Last week we drove to Edmonton to visit my in-laws as well as my sister-in-law and her kids who were visiting from Ottawa. When we lived in Castor, the trip wasn't so bad with the kids. But now that we live in Medicine Hat, it's a 6 hour drive one-way, without stops.
Something that you should know about me is that I hate to drive, especially in the winter and I almost never highway drive in the dark. In fact, for many years before we had kids and while my husband was in college, he even drove me to and from work, if his schedule allowed, and to any events I had in the evening. I'm not sure when driving became such an issue for me, but it probably has something to do with having been rear-ended three times! What makes me so fearful (beyond my considerable paranoia and overly cautious nature) is the fact that no matter how good a driver you are, the people around you may be complete idiots, careening around without concern for road conditions and never shoulder checking or signalling.
Just to make it more stressful, I had to deal with the two kids by myself and they were constantly asking for snacks, drinks, the movie changed, a dropped toy, etc. As I left the city I realized that I had forgotten to bring my mp3 player, and decided that rather than listen to Disney movies the entire drive, it was time for the 3 year old to try out the cordless headphones that go with the DVD player. Thankfully I found a couple of forgotten CD's in the console: Florence and the Machine, Regina Spektor and Iron & Wine, which isn't much selection, but far better than AM talk radio, which is all you can pick-up in east central Alberta.
As we drove past Ralston (15 minutes into the drive, for those not familiar with the route) my oldest asked, "Are we at Grandma's house yet?"! No, I replied, we have another 5 hrs. and 45 minutes to go.
This weekend I make another trip to Castor, but thankfully, the kids are staying in Medicine Hat with their Grandma!