I’m packing up the little one, a few hundred unnecessary items, and hitting the road for Michigan for the long weekend. The last time we took this trip, she was 15 months old and was an angel the entire way there and back. This time with her being a little older plus with my anxiety of driving, I considered all of our travel options:
Pros: Possibly the same price as gas if not cheaper, no anxiety over driving off a cliff, and it could be a lot of fun to see the little one marvel at her first train ride.
Cons: One 45 min train ride to Union Station, 1.5 hour wait, then a 5.5 train to Detroit? That’s 8 hours of travel for a 5.5 hour trip. Getting someone to drive us to Union Station would be a pain for that unlucky soul, plus thinking about navigating through a train station I haven’t been to since I was 15 with a toddler, a ton of bags and a stroller? No thanks. And toddlers are unpredictable little beings, I couldn’t guarantee she wouldn’t be terrified of getting on the train and start screaming bloody murder while wriggling her little body out of my arms causing me to drop all of our stuff onto the tracks to their ultimate demise. I don’t think I could function without my flatiron and underwear.
Pros: Quick, cheap flights to and from Detroit, good practice for our long flight to San Fran in August.
Cons: Airport security lines, sitting on a plane by myself with a toddler (see above re:unpredictable), and I don’t know if you’ve ever changed a kid on an airplane bathroom changing table but I’d rather not, thank you.
Pros: I’m in control of when and where we stop, I can stuff my car full of every last thing I can think of that I could possibly need for the little one, I’ll have my car when we are out there, and I can change diapers in the backseat. Summer sleeps pretty well in the car and if she gets all crazy and screamy, it’s relatively easy to throw a handful of puffs at her and sing The Wheels on the Bus at the top of my lungs to distract her. Or to drown out the screams. Whichever.
Cons: Pandora will only let me skip so many songs in a certain amount of time, so when I run out of chances on the toddler station after Summer says “I don’t liiiiiiiiiiike,” (her new favorite phrase) for the 12th time in 5 minutes, I’m stuck with the radio while she screams “ABC’S!” at the back of my head over and over. Plus 5.5 hours of horrendous images of us driving off a cliff going through my head as I curse all those stupid highway signs that say “732 traffic deaths in Illinois this year”, wondering if we’re about to add 2 to that total while pasting a smile on my face as I make up names of animals that Old MacDonald has on his farm like shmicken and blurttle and flubben because I’ve actually run out of real animals.
Somehow, someway, car wins. This shall be fun.