A quick introduction for those just joining us…
Sharing our Road Trip, Day by Day
From the day we arrived here and settling down, I’ve dreamed about sharing the daily logs from our road trip (which I shared only on my private Facebook page), photos and videos, as well as some funny adventure stories and practical tips/lessons for anyone planning to travel long distances in a very full car with very busy babies and/or toddlers. I wrote these daily updates as a way to keep our family in the loop and let them know, every night, that we had arrived at our next destination point safe and sound. Little did I know that we would get such a following of friends and relatives who were interested in following our trip! I am so grateful that God gave me the perseverance to keep them up because they are such treasures to our family now, and an online journal we can always look back on.
Note: I have put the updates I wrote last year in italics so you easily differentiate what I wrote last year and what I’m adding today.
I hope you join us for the next 15 days as we relive this forever epic #peitocaliforniaroadtrip! Below are the links in case you missed them.
Day 1 Summerside,PE to Bangor, ME
Day 2 Bangor, ME to Rochelle Park, NJ
Day 3: July 7, 2016
Rochelle Park, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA
We made it to Pittsburgh! It’s another late night here. It seems to have become our modus operandi as of late. It’s just so hard to say good bye to such amazing friends when you only have such little time to spend with them as you pass on through. Today we have been blessed with spending time with several beautiful families! It has filled my heart with so much joy! Friends like these are immense gifts and I consider myself extremely lucky to have so many! It had been over 10 years since I had last seen the two friends I met up with today and the beauty of true friendships is that we can effortlessly picked up where we left off, the passing of time not tarnishing our bond of sisterly love in the least. Yes we are older now, more mature, with husbands and children of our own, but the foundation upon which our friendship blossomed has not changed, just deepened and has grown as we have over the years. Watching our children play together so warmed my heart and it ached to say goodbye.
We drove through nearly the entire state of Pennsylvania today taking the Turnpike from the border of New Jersey all the way to Pittsburgh. Before leaving though we had wonderful playdate and lunch with Eve and Sophia and got to meet Sean as well. What a beautiful family they are! Thank you for such a delicious meal and for the blessing of your company!
We’re starting to realize no matter how quickly you intend to make it the next destination, you have to add at least an hour to your drive for rest breaks. Our next stop was at Ellen‘s home in Pittsburgh which was just over 6 hours of actual driving due to construction and traffic. We arrived very late for dinner (around 8:30pm) but they were so kind to wait for us! Dominic, although shy at first, got along famously with her two boys, Charbel and Paul, and at the end of the night (really too late for our littles), he was all sobs and tears when told him to say good night and goodbye. Her boys were so kind to gift him with a parting toy each which he enthusiastically gathered up in his arm and at which point he finally conceded to going to the car without wailing.
It was nearly 10:30pm when we left and what was supposed to be a short 20 min drive to where we would spend the night, thanks to a missed exit, major bridge construction work, and a wrong turn, turned into a 45 minute drive around downtown Pittsburgh. Our dear extended family members, Justin and Christyl were so welcoming and gracious, waiting up for us and had prepared a beautiful space for our family complete with so many little details such as little toy cars and finger puppets set out for the kiddos. Those details bought Brendon and me an additional half an hour of sleep in the morning and for that we are SO grateful! 🙂 #peitocaliforniaroadtrip #day3_rochelleparktopittsburgh
Practical Tips & Funny Stories of the Day (Brought to you by Brendon)
- When Dads hear things, they should act – it had been a long day of driving for yours truly (Brendon here), especially after having our road trip halted in the middle of a Pittsburgh construction zone at 10pm, tacking an extra hour onto our travel and keeping our hosts up as well. By the time we finally rolled in, our kids had been asleep in their seats for two hours. We quietly secured our van, unpacked and carried kids up a steep wooden stairs to a truly adorable attic room with a little bed for D, and a playpen for Audrey. We rolled a snoring Dominic out onto his spot, but Audrey was so peaceful, we unbuckled her and left her in her bucket seat. We really wanted to catch up with our hosts, who we hadn’t seen in at least a year and a half, before they too went to bed, so we plunked down on the first floor couch and did some visiting. That’s when it happened. As I sat there on the first floor in lively discussion, I could have sworn I heard someone talking upstairs and I felt strongly compelled to check on the kids. Discretely excusing myself, I climbed to the second floor and up to the attic and was met by a very awake Audrey at the VERY top step of a long stairs. Now people know that I’m not the mystical type; I generally don’t perceive things I see as visions or feel deeply about God making himself present in the world, but to this day I believe that trough the prayers from family and friends I heard Audrey’s powerful guardian angel(s) pulling me to keep my baby girl from harm.
- Visiting with Family & Friends: If there’s one regret we both share, it’s the rush we were in to reach our destination. As we cruised from state to state, night to night, we were hosted several times by such wonderful friends and family, and we only wish we had slated more time to spend with them. We hope they feel the same, and might one day be open to letting us be their hosts, and of course, allow us to visit them again and for a longer next time.