Austin's First Road Trip

With the last trip I made to Northwest Indiana, I determined that I'll probably stay local for a bit. Victoria and I are both in kind of a state of perpetual tiredness. If I go away on a road trip, I get even more tired from that (the road can be draining). She also gets extra tired with having to watch Austin the entire time. Typically, we try to balance out parenting duties to keep each other from getting overloaded.

Right now, my trips overload both of us in different ways. It then takes a while for us both to recover to our normal level of tiredness. This is why I have been laying off taking more trips lately. With that being said, we wanted Austin to meet his great-grandmas.

My grandmas are 95 and 87. They're not able to make the 300-mile round trip from Marshfield to Belleville. So, Victoria and I decided we'd go up the Saturday of Memorial Weekend. This would allow us 2 days to recover and rest before going back to work.

If you've been following my adventures for any amount of you, you know I'm pretty impulsive. It's obviously in the blog name, but I like to get up and go with minimal planning. I'll just take things as they come. When you travel with an infant, you need to do the opposite. You need to meticulously plan and pack for the journey.

From my understanding, it's not a good idea for a baby to be in their car seat longer than 2-3 hours at a time. You need to get them out of the car seat approximately every 2 hours. We usually take I39 from Madison up to Stevens Point. From there, we get on US-10 and take it the rest of the way to Marshfield. Since it normally takes 2.5 to 3 hours, we'd have to find a place to stop along the way.

I've taken this route a million times, so I know there are 2 rest stops along the way. One is in Portage and the other in Plainfield. The Portage one was built a little over a decade ago and is very nice overall. It has family bathrooms and is ultimately about halfway between Belleville and Marshfield. We decided we'd stop at the Portage rest stop on the way there and back.

We loaded the car with all of Austin's stuff and then put Austin and Maya in the back seat.

We hadn't eaten breakfast, so we stopped at the Belleville Kwik Trip. Victoria and I took turns going inside so one of us could be in the running car with Austin and Maya. I went first, and the funny thing is I had my breakfast sandwich eaten before Victoria returned.

Before you know it, we were on the open road.

It wasn't long before we saw the exit signs for the Portage rest area.

I parked off to the side by the garbage bins.

I fed Austin and Victoria pumped. I then took Austin inside and changed him in one of the family bathrooms. When I got out, I noticed how much condensation had collected from the car's air conditioning since I left it running.

We were at the rest stop for close to an hour, but soon we were back on the road.

The further north we went, the cloudier it got. We eventually ran into a little rain along the way.

Since we didn't know how long it would take with our stops, we told my parents to eat without us. They were going to prepare some food. To be safe, we swung through McDonald's in Plover. I got 2 McChickens.

We were soon on US-10 and then in Marshfield.

We finally made it to my parent's house. Both of my grandmas were there, along with one of my aunts. Austin was finally able to meet them!

My parents had waited for us to come before eating, and there was plenty of food. The 2 McChickens held me over better than I thought, but I still made sure to have a brat and some cheese curds.

We visited and had to feed Austin in the meantime. Maya and Jordy were definitely interested when we were doing that.

We planned to only make a day trip out of this. Unfortunately, my Focus doesn't have much room for the pack-and-play and other stuff we'd need for an overnight trip. So, we visited a little longer and then hit the road.

We planned to go to the southbound Portage rest stop, but things didn't work out as expected. Austin started getting fussy, so we stopped at the Plainfield one. I fed him in the driver's seat again.

While I was feeding, Victoria pumped.

We were there for about an hour and hit the road. We didn't make it to the first exit before Austin was fussy again. We pulled off, and Victoria attended to him.

After hitting the road again, Austin became fussy by the next exit. We pulled into this gas station parking lot. While Victoria attended to Austin, I kept an eye on some random chicken that was getting close to the car.

We figured it would be best if Victoria sat in the back seat with Austin. Oftentimes, he'll spit out his pacifier and then get upset. Giving it back to him settles him down. So, Victoria wedged between him and Maya to attend to him when he'd get fussy.

We hit the road, and the sun was starting to go down.

While Victoria was in the back seat helping Austin, it made Maya really anxious. She ended up throwing up in the back seat. I was definitely happy when we got back to Belleville!

I would say, for the most part, this trip was successful. Austin seemed content on the way up. It was great he got to meet his great grandmas. The way back home was a little more difficult, but we made it back in one piece. We were definitely tired after this trip and made sure to rest as much as possible the next 2 days of the weekend.

I'm sure another trip with Austin will happen soon enough. Right now, we're actually talking about going to Texas with him. We want him also to meet his great-grandparents on Victoria's side. So, I guess you'll have to stay tuned, and hopefully, that adventure will be sooner than later.

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