There are reasons why vacations only happen once a year.

So, the J family just returned from a week lounging on the beach at beautiful Pawleys Island, SC.  The weather was 80 and sunny with a light breeze every day. The beach was pristine and nearly deserted.  The company was excellent.  A good time was had by all.

Well, except for the 14 hour car ride there.

In this car was me, an inquisitive, impatient, energetic four year old, a sick 10 month old, and a husband who doesn't deal with any of the aforementioned things.

It did not start well.

We had planned to get up early and leave about 6am.  The last time we made the trip, we got there at about 4 in the afternoon, which was plenty of time to unpack, relax, look at the beach, etc.

However, RJ had a bit of a cold, so we decided at the last minute  to sleep in a bit and leave a little later. No problem.  We'd just get to the beach first thing the next morning.

Ok, so far, so good.

We're out the door at 8am.

That's when it started going downhill.

We were not entirely sure how to get there.  On our last trip, two years ago, we had some directions written out on a napkin (for real, yo) and got there with no problems.

Alas, the napkin met an untimely fate and was not available for this trip.

We have a navigation system in our car that sends directions from outer space and cost a gazillion dollars that seems to work fine, but for some reason, RJ doesn't really trust it.

He thought I was going to print directions.

I thought he was going to print directions.

The nav system thought we were cheating on it and gave us the most convoluted directions imaginable.

So, we started the trip out by backtracking about 100 miles or so.

Stupid nav system.

Anyway, once we got going, really going, things started to look up a bit.  Or so I thought.  Until, after about mile 25 or so, I hear from the backseat "Mama, I have to go potty."

We stop at the next exit and go into a McDonald's.  We use this as an excuse to get breakfast.  Hey, we're on vacation, right?  Don't judge.  Also, and this will be important later, we get a large unsweet tea, foam cup only please.

Ok, potty break number one down.

Oh, and since cj woke up that morning with his first cold EVER, imagine everything I am writing about here punctuated with the hacking cough of a sick 10 month old.

Back on the road.

At about mile 50 - "Mama, I have to go potty."

"But you just went potty.  Do you really have to go?"

"Mama I have to go NOW."

RJ swings the car into the nearest McDonald's.  I would just like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to MickyD for having clean and easily accessible restrooms.  Anyway, as RJ is walking in, I notice he is taking his tea cup, which is by now half empty.

See, apparently McDonald's offers free refills, and so we got a free refill of iced tea at EVERY McDonald's between here and South Carolina.


I cannot make this stuff up.

And as an aside, we also stopped at approximately half a dozen Burger Kings as well.  Because they have Iron Man toys, that's why.

Soooo...  back to the trip.

After two potty breaks, a couple free tea fill-ups, we were on the road.

Just in time to run into traffic that was at a complete standstill for about an hour.

At this point, we were still on the backtracked 100 miles that the green-eyed nav system sent us on, it's 10 am, and I had decided that vacation was overrated.

This was also the point that I hear the first "Mama, can I ask you something?  When will we be at the beach?"

This was the question of the day, so to speak.  We went all Griswold up in the J car, and from that point on, it became a combination of "Mama, can I ask you something?  When will we be at the beach?" and songs where the word "poop" replaced other, more appropriate words.  You know, like "Mary had a little poop" and "Twinkle, twinkle, little poop."  You know those classics, right?

After about 6 hours I was twitching like a meth addict.

After about 8 hours, I was hugging my knees to my chest and humming tunelessly.

After about 10 hours, I was drooling out of one side of my mouth and was unable to do more than grunt.

After about 12 hours, I blacked out and was coming in and out of consciousness.

After about 14 hours, we got there.

The end.

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