Adventuring, Immigration CAN-USA, Travel

Road trip Day 8: Michigan City, Indiana to Davenport, Iowa

A quick introduction for those just joining us…

Sharing our Road Trip, Day by Day

From the day we arrived here and settling down, I’ve dreamed about sharing the daily logs from our road trip (which I shared only on my private Facebook page), photos and videos, as well as some funny adventure stories and practical tips/lessons for anyone planning to travel long distances in a very full car with very busy babies and/or toddlers. I wrote these daily updates as a way to keep our family in the loop and let them know, every night, that we had arrived at our next destination point safe and sound. Little did I know that we would get such a following of friends and relatives who were interested in following our trip! I am so grateful that God gave me the perseverance to keep them up because they are such treasures to our family now, and an online journal we can always look back on.

Note: I have put the updates I wrote last year in italics so you easily differentiate what I wrote last year and what I’m adding today.

I hope you join us for the next 15 days as we relive this forever epic #peitocaliforniaroadtrip! Below are the links in case you missed them.
Day 1 Summerside,PE to Bangor, ME
Day 2 Bangor, ME to Rochelle Park, NJ
Day 3 Rochelle Park, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA
Day 4 Pittsburgh,PA to Louisville, KY
Day 5 Louisville, KY rest day
Day 6 Louisville, KY to Michigan City, IN
Day 7 Michigan City, IN rest day


Day 8: July 12, 2016

Michigan City, IN to Davenport, IW

Hello from Davenport, Iowa! Wow, this is the first time I’ve sat down to write an update that’s before 11:30pm. We purposely planned a short drive day today so we can catch up on some sleep (thanks, Audrey…poor baby is definitely going through something), and hoping to start a new habit of arriving earlier to our stops so we can rest before dinner and go to bed at a reasonable hour. We’ll have to see how long we can keep that up!

Back on the Dusty Road Again

This morning we wished everyone goodbye and Amber, a happy birthday before packing up the van and hitting the road again. It was a quiet first hour or so in our van as our babies got back into the groove of being in the car again and napped. Audrey, finally allowed to nap after being so tired and cranky while we ran around gathering our things and packing, was fast asleep as soon as we got on the highway. When we stopped for lunch Dominic asked where Alex was. 🙂 Brendon and I obviously weren’t the only ones who had fun the last 2 days! Thank you again to the Hassetts for having us and we hope we can see you again soon!

It was about 3 1/2 hour drive from Michigan City to Davenport with construction here and there but nothing that brought us to a crawl. I thought of you my Chicago friends as we drove by. Brendon was pretty tired from the swim and sunburn he got yesterday so I did the bulk of the driving. We are definitely entering into the midwest and I have to admit there is something charming about the stretches of farmland on either side of the highway with the occasional lake or river, and the open blue skies polka dotted with fluffy clouds. We stopped for lunch at Culver’s and I was pleasantly surprised how friendly and efficiently they run the place. I liked how it’s fast food style but they bring you your order and even the highchairs and booster seats all had bibs on them. Such a great detail! The frozen custard was deliciously cold and rich and sweet, and it reminded us of the dairy bars back in PEI. We may have to stop at another along the way!

Exercising her new skill: pulling herself up on everything!

Davenport and Vander Veer Botanical Park

We arrived to our hotel around 3:30pm so we took our time to bring our luggage in (the sheer amount of things to lug in when traveling with 2 babies is just mind-boggling!), and lounged around a little before heading out to Vander Veer Botanical Park, just 3 miles away to let Dominic get some playground time and allow Brendon to collect Pokemon’s (haha. I kid, we didn’t go there for that reason but he was busy doing so as we walked and explored the park). The conservatory was closed by the time we arrived but the park was open and so we walked through a few gardens before heading to Chipotle to grab dinner to go. We’re realized tonight that as much as Brendon and I love a good bursting-at-the-seams burrito from there, it’s a bit too spicy for toddlers and babies even without any sauce on it. So we’ll have to be a bit more discerning and creative next time. Davenport is an interestingly busy city, right along the Mississippi River. There are a myriad of hotels here leading us to believe it must be a popular convention destination…perhaps?

Playing Pokemon Go!

We had to leave our stroller behind in PEI as it took up too much real estate in our van. This hip-seat baby carrier was a life-saver! Audrey craved cuddles and security being up in my arms a lot during the trip so I wore this pretty much all the time. It also freed my hands to help carry things while keeping her safe. Carrier with this “hip-seat” design help ease pressure off the back and shoulders and also gave baby and me some breathing space between us which was so helpful given we were traveling in the heart of summer. Forward facing or inward facing, I was able accommodate both her curiosity and rest times.

A drive through Iowa and into Nebraska awaits us tomorrow and another wonderful family! Until tomorrow, my dear friends! Thanks to your prayers we have had a safe trip so far. Good night and God bless! xoxo#peitocaliforniaroadtrip #day8_michigancitytodavenport


Practical Tips & Funny Stories of the Day

  1. Getting around unfamiliar towns: Google Maps reviews are quickly becoming a traveller’s best friend. If you don’t know the city you’re visiting, and need a nice, family-friendly walk, check what the locals say on Google Maps. We ended up finding a decent, clean and affordable hotel as well as a great little park to explore in a thriving midwestern city we had never heard of before. During our travels, we leaned heavily on reviews from Google Maps, Tripadvisor and Foursquare/Swarm.
  2. Finding the best value for less: Traveling on the cheap, we lodged at a lot of Wyndham Group hotels. Most locations had clean, updated rooms with a few little comforts, plus a continental breakfast with some prepared pastries, fresh fruit, as well as hot coffee. The ready-to-cook waffles get old, but the ever-varying crowd of fellow travelers does not.
  3. Baby Gear/Tips: 
    1. Maintaining routines, especially bedtime routines which for us begins with tubby time, helped give some resemblance of normal life for these kids and in the end helped them relax and sleep better although we were at a different place every night with the exception of our two rest days.
    2. Bring a baby carrier. SO IMPORTANT! We now have a really nifty travel stroller that folds up small enough to fit in an overhead compartment on an airplane. If we were making this trip or any trip like this again, it would definitely come along with us. However, even with a stroller that small and convenient, there are times a baby carrier wins, especially if your baby is young and finds comfort in being up in your arms. Most babies will probably feel some level of anxiety and insecurity when traveling because of the multiple new situations, places and faces. Being up close and secure to Mom or Dad will help ease them and allow them to take the cat naps they need to keep going.
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