A few weeks ago, the Buried clan went on a road trip during Detective Munch’s spring break.
We spent a few days in Washington D.C. and then spent the latter half of the week, and Easter weekend, with Mom and Buried’s family in South Carolina. Then we drove the full fourteen hours back while The Hammer battled a fever and the world’s most prolific runny nose and we battled headaches, frustration, and traffic.
Spring break ain’t what it used to be…
We knew embarking on a marathon (fine, half-marathon) drive with a 6-year-old and a baby was going to be tough. That was the entire reason we decided to stop in D.C. on the way down, to break it up! And also because Red Roof Inn offered to put us up in one of their new “Plus+” locations – their new higher-end line that offers enhanced amenities and services at budget-friendly prices – for a few nights.
I just made a joke about how spring break as a 40-year-old parent isn’t quite the same as it was as a 20-something college student – there was a lot less grain alcohol consumption on this trip! – but the Red Roof PLUS+ is exactly the kind of place we stayed when I went to Key West my senior year. This room was definitely bigger – we went with two double beds rather than a king, so Detective Munch was with one of us every night – it came with a mini-fridge to store The Hammer’s milk, and the hotel kindly provided us with a pack’n play that we immediately shoved in the bathroom and that had no place anywhere near me in 1998.
But other than that, it was oddly reminiscent of the place I barely slept for a week in March 1998! College was a bit different. (But not that different?)
We went for convenience over luxury, and the new Red Roof PLUS+ location provided just what we needed. We knew we weren’t going to spend a lot of time there aside from sleeping and that worked out really well. Mom and Buried still can’t stop talking about how comfortable the beds were (we need a new mattress)! That comfort came in handy after we spent our first day walking the National Mall and taking in every possible monument, then spent our second day hiking around the National Zoo, complete with its adorable pandas and locationally-on-point bald eagles. By the time we got back to our hotel room, Mom and Buried and I could have slept on a bed of nails!
Thankfully we didn’t have to because the beds in our room had super-comfy pillow tops mattresses, so we just had to endure The Hammer’s unpleasant screaming when he spent the first night there with his first fever of the trip! Thank god for the flatscreen TV, free wifi (we hooked it up to a computer and watched a movie), and the loud cop cars that spent two hours investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot – together they all drowned out his crying!
From D.C. we took an eight-hour drive (normally six, but all the pit-stops added two hours, have kids!) to South Carolina, which meant my in-laws got to interact with The Hammer for the first time since he’s had a personality, and we got to head across the border into North Carolina and visit the gorgeous, new, and I-already-want-to-go-back Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River. We also visited the RJ Rockers Brewery in Spartanburg, which is also home to the Marshall Tucker Band, who have a little sign commemorating their birthplace. Can’t you see (the picture I posted on the left?)
Over the course of our five days at Aunt Buried’s, The Hammer bonded with the world’s greatest dog (Duke, an Australian shepherd), Detective Munch bonded with his cousins, Mom and Buried reconnected with her family, whom she doesn’t get to see often enough, and I played Madden for the first time in years, and lost badly. No excuses, but we didn’t play until after we got back from the brewery…
Then we got in the car and endured a hellish fourteen hour drive while The Hammer suffered through his second fever (this one was actually the prelude a week of doctor’s visits and breating machines) and Detective Munch played on the iPad so much I think Tim Cook owns his soul. But we all survived, thanks to Red Roof PLUS+, our nation’s storied history, Sierra Nevada, and a gorgeous week of weather that allowed for plenty of drinking in the southern sunshine.
And there wasn’t nearly as much puking as on previous spring breaks!
Disclosure: Red Roof PLUS+ put us up for three nights in their Alexandria, VA location, but all opinions are my own.