The kids and I are headed to Colorado by van. We saved cash by driving so I splurged on a suite that met my specifications at a mid-budget hotel for our one night on the road. This is what I've learned so far:
A half wall and a mini fridge does not a suite make. And the two-way fireplace you feature in your hotel pictures does not positively influence my reservation decision. I need a room without a view, one with definite boundaries between the place where the children are stashed and the place where I pretend I don't have any children, at least until the cruel light of morning creeps in like a sorceress to condemn me to another 10 hours in a non padded minivan with Dee, T and BabyNar (who turns out to be the worst of the bunch).
Nar Nar doesn't yet understand that crying is futile. I will not flinch. I WILL keep driving and simply move my ear closer to the car speaker to hear the remainder of the "This American Life" NPR episode that's playing. Not to worry, road trip police. Baby's got a dry diaper (at least since the last reasonably timed stop), a sippy cup with more handles than cup (that doubles as a toy), and a mountain of discarded (and usually forbidden) snacks that her siblings would kill for if they weren't prisoners to the five point harness system that makes sane travel with children possible for me. Never mind the safety benefits of such devices. They're like a door on a one bedroom suite, only more effective for the waking hours.
Anyhoo, we finally did make it to the hotel and the kids' patience and leg atrophy paid off. It was near normal bedtime when we arrived, but we still had a day of activity to jam into our sweet suite and the hotel attached to it. The condensed schedule involved complimentary cookies, fries and burgers in the "living room," swimming, bath, stories at 10 p.m. (!), and night-night in the yummy king size bed (behind door #1) that really should be mine.
Never mind that Dee and T piddled around for another hour. I'm confident all that car seat padding will make day dreaming easier, especially when the only sugar coming from Mom arrives in the form of a fruit gummy snack pack. Heads up!