For those considering driving out of town to a race with a baby, this is my experience, for what it’s worth.
The theory was to leave Vancouver at 6:30 at night. According to my sister, my (adorable) nephew conks out during such drives because it coincides with his regular night-time sleep. Sounds logical. Then, all you have to do is transfer the baby from car-to-crib when you arrive. Sounded a bit tricky, but worth a try.
Well, Hannah has never loved the car to begin with, and that pretty much sums up the entire trip.
She took a refreshing 40-minute nap between Vancouver and our first gas station (where Daddy introduced her to a local Harley-Davidson rider). After that, she impatiently protested her confinement to a car seat for 4 hours and got grumpier and more hyperactive as she grew more tired. We stopped several times (Maybe she needs to burp? Maybe she’s thirsty? Maybe she wants to stretch her legs?). Maybe she’s just bored. Finally, about 45 minutes from Oliver, she dozed off.
Once we arrived (at midnight) we were warmly welcomed to O’Reilly’s Organic Farm Bed & Breakfast by our hosts David and Allison (coincidentally, they share our names). We fumbled around as we tried to get Hannah into her bed, which my parent's had set up ahead of time, as seamlessly as possible. I guess we failed miserably, as evidenced by her renewed wails which made us wince for the sake of our hosts.
She eventually settled down in her new room, and I don’t remember anything past 2am. It seemed just moments later that I was awakened by beautiful sunlight and a warm breeze streaming into our room (that and Hannah’s little voice babbling happily away).
Saturday was full of the usual preparations: package pick up, eating, a light workout and other pre-race rituals. Sunday was the race (separate blog entry on that one).
On Monday, we decided to travel down in daylight hours. This was probably even more of a mistake. It took us 7.5 hours because this time Hannah really was hungry, thirsty, bored, needing to burp and wanting to stretch her legs. On the plus side, we got to try out some old-school teeter-totters in a small town that we otherwise would never have found.
When we weren't stopped, she thrashed her head back and forth in the car seat and threw her soft toys around in the back. I got a little woozy staying in the back seat with her, and in the commotion we forgot to refuel at what turned out to be the last opportunity to do so for 134 km. But, we discovered that our fully loaded Audi with 2 bikes mounted on top could go over 600 km on its 55-litre tank. Who knew!? I’m keeping the receipt for the 54.54 litres of gas which the car sucked up thirstily after we coasted it back into Hope without using the air conditioning or mp3 player.
Like I said, next trip up (July 2) I’m flying with Hannah and leaving the driving to the big kids.