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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where In the World Is Jen Baxter? (you'll never guess...)

So I've been absent from Blogland, because....I'M ON A ROAD TRIP!!! Don't you love it when someone says, "Hey, I'm driving twelve-ish hours to Utah - with my four children, ages 8, 6, 3, and 4 months. I'm leaving in three days, wanna come?"

And you say yes. And just to make things more exciting, you'll be bringing your two year old. Because everyone knows two year olds are REALLY FUN to road trip with.

We actually did pretty well until we hit Utah. Granted, we were running a bit behind schedule, due to nursing stops and a family visit to her great uncle's house. Then in the lovely (and rather desolate, frigid, WINDY) town of Jerome, we took an hour break at McDonald's Playland.

Have they been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize yet? Because they should be. McDonald's Playlands are bringing relief to travel worn parents of small, road-tripping children across the nation - and perhaps the world. (Does anyone know if McD's has playlands overseas??? Because if they roadtrip over there, they pretty much should. Maybe I should send them a memo...)

So running about three hours behind schedule, we head south to catch the I15 junction on our way to Logan. Almost delirious with relief, we see a sign informing us we're a mere 45 minutes from our destination.

And then we come to the roadblock: "Highway is closed due to a whiteout. Detour through Pocatello to reach Logan."

A WHITEOUT???!!!! IN MARCH???!!!! And following this mind blowing information - POCATELLO???!!!! Seriously.

From where we were (45 min from destination, with FIVE tired, bored, uncomfortable, crabby children representing each stage of child-development, i.e. versions of get-me-out-of-this-car-ish-ness) we now had over an hour ahead of us. And that wasn't counting the COMPLETELY iced-over roads of the lovely Pocatello.

Can we say long, narrow, skating rink for minivans??? 'Cause that's what it was. With my own, lovely and adorable two year old screaming in my ear as I drive. And I'm no slouch on bad roads, either. I may be from the NW, but I've done six winters in the Utah/Rexburg/Spokane regions of winter driving, and a little snow and ice doesn't bother me.

To make a long story short, TWO AND A HALF HOURS after being a mere 45 min from Logan, we pulled into town.

A full eighteen hours after our departure.

And I have never been so happy to arrive ANYWHERE in my entire life.

And in a few days, we get to drive home. Wow. Hard to contain my excitement for that one...

24 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I have three suggestions: DVD player, bottomless M&M dispenser, and Benadry. And don't forget prayer. Good luck.

LisAway said...

I don't think I've ever seen an indoor playplace, at least not in Poland. Some McDonalds' have the slide outside and a very few have a tiny playground (only outside).

I just remembered that in Denmark I think the one we went to had a playplace. But I'm not sure.

Nothing like an unexpectedly prolonged, already very long drive!

Better luck on your way home!

Robyn said...

Going home should be easier because the weather will be better. We were shocked to see blizzard conditions while we were at church! You must have been driving in it.

Sue Q said...

See, I think YOU deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for agreeing to go along with your friend in the first place! We used to get away with such spontaneity when we were childless (and, often, mindless as well back then), but to attempt this feat with five children under the age of nine? At least, I would have taken along a teenager!

Sue Q said...

Hey, one more thing: have you ever been nominated for the blog spotlight on Mormon Mommy Blogs? If not, you have now!

Barbaloot said...

Wow---and I thought the weather was ruining MY life. I'm sorry-I'm glad you made it there eventually and hopefully you get nothing but nice, easy roads on the way home.

jane said...

cRaZy! this snow is ruining everyone's spring around here. i hope your time in Utah is fabulous! and I hope it stops snowing while you are here!

good luck on that drive home!

jane said...

and yes, there are playlands at the mcdonald's overseas... !

{thank goodness!}

Machen family said...

I don't know why anyone would want to come to Utah, except if it would be to come see me, then it's alright.

Melissa Bastow said...

Having been acquainted with all parts of Idaho, I had to laugh when you mentioned being thankful for being in JEROME. Seriously. Ok, really you were talking about the McD's playland, but still. JEROME. IDAHO. That's when I knew things were getting desperate. (I'm not even going to start in on Pocatello....shudder...)

Kellie said...

Except for the snow thing, I'm completely jealous that you're in Logan. My home sweet home. I really hate Ohio. Or at least Cleveland.

Jen said...

All I have to say about Jerome, is that it was the perfect introduction for my friend to southern Idaho's incessant, frigid BLASTS of wind.

It really has nothing to recommend it outside of that playland.

Natalie said...

I'm cracking up, because we did a similiar journey last year (remember when we pulled the kids out of school to road trip it to Dustin's grandparents last February?) That trip was one detour after another and we kept having to pull over to chip the icecicles that were forming all over our vehicle off so that we could move. It took us 26 hours to get to Salt Lake. Never again. (Unless we go in the summer anyway... assuming our air conditioning works...) Glad you guys made it and have a few days relax!

Denys said...

I can somewhat sympathize - my 15 hour trip to Elma took 21 hours! And I had no other adult to tag team with - luckily there were only 2 kids. Don't want to think about 5!! I know what you mean about McD's - one saved our sanity in the Chehalis area.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Well maybe you got the worst road trip ever out of your system. Or Not. Life is tricky that way. Everyone has to have a road trip that questions your will to liveat least once in your life.

I have had several. One of them was when I drove from So Cal to Logan by myself with a 5 year old and 2 year old. It was not as bad as I though it would be, but can I say play lands in St George and Beaver--happy happy things. Totally agree with the nobel peace prize concept.

Good luck on the return trip.

H.K. said...

Mcdonald's Playlands come in handy during rainy weather too! Eighteen hours of being in the car with that many children? You deserve a medal!

(I saw your blog on Mormon Mommy Blogs)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I hope you get better weather on your way back :-)

Annie Valentine said...

Don't go. Stay stay stay stay stay...

Laura said...

Hmmm, I distinctly remember you saying you don't care if the kids scream the entire way, it will just be great to go on a road trip! I don't feel too bad for ya! lol

Jen said...

It wasn't the screaming (except while our lives were in jeopardy), it was the ice/snow/detour.

Those stunk.

Kristin said...

You might be certifiably kooky but at least you're fun!

nikkicrumpet said...

YIKES! And you said "yes" why????? Although even with the snow I wish I was in UTAH!!!!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

And you're still alive to TELL about it???

You're amazing...I think I would have cried...and not a pretty cry either...especially since you were a mere 45 mintues to destination!

Shelley said...

Welcome back to Utah!