Russell called down to the beach house this morning and spoke with the owners, who assured him everything is just fine on S. Padre. They said people aren't even boarding up the windows. So I guess tonight I'm packing the car so that we can hop in first thing tomorrow morning and head south. We'll be picking B up in Harlingen/Brownsville on our way down there. He's flying into Harlingen, but he may catch a shuttle over to Brownsville in search of a good hotel.
I'm a bit nervous about the drive with the three kids. I've decided I'm packing a stroller, just so I have someplace to park Campbell when we go into restrooms. I don't want to have to put him down to crawl around in god-knows-what. I've also decided that we're eating at "real" restaurants - Applebee's or Luby's or the like, just so I'm not trying to wrestle three kids and trays at a fast-food place. Fortunately, it's only one meal that I have to worry about. I'll put a small cooler in the front seat with juice boxes and bottles for the kids and a bag with lots of easy-to-distribute snacks. Each girl is allowed to pick out three movies to take with us, and I'll be allowing them to veg out the whole way there. Driving solo is not the time to encourage activities like license plate bingo and I Spy. The girls will be fine - it's Campbell who's likely to be the big problem. He still faces backwards, so he can't watch movies, and he doesn't like being trapped in his seat for more than an hour or so. I foresee lots of rest breaks.
I'm reminding myself to treat it as an adventure, not a source of stress and frustration. We'll get there when we get there; B can easily cool his heels waiting for us. Plus I will earn SO many bonus points on the marriage/parenting scorecard for this one! I'll win any debate with, "Remember the time I drove for six hours with three kids all by myself?"
So now I'm off to make lists of things to remember - keys and instructions for housesitter; power cords for the laptop, cell phone, and iPod; my work files; dictionary and thesaurus for my new work project; clothes for the kids; etc.
Wish me luck!