On 6/28/2006, we bundled Charlotte into her front-facing (!) car seat, pulled out of the garage and headed for Virginia Beach. It’s a long drive and we decided to do it overnight, hoping the little one would sleep her usual lovely sleep. Of course, she didn’t. She also didn’t complain. She simply talked, giggled, and played until well-after sundown.
Our 900+ mile trip began uneventfully. We were both probably too tired to have pulled this off, so we swapped driving fairly regularly. I pulled the “insomniac” hours, driving us through a thunder storm on desolate Route 52 in Kentucky near 2 a.m.
Dawn broke in West Virginia. Sunrise was lovely. We stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans (if you know Philippe at all, this will not surprise you). Charlotte greeted all of her adoring fans with regal waves and smiles. She ate a great meal, including tasting my eggs and sausage. It probably didn’t hurt that we had skipped a feed overnight, but we thrilled to watch her eat with gusto.
Charlotte anticipates her first cup of Bob Evans Coffee
So far, so good. Then…an hour outside of Beckley West Virginia Philippe felt the car doing something odd. Within minutes we were broken down on the side of the road, rushing to get out of the car because the engine was smoking and we smelled burnt rubber. To make a long, sad story short—we spent an hour by the road in the hot sun waiting for a tow truck, two hours in the tow truck getting to the nearest BMW dealer (what, you thought there was one every 30 miles or so in West Virginia?!?!) and another 3 hours at the dealership. Charlotte again greeted her adoring fans and ran for mayor of the Roanoke Valley BMW dealership.
She had fun, fun, fun ’til her Daddy took the keys away
At first, the mechanic told us that nothing was wrong with our car, it had simply overheated going down the sinuous mountain road. We begged to differ, however, so they checked again. Good thing, too, because we had a blown transfer case. Now, I’m not sure exactly what this means (this is where Philippe should add a post, no?), but had we gotten back on the road, we would have broken down again. Good thing our ultimate driving machine is still under full warranty.
BMW procured us a rental car and sent us on our way. Another 5 hours or so later, we pulled into my mother’s driveway, about 27 hours after leaving Chicago. It was a long day.
Charlotte was a trooper right up until the end. She vomited once that I remember—in the tow truck. I’d had no choice but to pump a full feed, not even giving her the opportunity to eat, so we weren’t really surprised. She charmed everyone at the Starbucks after dinner—we basically hung out there to let her walk and finish pumping. The bonus was that some more storms came through and we saw the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever witnessed.
When we stopped for dinner, we put her into her pajamas. She fussed quite a lot between Richmond and Virginia Beach; calming only when I sat with her and sang her and endless run of Broadway tunes and old 70s songs. Seriously. My singing voice calms her. Go figure. But, she finally fell asleep and transferred into her Pack-and-Play beautifully. She slept without moving and with a hardly a peep until Friday morning.