ROAD TRIP! / by Micaela

Roan and I went on a road trip this weekend, and it was long overdue.  I have always been a road trip person, and up until having the babies I would usually get a case of insufferable wanderlust every month or so and need to book it for further fields.  Our lives have become significantly less portable, and apart from a day at King Spa in NJ I had not left New York State since February of 2010 until this weekend.

We set off for Connecticut to visit my sister at 9am, large iced coffee and podcasts of The Moth on hand.  I miss driving so much!  It felt incredible to be on a highway. Roan was great and chatted to himself in the car for a while and then dozed off after visiting his first I-95 rest stop bathroom.

Caitlin is working as a counselor at a summer camp.  This is a real camp, not some fancy resort camp. Everyone sleeps in big canvas tents on platforms and they have to cook their own meals on a campfire. We tested out Roan's new backpack.

On the Road
First we took Roan swimming in the lake.  He was not a fan of the sand, which he seemed to think was trying to devour his feet, but he loved splashing around in the water.
He did not go on the trampoline (back left)
Next we set out on a hike, but not before a much coveted NYC snack of a bagel with tofu cream cheese.
Not exactly camp food

I have found that singing is one of the most useful tactics for distraction with the babies but my repertoire is small so Caity taught me a new song

We hiked up to Lookout Point (doesn't that sound so camp-y?) and could see the other side of the camp.  Caity pointed out to Roan that this is where he will be in 7 years

Summer 2018, here I come!
I got to take like a 10 minute nap under the trees...

Then we went to the farm, but there were only 2 donkeys and some spitting alpacas so it was kind of a bust :(

At the end of the day we gave Roan a bath in the slop sink in the girls bathroom

Kiss on a clean nose

At 7pm we hit the road back and Roan had his first ever dinner at Friendly's!  It was his first time sitting in a standard issue restaurant high chair. He did pretty well except for a major wardrobe malfunction that happened just as our food arrived and necessitated me stripping off all of his clothes in the bathroom and throwing them away.  What fun!

We made it as far as Westport CT and I started to get a little sleepy so I decided that we would stay in a motel.  I love cheap, old motels but I have never stayed in one with a baby before.  I decided to forgo all the chain motels and stay in a local place called the Garden Park Motel.  Roan was sound asleep in the car so I figured it would be easy to plunk him down on the bed and get some rest.  Um, no.

Postcard courtesy of the Garden Inn Motel

The room smelled exactly like this strip bar that I used to photograph in Michigan called the Gold Nugget, 50 years of stale cigarette smoke.  But the bed seemed clean and I turned on the AC hoping it would clear out the smell.  And then Roan woke up.  At first he seemed a bit spun out about his strange new surroundings, and then he thought it was awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that he wanted to stay awake and roll around on the bed and explore every inch of the room.  I got him in bed with me and we snuggled a bit until I realized that the ashtray smell had permeated the mattress, the sheets, the pillows, everything.  Every time Roan laid down his little face I pictured the skeezy truck driver who had no doubt previously occupied this bed.

I couldn't take it. I packed everything up and went to return the key and beg for a refund. It was midnight.  The office was closed. Everyone was gone and there was no suggestion as to how to contact anyone. Shit! I left the key in the room and made it back to Brooklyn by 1:15am. Roan slept the whole time and stayed asleep thankfully when Sam put him down in his crib.

I was thinking the whole time about how little this little boy has experienced outside of our everyday routine. He did pretty well but I think that neither of us was quite ready for the Garden Park Motel. We will have to get on the road again soon, hopefully next time with Sam and Lula.