Sunday, August 16, 2009
Day 685 - Northern California Trip 09 - Part 1
Before we had kids, I always disliked the car trip to Northern California. It's rather desolate and boring, and except for the fumes from the cattle farms at Coalinga there's nothing to spike your attention. Now that we have kids, the car trip to Northern California is worse. If the trip pre-kids was akin to a root canal, the trip with kids is like a root canal and a colonoscopy...except the respective doctors do the procedure on the incorrect orifice.
The trip started on the wrong foot because I got on the wrong on-ramp. I wanted to get on 405 North, but I got on 101 West. Thankfully, I caught my mistake before I hit Santa Barbara, so I only added an extra four hours to our trip.
There are a few differences about taking a road trip with 22 month old kids versus 14 month olds. First of all, there is less to pack, but what you pack is more specific. You don't have to bring bottles, formula, breast pumps, bottle sanitizers, and other infant and nipple related items. But since the kids are older, you need to make sure you bring personal items that they are attached to. We stuffed in a duffel bag an assortment of book, toys, and dolls that they like to play with. The kids also enjoy playing with our next-door neighbor, but the kidnapping attempt proved to be unsuccessful.
Secondly, when the kids are awake their impatience with the trip is manifested in a different way. Eight months ago, the kids would just cry when they were getting bored in the car. And as a parent of twins, you tend to block out crying pretty well as long as you know your kids are safe and not dangling outside the car window. But things are different now that the kids are able to communicate with simple words. When bored in the car, Emma and Andrew supplement their whines and cries with punctuated words like "NO!", "OUTSIDE!", and "EXCESSIVELY MONOTONOUS!"
But the fun was only starting when we arrived in Santa Clara. Pulling up to Grandma Ichinaga's home, Lisa and I realized that Emma pewked in the car. Not a gigantic amount of vomit, but enough to soak a portion of her t-shirt and car seat strap. After taking Emma out of the spew seat, I grabbed some baby wipes to clean up. Unfortunately, I made a gigantic mess of the car seat straps because I did not pay heed to the velcro. Tufts of baby wipe fiber embedded itself into the hooks and loops of the velcro. I patiently used my long, manicured finger nails to clean the velcro of baby wipe and pewk.
After unloading the car, we all took a quick trip to the mini-mall down the road to rent a few movies at Blockbuster and buy some milk at the grocery store. At Blockbuster we rented a Blue's Clues video and a French film called "The Class." Both were great picks because the kids love Blue's Clues as well as films that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
We all walked as fast as possible to the grocery store to grab milk and some other groceries for the kids like fruit, cereal, and chewing tobacco. I used my Visa card to pay for the food, but it was declined. I know I'm out of a job right now (If any one would like to see my resume, please contact me!), but that should be no reason for my credit card to be declined. So on the drive back to Grandma Ichinaga's, I called my credit card company and there were fraudulent charges! Why would any one want to use my Visa card when my credit limit is only $150?
With pewk, velcro, and credit fraud on my mind, I started to unpack the car with our groceries. I looked around for our Blockbuster videos and only found the Blue's Clues dvd. I asked Lisa where our French movie was and she told me the last place she saw it was in the grocery cart.
With pewk, velcro, credit fraud, and a missing dvd, I drove back to the grocery store to look for the Blockbuster video. I checked the carts, customer service, and Blockbuster. The dvd was nowhere to be found...and it is still missing. Merde...
I returned home to help feed the kids dinner and give them a bath. After a long day, I was ready for it to end. But just as I suspected, when we put the kids to bed one of them revolted: Andrew. He was not happy to be in a new crib. So in one crib, we had Andrew throwing a fit shouting "OUT! OUT! OUT!" And in the other crib, we had Emma jumping and laughing shouting "NEW! NEW! NEW!" It took about fifteen minutes to calm (i.e. liquor) Andrew, but he finally fell asleep...for six hours.
Around 2am in the morning, Andrew woke up crying. He still was not happy to be in a new crib and in a new room. I suppose it was very observant of him to notice his new surroundings, but observation gets no brownie points in the middle of the night. It took over an hour until Andrew settled down (i.e. medicinal marijuana) and I cried myself to sleep.
And then three and a half hours later, both of the kids woke up and we officially began our family vacation...
TO BE CONTINUED...