parking garage wasn't that big of a deal. Leaving a kid at the top of the arch...big deal. We panicked and started banging on the pod door to help get someone's attention for Tara. But through all of our banging the pods moved and down we went.

I turns out Tara managed to block the door long enough to get all of the kids and the shoe back in. We were relieved, but decided no more elevators for the time being.

The drive
Total time according to navigation between Nowheresville, IL and Dubuque, IA- 7 hours.
Our total time- 12 hours
That's what happens when you stop every hour because someone out of ten has to pee, poop, eat, get gas, give off gas, or stop to buy Red Bull and ear plugs (hypothetically speaking on that last part).

I think after two solid days of driving with cranky, crabby, crying, kids I have one of two choices...
1) Sell the car and fly home
2) Declare permanent residence in Dubuque

Tomorrow's agenda
I do not know what is on the agenda for tomorrow. I know it will start with my kids up at the arse crack of dawn. I know I shall not do anything in the car that requires more than a ten minute drive to our destination.

P.S. Cool tidbit
Today, Reagan learned to do complete sommersaults by herself!
Other pics to share because they are cute and fun...
My niece, Savannah, age nine on the St. Louis riverfront looking at the river.
My neice, Shelby, age seven contemplating the universe while chillin in the grass at the park at the arch.

20 comments:

London said...

How fun! (Well maybe not for you). I took a three month old on a 12 hour drive to Ohio once, that was pretty crazy. I used to live near St. Louis and I rememember going up the "pod" to the top of the arch!

Mama Mia said...

Oh Bridget, can't wait to hear more....

Teri said...

Nothing like a road trip with the kids...

Joanna said...

I always wonder if you laugh as much during these scenarios as you do when you are telling the story.

Karen said...

We are planning a road trip next month but only have one child. I hope it turns out as good as yours!

~ Jill ~ said...

Oh wow - I did a roadtrip with Robert once and never again!!! Good luck!!!

MomMega said...

Oh my, I have tears streaming down my face! I am totally addicted to your blog, you are absolutely hilarious!!

scargosun said...

You will look back on this and laugh. I know I did. The elevator thing is actually really funny though I can see how it would be terrifying for parents and kids at the time.

My3sons said...

Sounds like your dealing with the trip as well as is expected. The elevator fiasco is one of my nightmares. LOL

Mrs. Parks said...

FUN!
Great blog, glad I found you : )

Maternal Mirth said...

I have always wondered what it looked like inside the arch ... now I know my claustrophobic-ass won't be catching *that* view any time soon :)

Mom Taxi Julie said...

OMG I so don't envy you! My 5 year old was asking me what was so funny when I was LOL about the kids in the elevator!

Elisa said...

are there any boys with you on the trip? Because it sounds like it's a gals roadtrip - that's fun! well, sort of since we all know girls are all drama queens... but usually can be calmed down with something sparkly :-)

Gina said...

I H-A-T-E that arch elevator!!!!! HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!!!!!!
I don't like heights or closed up spaces (which is why, of course, I decided to be a flight attendant for a while!!!) and that about did me in.
Kids. Ahhhh, kids.

Mountain Mom said...

Your road trip story is a little too reminiscent of our big road trip last year with the kids. 20+ hours straight through from the mountains of CO to Ohio to see my family. We didn't have a convoy, as it was just us in our minivan, but there was lots of crying, too much heat and a bout of diarhea. Ah yes...memories...lol!

MrsMoma said...

That looks like a ton of fun!! I'm sure it is stressful though.

Go Reagan on the summersaults!! That's so cute.

Joyce said...

This is hilarious! I know it wasn't at the time, but it is for the rest of us. I know our day will come.

Tara said...

LOL! It's amazing how well you capture our excitement!

So we came, we saw, we conquered. It's been 10 years since I made that trip and I promise it will be 10 years before I do it again! At least by then my youngest will be 12!

Z's Mom said...

Ah...you were in my flooded neck of the woods. Sorry to hear you guys had soooo many elevator problems. I always thought the pods in the Arch looked like toilets when you look at the pictures. And yes, driving in downtown St. Louis can be confusing....even for those of us who live here.

Michelle said...

Ok, I have no idea how I missed this post!

I can't believe you were smiling in the pod at the arch. I went up once as my husband is from STL. NEVER AGAIN. I discovered that I truly do have claustrophobia, and it was miserable. The guys in the pod with us on the way down kept trying to distract me from freaking out and were really worried about my color.... It was not fun.