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I have posted a lot about our Deep South road trip so far, but I have mostly focused on destinations such as New Orleans, Jackson and Mobile. I thought I would do something different in this blog post and describe a typical day!
I tend to avoid this as our days include a lot of boring bits. We have young kids, so a lot of the day is taken up by getting, preparing and eating food, changing nappies, dealing with tantrums and other mundane tasks. It is really not very interesting!! These posts are always popular though as I guess it can be interesting for other families to get some idea what a typical day travelling with kids actually looks like. I think it is also important to have realistic expectations when you travel with kids – It’s not all awesome sites and fun times. Hopefully these posts help give it to you!!
We wake up in our New Orleans hotel and get dressed as quickly as is possible with stubborn 1 and 3 year olds.
We move onto the included breakfast in the hotel restaurant. This was a drama filled meal when all the tables were taken – mostly by people who were finished and were sitting around chatting grr – and we had to go find our own table outside, clear it off and dry it while the kids screamed. This is much harder than it sounds, and I was grumpy that no one helped or offered us a table. Instead, we got some stares from people, like we shouldn’t have had kids there in the first place.
After we were set up at the outside table with food, I left to finish our packing. After they finished breakfast, J got our car key from the valet and loaded the car. Then we checked out and the valet got our car. Fortunately, this part is not a normal part of our day (it cost $50 extra and was a hassle), but we had no choice at this hotel.
All this took 2.5 hours and we were working all the time!
We are finally on the road! We start the day with Willie Nelson’s ” on the road again”. Even Z sings along.
We are driving to Jackson, Mississippi via Baton Rouge. On the way to Baton Rouge, there is a big downpour. Visibility is low and we have to go slow for awhile. We listen to music and I read about what’s ahead and check some stuff online using my iPhone. The kids scream and carry on occasionally but otherwise the journey is ok.
In Baton Rouge, we see an awesome playground as we are parking. We decide we will come back to it once we have seen the capitol buildings (this never happens as that takes so long). We park by the old state capitol building. We try to rummage up coins for meter but can only come up with two quarters which only gives us about 42 minutes! We think this should be enough.
We are not sure how far it is between the new and old capitols. I have a map but without a scale. We take the stoller and carrier just in case.
W start by walking around the old capitol. I think we are heading towards the new state capitol. We walk a block and I am still unsure, so we check on google maps. We have gone the wrong way. We turn around and walk towards the old one. It is a nice walk through downtown, but it is so empty of people and there are barely any shops so it feels strange.
It turns out the state capitol is much further than we thought. S is whinging, and we realise we don’t have time to go into the old capitol plus get back to the car before the meter runs out. J walks back to the car with Z in the carrier. S and I continue. We walk through nice gardens in front of the building and S takes some great photos of me for my capitol building collection. We wait at the (free) car park out front for J.
J shows up and we all go inside the big new (but old!) capitol building. We have our bags scanned and go through a metal detector. A nice lady explains to us what we can see and where. She doesn’t understand our replies as she can’t understand our accents. This actually happens quite a lot!
We check out the senate chambers and the house of representatives. They both look old, important and nice. They have great Christmas decorations. We check out where an important person was assassinated. Finally, we go up to the 27th floor lookout via two lifts. The lookout involves us walking around the building outside. The kids go a bit crazy running around. I am nervous they will somehow fall off even though I can’t see how!
We come back down and return to the car. Everyone is grumpy as this stop took longer than expected, so we are all starving. We give the kids bananas and crackers, but they are wanting more and making that known very loudly.
We head back to the interstate then visit Jack in the Box before leaving town. It is my favourite burger chain in the US but not readily available in the states we are visiting, so I am happy that I can have it once this trip!
We eat in the car, J eating his quickly so we can get going. We are only on the road about 20 minutes of the 2.5 hour journey to Jackson when S needs a toilet. We wait for her to ask again before taking the next exit and visiting a gas station. We are running low on gas and have enough to get to Mississippi (where we know its cheaper), but we decide to get $10 now since we are stopped, so we don’t have to stop again. We head on after fights with S about who will take her to the toilet. Z is unhappy when he doesn’t get to go too.
After this, we manage not to stop again. We give crackers and fruit to the kids to keep them happy. Z finally falls asleep in the last half hour.
We make it into Jackson at about 3:30pm, so we head straight to the State Capitol Building instead of our accommodation.
We arrive at the wrong building again! It turns out it is the old State Capitol building. We have parking meter problems again. At least this time we are only a couple of blocks away from the new State Capitol. We walk while S screams that her feet hurt and that she wants to be carried. Z gets frustrated as he is being carried and wants to walk. Otherwise, it is a nice walk with lots of trees with pretty red leave.
At the Capitol, we take some photos. We want to go in, but the kids are tired and cranky and I play outside with them while J goes back to get the car. The kids chase squirrels and then they pretend to be squirrels running up trees.
We head off for our accommodation via a stop at Walmart for food. J goes in and I amuse the kids in the car which is hard work.
Check in goes smoothly and we are happy with our room. We unpack, play, make some dinner, shower the kids and put them to bed!
The kids are finally in bed, and I am exhausted. I need to book our next three stops though, so I do this and then work on this blog before falling asleep
It was an exhausting day, but we managed to check out two capitol buildings and get from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi, so we were very happy. It can be annoying when things don’t run completely smoothly, as the kids will only behave for so long before they get tired and/or hungry. Organisation was the key to making our road trip a success, but that is also very tiring. It was hard to spend my evenings having to organise the next stop when I was just so tired, especially as Z often woke at night.
Is there anything that surprises you about our typical day?