ROAD TRIP: DAY 1 – First Destination, Chapel Hill, NC

{ disclosure : VW Routan was provided for editorial use by Volkswagen North America, Sola stroller, available for pre-sale in July at and debuting August 12th, 2010 at Babies ‘R’ Us stores nationwide, was provided by Mamas & Papas, all images used in coverage were taken by a Nikon D5000 – on loan from Nikon USA }

This was the start of our first roadtrip as a family of 4.  I was interested in seeing how we would manage.  In some ways going on a road trip with 2 kids under the age of 3 had its benefits.  The infant (5.5 months old to date) slept most of the way.  I started to get a little concerned that his days/nights would get confused but was pleasantly surprised that he stuck to his schedule despite the additional hours of sleep.  The on-board entertainment system is going on my MUST have list for travel with kids.  As much as I am against the mind numbingness of TV, this proved to be a life saver and let’s not forget the blessing of not hearing “are we there yet?” ten thousand times.  There is no concept of time in TV world.  The first haul was a lovely 8.5 hour drive of which we only stopped 4 times.  I considered that major.  Learning about all of the features in our fully loaded VW Routan was easy as pie.  Everything was pretty intuitive and all we could do was oooh and ahhh with each new discovery.

The Routan was fully stocked with snacks  and drinks.  I had raided my nephews extensive DVD collection and placed them all into a compact CD binder for easy access.  Stops were made mostly for the baby’s rice cereal feeding as well as our own and gas re-fueling.  I was able to breast pump comfortably thanks to the roomy seating in the Routan and the battery powered Medela FreeStyle pump.

We arrived into Chapel Hill, NC quite late for family time and were definitely not prepared with dinner considerations.  After we checked into our hotel, the brand spanking new Aloft – Chapel Hill, and settled in, we set off to find sustenance.  We knew this wasn’t a tourist visit but should have been better prepared to enjoy at least some of the local flavor.  Our only taste of Chapel Hill included a drive through UNC – Chapel Hill looking for dinner.  That was a treat though and what a beautiful campus it is.  My husband and I both noted the beauty and character of each building not often found in metro New York City. I could tell we were starting to fall in love with the south already.

The night went pretty well.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel, we got ready for bed.  The toddler were given special treatment in the form of a child size air-mattress with kid bedding and a game for entertainment.  All of this was provided free of charge for kids staying at the hotel.  The toddler thought it was pretty darn cool.  Sterilizing the breast pump equipment was a breeze.  Aloft had a 24 hour open pantry with a microwave – godsend!  Our only hitch of the night was giving the kids a bath.  Our room only had shower access and we hadn’t done the showering limbo with the toddler in a long, long time, and never with the babe.  It was interesting to say the least…


  • The DVD player has wireless headsets!!!  You know what the means – the repeated singing of Barney won’t drive us nuts and we can peacefully rock out to Jay-Z’s version of Forever Young.
  • We kept finding more and more hidden storage space and LOOOOVING it!  With each new discovery, more and more of the clutter that filled the Routan was hidden – you know the chaos that I call my family…

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) certified registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.

  • Elisabeth R

    You guys definitely deserve a vacation after all you’ve been through as a family. What a nice trip. Can’t wait to read more!

  • Cecil Dempsey

    Chapel Hill is gorgeous. Next time you have to plan to see the whole town. So much fun for you all.

  • Lea Chao

    How brave of you to roadtrip with 2 little ones. That’s a long drive even for adults.

  • Joanna McEWAN

    Kudos to you for still finding a way to keep up breastfeeding on the road.

  • K-Dances

    You’re a minivan mom now!


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