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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We survived our first long road trip with both boys. Things got off to a rocky start when we merged on to the 405 Freeway (less than a mile from our house), and Matthew asked, “Are we there?” I swear it was just yesterday that I would ask that of my dad while – smooshed in the middle of the backseat, sandwiched between my two brothers – we set out for an annual camping trip.

The Easter Bunny – knowing that our boys aren’t the most patient travelers – was kind enough to spot early at our house, leaving a new toy on each kid’s car seat: for Zach – a new chew toy and for Matthew – a MegaDoodle. The toys proved to be good boredom deterrents, and our drive to Spokane went perfectly well. It helps that Matthew is REALLY into trucks and in particular, tractors. How lucky are we that his obsession is something we see while driving and not something like, oh say…dinosaurs? At one exit, in search of the Starbucks (for a necessary pit stop, leg-stretching, and caffeine break) we got lost in a dinky town called Ritzville. Luckily our scenic route included driving by the John Deere Machinery Shoppe! Woah, was that ever exciting. I’ll be! We got ourselves a right ‘lil farmer boy! Matthew can tell you what every tractor and tractor attachment is called (harvester, plow attachment, baler, etc.). I’ve learned quite a bit from our John Deere expert.

Driving through Eastern Washington is intriguing to me. I’m fascinated by the thought of farming and rural life. How would I survive with the grocery store and Starbucks being more than a two minute drive away? I wouldn’t.

And the names of the towns! Ritzville, Washington (although to give them credit: they do have a McDonalds and Starbucks right next to the freeway in ritzy Ritzville). Washtucna, Washington. Chewelah, Washington. And my personal favorite: George. As in George, Washington.

We had a lovely Easter with Mike’s fam in Spokane. We were adequately spoiled: the Easter Bunny brought a toy ATV (Matthew can tell you that it is technically an “all terrain vehicle”) and a stuffed duck and froggie for Zachary. And we were, of course, well-fed: Aunt Dolores is an amazing cook and Uncle Harry loves to wine us and dine us. The weather was perfect for an outing to the park with Aunt Jamie (Mike’s sister) and Uncle Dan (her husband). And we even fit in a trip to the hotel swimming pool. Both boys loved it!

Our drive home on Sunday was not quite as peaceful as the drive over. While Zach never broke into a full-on cry, any brief fussing he did was met by Matthew immediately responding, “zz…yyaAACCCHHHHHHHH! STOP CRYING!!!” OR “zzyaaACCHH!! SUCK YOUR THUMB!!” The best part of the six hour drive home was the 30 minutes when all three of my boys (Mike included) fell asleep. It was a fleeting and welcome moment of quality me-time. I had no idea how nice a quiet car could be!

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