August 16, 2005

How To Make An Eight Hour Drive Seem Like A Twelve Hour Drive

It's easy, really. Pop in the Wiggles' Safari CD. Then try to mediate a blazing argument among a trio of little girls, the youngest of whom has no clue about the concept of an Australian accent, about whether Cocky the Cockatoo is saying, "pieces of eight" or "pieces of eye".

How much would you pay? Don't answer yet! Because if you listen to this CD over and over again while crawling along the Mass Pike, you'll get the added bonus of having the voice of Steve Irwin the Croc Hunter saying, "Daynjuh! Daynjuh! Daynjuh!" in your head for the rest of the day!

YIPS from Steve:

For us, it was twelve hours each way, with four kids. We took the "Northern Passage" and went I-81 up to I-84, across 691 to Middletown CT, down Rt9 and then onto I-95 for only twenty miles.

It added about 100+ miles than going I-95 the whole way, but that way you go through a total of two cities (Scranton, PA, and Waterbury Ct) and pay one $1 toll going east over the Hudson at Newburgh. No tunnels, no ridiculous tolls (where does Delaware get off charging tolls on the highway? I've been in Targets larger than the whole frickin' state), no New Jersey rest stops.........

We went a different route, and went with Books on Tape. Now here's a question for the readers: is it still a "Book on Tape" if it's on a CD? Somehow "Book on CD" doesn't work for me.

Anyhoo, we went the Potter route and did all of Book One and part of Book Two. Believe it or not, it worked---no fights, arguments, squabbles etc. We made the oldest, who is 8 1/2, the Quartermaster---she sat next to the cooler, and was in charge of dispensing snacks and drinks. She actually imposed quite a nice little rough justice in the van---no nice, no snacks. She was the Hobbesian Leviathan of the gator ade and Care Bear Fruit Rollups----her power was absolute, and the state of nature was avoided. I also sat with her before we went and used the markers on the map to plot the route----and then made her answer all the "are we there yet?" questions, of which there were none. They were replaced by "What state are we in?" which is a much less objectionable question when driving, because it opens many springboards into discussions of history, geography, geology, as well as quantum physics.

Lulling them to sleep is the key, of course.

That, and we avoided lunch out. This I think is the most valuable travel insight gained. We left doing the leave at 330AM thing, and stopped for breakfast at 730 at a Cracker Barrell. But we skipped the lunch thing, opting instead for pre-positioned sandwiches and snacks. You got to hold that thing out for the end of the day as a nice fat bribe to extort good behavior.

Posted by Robert at August 16, 2005 09:44 AM | TrackBack

We have that vid. EEEEEEVILLLLLLL.

Posted by: LB buddy at August 16, 2005 10:14 AM

And that damn Emu! She run the legs off a kangaroo! I've had that one stuck in my head for weeks. Also, do I detect a subtle message in the snake song? "ya better not, ya better not, ya better not touch". Hmmm.

Posted by: Gary at August 16, 2005 10:24 AM

Crikey! Wev'e got the vid, too. The scariest thing on it is the out-take at the end where Greg is sitting in the Big Red Car waiting on something to happen. He broods. He fidgets. He glares. It's a lot like watching Henry Fonda playing the cold-blooded murderer in Once Upon A Time In The West.

Gary - Dude, you're sick.

Posted by: Robert the LB at August 16, 2005 10:42 AM
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