Ripped from our beds while it was still dark by screaming fire alarms throughout the building.
I grabbed our room key and my phone (but not our car keys) and went out of our room to find our kids covering their ears and still in their beds.
I stayed calm and said, "Alright kids, let's go."
J grabbed her flip-flops and headed towards the door, O wondered what was going on, H and Z doubted the validity of the alarm and asked why we had to go outside.
In response, I asked them, "Where's Daddy?"
Some organization we have! No one had any natural sense of danger while fire alarms are blaring all around us.
J was obedient to my instructions, but the three boys took the "Question everything," to mean, "Question Mama about everything." And C had gone to the front desk to find out what was going on.
We used to practice fire drills when kids were little, but it's probably time to reinstitute some kind of plan in these situations.
We walked outside and waited by our Sequoia, C joined us soon after, with news that it was a prank.
The air was already warm. We could not hear the alarms outside, so it was quiet and dark. Better to be there than in the room with alarms blaring. So we waited until they were shut down.
On the bright side, we were up early for the drive home.
Car loaded. Breakfast had. On the road. I'm driving. (I typed this note before I was actually driving.)
Stopped in College Station, TX for potty/snack break at Chick Fil-A.
Stopped in McGregor, TX at Brookside Brothers Grocery for potty and to switch drivers.
Stopped in Brownwood, TX at Stripes for potty. This one was disgusting. The bathrooms were wrecked and the fresh made food area was not appetizing.
Stopped in outskirts of Abilene, TX for gas. $3.45/gallon.
Stopped for linner and potty in Sweetwater, TX at Subway and Golden Chick. We blew the diet one more time on vacation to have some of their crunchy-good chicken tenders and some of the most heavenly rolls ever. What I mean is that they are so good, there will be an endless supply of them on the buffet table in heaven and they'll contain no calories or fat, but all the buttery, tender goodness.
This is pretty much a halfway point between Houston and Albuquerque. We stayed here on our way...but now we are trying to do this in one day. One long, exhausting day.
But we're still having fun.
I'll be driving again from here till about 7:30pm. Then C will drive the rest, during the nighttime parts.
7:00pm MST/8:00pm CST
Crossed border. We are back in New Mexico.
Stopped in Clovis, NM at the DQ to let the kids run around on their play set and get everyone a treat.
After ordering and paying, word was given that they ran out of ice cream. The kids got some extra minutes on the playground while we waited for new ice cream to be churned.
We loaded up and realized J never got her mint chip Dilly bar. C ran back in to grab it and found out they only had the plain chocolate-covered ones. Good thing J was flexible.
C is driving the rest of the way ... About 3-1/2 hours left in our trip. I started getting a headache about an hour ago. No good.
Stopped again to refuel. $3.46/gallon.
I took some Tylenol and snoozed off and on while C drove. I tried to stay semi-awake and alert to be certain he wasn't falling asleep at the wheel.
At one point, I thought he was snoring and grabbed his arm so suddenly he probably almost swerved off the road. I was feeling delirious with exhaustion and headache. I'd confused H's snoring for C.
Poor H has spent years being nasally congested. We have tried so many remedies. Before the trip it was slightly worse than normal, but I decided to wait it out, hoping it was just a cold on top of normal stuffiness. By the end of the trip, he is much worse and his breathing sounds labored. I will definitely take him in to the doctor when we are home. He may have a sinus infection or something. The poor guy has ridden most of the trip home with tissues lodged in a nostril.
Anyway, a few minutes ago, I was jolted awake from my snooziness only to feel overwhelming nausea. I rolled down the window and that, plus some prayer and deep breathing kept me from vomiting. Between the headache and the curvy mountainside roads we were crossing on our way back into Albuquerque, I think my body has had enough of this long drive.
Thankfully, the kids slept through that portion of the drive or a couple of them most definitely would have gotten ill on the curves.
Home again. Time to hit the hay. I'm exhausted.
Mmmm...so glad it'll be my own bed tonight.
9:15am (Sunday morning)
I slept like a rock.
I woke to the baseball crowds cheering (for me) over at the fields nearby. It's good to be home again. I wonder what morning will sound like when we make our home in Texas.
I love it there, but there are definitely things I've become accustomed to here in New Mexico and I will miss those things. I will miss so many people here, too.
The good news is, we have discovered that we CAN make it in a long day of driving (even though I think I prefer to stop in Sweetwater - the midpoint - for the night. So when we miss our family and friends in New Mexico too much, we are just a day's drive (or two) away.
Moving yard sale countdown: 6 days.