Road Trip Torture

Warning: this entire post is mostly one long complaint. I am recording it mainly as a reminder to myself that if I ever so much as THINK about doing a ten-hour car trip with the twins during the day again, I can look back and go, “Oh yeah. That was a nightmare!” 
Bye Utah!
On the way to Utah, we left about 7 p.m. and drove straight through the night, stopping once or twice for gas. Jake and I split the driving shifts so that we could sleep and, while we were pretty exhausted that last hour or so, the road trip was great for two reasons: 1. The girls slept the whole time, which meant no diaper changes, no whining for toys, no snacks needed; and 2. The girls slept the whole time, so no need to stop and take a stretching or play break. 
For some reason, on the way back home, the thought of driving through the night again seemed too daunting. Instead, we decided to leave around noon, let the girls nap in the car and try and make it to at least St. George or Mesquite, where we would stop to let the girls get their energy out. 
The good: The girls ended up taking a long nap and we made it to Cedar City before they woke up. They were very cranky for about an hour until we made it to St. George, but it was doable. Once we arrived in St. George, we found a hotel and then set out to let the girls run around. We found an indoor inflatable play place that was air conditioned, totally empty and only cost five bucks! A win!
Watching Jake carry both girls up inflatable stairs was both nerve-wracking and impressive.

The girls weren’t the only ones who got work outs. They begged Jake and I to take them up and down the slide over and over!

Once the girls had burned off all that energy, they conked out very quickly at the hotel. 

Sleepover!

The bad: 
Jake and I set our alarms to wake up in the middle of the night so that we could make the rest of the trip home while the girls were asleep. I guess we were exhausted because we both slept through our alarms and the girls woke us up the next morning. Wanting to get home as quickly as possible at that point, we decided to leave and prayed that the girls would fall asleep in the car. 
That didn’t happen. Despite scouring Pinterest before our trip to put together as many toddler car activities as possible and keeping a stash of beloved snacks/new toys I could pull out every once in a while to keep the girls entertained, they were miserable the entire way to Vegas. They didn’t sleep at all and I about lost my mind turning around every minute to retrieve a thrown Wub, mediate a squabble, give a snack or take away a toy one twin was using to hit the other. 
After an hour of torture, we couldn’t take it anymore, so I googled toddler friendly places in Vegas and came up with this outdoor mall on the outskirts of town. It was a hundred degrees at 10 a.m., but we withstood the heat in order to get the girls’ wiggles out. The mall had a play place and a splash pad that the girls entertained themselves in for an hour. 
So happy to be out of the car!

Peekaboo!

Samantha and Amelia’s may despise our car, but they sure spent a huge chunk of time playing in these toy ones!

               

The ugly: 
After melting off energy in the hot sun and eating lunch, the girls fell asleep immediately in the car and we were home free…or so we thought. In our jubilation that the rest of the trip would be a breeze, we forgot to top off our gas tank and only made it to Baker before having to fill up. As soon as the car’s engine turned off, Samantha’s eyes popped open. I prayed she’d go back to sleep as soon as the car started again, but not only was she awake for good, she woke up her sister to join in the fun. 
After a few minutes of quietly enjoying some books and toys, the squawking started. I can only describe it as the most annoying bird-esque sound you’ve ever heard. It was high-pitched, repetitive and ear-splitting. Both girls would talk their “bird language,” every few minutes after throwing a toy or activity to the floor in frustration and annoying me until they received something new. This continued for two hours, and by the last hour, my neck hurt so bad from constantly turning around that I begged Jake to switch seats with me so I could drive. I hate driving, so that’s saying a lot!
In addition to squawking, the girls alternated between screaming and crying. They would wriggle around in their seats, clearly uncomfortable and let out miserable little cries of boredom. These whimpers quickly escalated into full-on banshee screaming that lasted twenty minutes at a time. When we were an hour away from home, the girls (and Jake and I) had reached our breaking point, so we stopped at a McDonald’s in the desert and let the girls run around for a few minutes in the sweltering heat. 
Geared up for the last hour home, we made make-shift Ipad and Iphone holders which we strapped to the back of our headrests and turned on a Baby Einstein episode for the girls to watch. After their initial protests of being back in the car, they were actually quiet the rest of the way home. Wish we had bought two holders before our trip and thought of that sooner!
By the time we got home, none of us wanted to see each other for the next 48 hours, including Bandit who was squished between the screaming girls the entire trip. Jake, who is normally the most easy-going, calm person I know, was visibly stressed and said that there’s no way he’s ever driving with them again–next time we’re flying. 
I couldn’t even look at my car for the next week I was so traumatized. In terms of pure torture, our nightmare road trip ranks up there for me with the sleep-deprivation that came with breastfeeding, pumping and bottle feeding (times two) every three hours for the first three months of their lives! I know the military uses sleep deprivation as a form of torture, but they should really consider borrowing Samantha and Amelia for a car trip one of these days to see if their interrogations get better results!
Note to self about daytime road trips with toddler twins: NEVER again!
Lots of love, 
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