I thought our trip up to Oxnard was a fluke because of its length. But it turns out our kids are just not that good in cars. Marcie in particular. She doesn't like to watch movies. Casey prefers movies to music.
We felt a little badly about piling up the van and leaving Sunday morning because the families had invited us to a "Day After" lunch at the beach house. We knew the kids would love the beach house, and we caught a tiny bit of flack from the groom's family when we said we weren't planning to attend. They had made the same drive, and they also had kids (though a bit older). The thing is, their kids are not our kids, and our kids needed to get home before naptime if we were going to get back on routine. And our kids fall apart if their routine does. So as much as we wanted to go to lunch, we knew it would be better for our kids not to.
Thing started out fun. Marcie played with my beautiful boquet. Casey colored. We stopped for gas as we left town, started a movie, and hit the road.
All went well enough for a long stretch. The first 20 minutes seemed to fly by-- mainly because that same stretch of road took us around an hour and a half to complete two days before. And there were bunches of traffic here and there, but we were never completely stopped. About an hour and a half into the ride, Marcie started crying and screaming that she wanted to listen to music. We gave in, promising that if she stopped crying, we'd turn on music. Then begged Casey to agree. And it worked.
We listened to music for a while, then told Marcie it was Casey's turn to watch some of his movie. She was angry. And she let us hear it. Eventually, about 35 minutes from home, we pulled off the freeway into a rest stop. By then, Marcie was arching her back, kicking and screaming that she wanted out. And Casey was echoing her pleas with whines of his own.
Apparently Disneyland is the exact perfect distance from our home if we want to avoid total meltdowns. If ever I thought a long road trip would be a good vacation plan, I have now adjusted my expectations. They seemed better after their nap.
And this morning, they were asking me about Ann. Where she was. Why. What she was doing. And life was back to normal.