We survived our first long distance road trip to Texas! Charlie and I took all 5 kids for a 3 week "vacation" from San Diego to Texas and back. We covered 3,800 miles in our Sprinter van with Charlie's car in tow.
Heading east we broke up the 20 hour drive over 3 days, stopping in Tucson and Van Horn, TX at night before arriving at our destination in Austin. Molly really enjoyed holding court in the hotels and she would help us make a baby jail at each stop to keep the quadruplets contained.
We had 5 portable cribs to set up and dismantle every day. And due to the small confines of most hotel rooms, the babies found themselves bunking in the bathroom more often than not.
We made it to Austin where we promptly set up shop at Uncle Chris' new place and proceeded to terrorize his 800 square foot house. We celebrated Grand Dad's birthday and joined him for a train ride on the Zilker Zephyr and checked out Barton Springs.
You wouldn't know it by looking at us, but we did try to travel light. One are where we definitely were not prepared was how the babies were going to eat on the road. They are just moving in to eating 3 times per day and are down to 3 small bottles between meals. At home we have a great quadruplet feeding table and a sweet system that makes prepping and cleanup relatively painless.
This was not the case on the road however. For the first few days I thought I would just let them eat in a circle on the ground. Sure. The babies would immediately start crawling through each others' food and dragging their mess around whomever's house we happened to be dining at.
I did a little research and ended up ordering 4 Chicco PocketSnack Portable Booster Seats to keep the quadruplets contained during meal time. This was a great idea except that just 1 showed up at first, so we only had about 25% of the problem taken care of. Eventually the other portable high chairs arrived and we were back in business!
Grammy Ann was kind enough to host our crew at her house during our time in Austin. The babies loved playing under her pool table, going to her neighborhood happy hour and I even caught them trying to break into her beer cooler a few times! When they weren't busy partying, we spent a lot of time at Grammy's neighborhood park doubling up on the baby swings.
The real reason for our trip to Texas was to celebrate Aunt Charlotte and David's engagement. We had a wonderful engagement party at Becky and Ron's house and the babies made it to the end of the party before having a coordinated meltdown.
Each day we would take a side trip to visit friends and family in San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Molly had 3 questions she would ask before each visit:
- Do they have toys?
- Do they have a pool?
- Do they have a dog? (...she's in love with the first 2 and scared to death of dogs)
Molly and the quads got to meet a lot of our friends and their kids along the way. They were held and loved and spoiled by college friends, family friends, work friends and pretty much anyone who would have us!
We were back in Austin for Thanksgiving and spent the holiday relaxing day with Grammy Ann. Tia Carmelita flew in from San Diego to help us out for the last leg of our trip which was a godsend. Charlie, Claire, Henry and Dillon enjoyed their first Thanksgiving dinner, even if we did have to cover them from head to toe in bibs so they didn't ruin their fancy holiday clothes (that better also fit them at Christmas...!)
We were short 1 high chair for Thanksgiving, so ended up strapping Molly into a tableside stroller for her feast.
After Thanksgiving we headed to Houston to spend some time with Aunt Charlotte and her fiance David. They took us to a few of their favorite spots, including a bar with seats from the original Astrodome where the babies could camp out.
We spent a day at the Children's Museum of Houston and Charlie and I got to see the Chargers play at the Texans. On our way back to Austin we took everyone to the Salt Lick for the babies' first taste of real Texas BBQ.
After almost 3 weeks on the road we headed back to San Diego. The road trip home was a little rough as we did it in 2 days, stopping for a night in Mesilla, NM. Everyone was a little sick by that point which necessitated a LOT of diaper change pit stops and pretty regular throwing up everything after almost every bottle. Needless to say, the Monster Van needed a major cleaning when we finally got back to California.
We had so much fun on our road trip that Charlie wants to do the whole thing again soon. He did do 100% of the driving, but I think we'll be staying put for the foreseeable future. We are getting ready to move just before Christmas (...a whole 15 doors away from our current house), but maybe we will see about another road trip sometime in 2017.
Here are a few more pics from our time on the road. We had a great trip away, but are glad to be home and looking forward to moving to our new house, our first Christmas with the quads and the babies' first birthday that is somehow coming up in just under a month!