The drive between Water Valley, MS and Vermont is roughly 28 hours when you factor in two small kids and a truck loaded with a summer's worth of tools and supplies.
Last year the kids and I did it in two days. Each way. It made an impression on the little ones, and this year they were not enthused about making the drive again.
So. The drive north was split across three days, with fun activities each evening, and they missed the drive home by flying with Alexe.
Day 1 of the drive north, we stopped at the Louisville zoo. The kids were grumpy almost all day.
Some time around the rhinos the grump started to melt off.
A VW van relocated from its life as a safari van in Africa to a Kentucky zoo display was a hit.
My little gorillas.
We had dinner and a game of hide and seek on the playground, then headed to the hotel.
Pleasant evening in the hotel room, we hit the impressive hotel breakfast bar, where my kids flexed their food-snob muscles. "These apples are mushy, not like mommy's." "These waffles aren't as good as yours, daddy." "This isn't real maple syrup, it's yucky." "This yogurt tastes funny."
Day two started out with less grump, though the rain kept on through KY, OH, and most of NY.
Lunch and run around break.
The evening of day 2, we stopped at Niagara Falls. (The derelict sections of Buffalo NY are mind bending.) It was Saturday night on the fourth of July weekend, and the place was packed. We spent an hour and a half in line waiting to get on the Maid of the Mist. The kids were great after spending all day in the truck. Caspian was especially affectionate, and I kept noticing older couples elbowing each other and beaming at us.
The line was impressive. Five across, which meant any time the kids were distracted, there was plenty of room for the line to flow around us, and it did, many times.
A moist ride.
That got grins.
After the 10 minute boat ride, we had to queue up again to catch the elevator back up.
They both decided they had done enough walking for the day. The wet, snoozy, hungry munchkins climbed onto me, and we made our way back through the visitors center, the park, the clutter of vendor crap, to the overpriced parking lot.
Changed into dry outfits, and stocked up with a healthy dinner of cheetos and pizza, (and water, no unhealthy sugar drinks here,) we got back on the road.
An hour later, with some support work from Alexe, we found a nice hotel in Rochester, and checked in for the night. The moment we made it to the room, Annaliese went to the desk and organized it.
A morning swim before getting back on the road.
I saw this in the Sunday paper I read poolside before hopping in with the kids.
By dinner time we were in Vermont at the grandparent's house.