Tag Archives: road trip

Road Tripping With Abuelo

Song Lyric of the Day:

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone / You shine It when I’m alone / And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong / And dreaming when they’re gone

Ellie Goulding / “Lights

On Saturday, Coraline and I drove with my dad, her abuelo, down to Alabama so she and I could finally meet Miranda, her new cousin and my new (and first) niece. Cora and I got up at the same time we do on weekdays, got to my parents’ house at 8:30AM, and were on the road by 9AM. Three hours of salsa music later (¡Ay caramba! — it all sounds the same to me. Guess who picked the radio station?), we pulled into Ken and Vanessa’s driveway, where my nephew Elliott ran out shouting, “Auntie Pattie, I missed you!” before hurling himself into my arms. Not too shabby a greeting. Then he hopped into the backseat of my car to say hi to Coraline, who was groggy as she was just waking up from a two-hour nap. We made our way inside, where I finally got to meet and hold Miranda, who is 10 weeks old today. And if I do say so — in my completely unbiased opinion, of course — she’s a little beauty. See?

Happy Miranda (4/28/12)

Not only was Coraline giddy to see and hang out with her cousin Elliott, she fell in love with Miranda. Coraline loves babies, and her new cousin was no exception. She kissed her so many times while we were there she reminded me of one of those little glass drinking bird thingies, constantly standing up then bending over to kiss Miranda.

Coraline kisses her new cousin, Miranda, for the hundredth time.

While there, we enjoyed lunch at a Mexican restaurant, a trip to Barnes & Noble where I picked out books from me and Rich to Elliott and Miranda (Elliott’s unexpected selection was Angry Birds Space), and a fruitless-for-me visit to DSW. After hanging out another couple of hours back at their house, it was time for me, Dad, and Coraline to head back home. For the return drive, I selected The Airborne Toxic Event on my iPod, my preemptive strike against more salsa music. We stopped for dinner at a Quiznos, where Coraline wasted time playing with olives and cucumber slices before deigning to eat any of the turkey and cheddar slider I got her. Dad took over driving from there, so it was back to the salsa music. Sigh.

Even though this was just a day trip, it meant a  lot to me, not only because I got to see my sister and her family, who we’ve missed since they moved, but because — believe it or not — this was my first-ever road trip with my dad. And despite having fears of not knowing what to talk about (Dad’s not a chatter), it was actually fun for me and Dad and I did have some nice talks. Coraline won’t remember this trip, but it made a big impression on her: Saturday night was the first night she slept with her little baby doll, who Rich took great care to tuck in under the blanket next to her.


Filed under family, travel

No Caffeine and No Alcohol Make Pattie Something Something*

Song Lyric of the Day:

My body tells me no! / But I won’t quit / I want more, I want more / And it rides out of town

Young the Giant / “My Body

It’s been a while since I’ve had caffeine. A long while. In fact, my last drops of caffeine were drunk in the form of a Coke I had with lunch on Friday, January 22, 2010. I remember the exact date because immediately after work that night is when I took the home pregnancy test that (obviously) came up positive. Rich ended up having to talk me off the proverbial ledge when I saw that plus sign and freaked out (OK, one of many reasons I freaked out) that the caffeine I’d had that day would hurt the baby. As it is, by that time I’d already scaled my caffeine intake wayyyyy back since we were trying to get pregnant. Which turned out to be a good thing. And luckily for us, Coraline did not come out a hopped-up, twitchy little caffeine addict. Dodged a bullet there.

Mexican Coke

Coke with real sugar, how I've missed you.

I haven’t drunk any alcohol for even longer than that. My last drink was on New Year’s Eve 2009, when I toasted the coming year with a bit of champagne. As with my cutting down on caffeine, I’d already decided by then that that would be the last alcohol I had for a while since Rich and I were actively trying to get pregnant. Little did we know that Miss Baby was already in existence (we got pregnant really quickly), so it’s a really good thing I didn’t drink after that. Not that I’ve ever been a big drinker — I certainly wouldn’t be upset if Prohibition made a comeback. I get tipsy off a glass of wine and a four-pack of wine coolers can last me months. And I’ve never given in to the urge to drink my troubles away after a bad or particularly stressful day, no matter how much I’ve wanted to. (Ah, the responsible, smart decisions you make when you’re an ACoA).

So why am I writing about this now? Because we’re getting ready to go on vacation soon, our first in, well, I can’t remember how long. I know Rich and I went to that awesome bed and breakfast a couple of years ago, but that’s the most recent thing that comes to mind. This will also be our first long-distance trip with Coraline, who handled this past weekend’s drive to and from Chattanooga better than we expected. Anyhoo, I’m thinking I’ll likely fall off the caffeine wagon during this trip — we’ll be driving to Iowa, and it’s a 16-hour drive we’re going to split over two days. I’m going to need to stay more alert than my currently non-caffeinated self is. My personal litmus test with regard to giving in and drinking caffeine was this year’s Relay for Life, a test I passed since I made it through without a drop of caffeine. Not that it was easy. I know this drive won’t be — Rich and I are not spring chickens anymore. We’re parents.

As for thinking about drinking alcohol again, well, did I mention the 16-hour drive with an 11-month-old who’s never been in the car that long? Ever? Not even for one-fourth that amount of time? This is a baby who tries to gnaw through her car-seat restraints when she’s decided she’s tired of being stuck in the car. That usually happens around the 15- or 20-minute mark. I’m really hoping how well Coraline handled the drive to Chattanooga is a good indicator that she’ll do better on the Iowa drive than we hope she will. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ve jinxed us and you’ll see us on the national news along with the headline “Baby Hijacks Elantra on Interstate Drive.” Rich and I will then be interviewed by a green-behind-the-ears reporter eager to hear all about how our baby took over driving since she was sick and tired of being cooped up in a car, listening to her parents’ iPod playlists on repeat and their boring, domestic conversations about what house projects they’re going to start upon returning from Iowa, and their complaining about how often they have to stop to stretch and relieve their bladders … See? I need a drink already.


Minus the whipped cream, this is perfect.

*I admit — being a Simpsons fanatic, I was absolutely thinking of this when I came up with this post title.


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