1. It is possible to travel 2300 miles round trip with a six-year-old and eight-year-old without killing either one of them, or yourself.
However, not screaming at them, or issuing idle threats, while they wrestle and throw pillows at each other as you're trying to drive through a pouring thunderstorm, pinned between two semi-trucks going 70 mph, is impossible.
"Don't make me pull over this car!"
"You will lose your Wii and TV privileges for a month if you don't cut it out!!"
"You will lose your Wii, TV privileges, and outside time for 2 months if you don't stop NOW!!!!"
You won't leave your room or see the light of day until school starts if this behavior doesn't STOP IMMEDIATELY!!!!!
"I will suck the oxygen out of the car, and not let you breathe another lungful of air if you don't CEASE AND DESIST THIS VERY MINUTE!!!!!!!!
These incidents were brief, but always seemed to come at the worst time.
2. OK. If you live in, or near Atlanta, we need to have a little talk.
Now, I know it probably isn't you personally, but I'm willing to bet your family and friends are terrible drivers. Not the don't-know-how-to-operate-a-vehicle kind of bad drivers, but the tail-gating-the-car-ahead-of-them-at-80-mph-while-swerving-through-three-lanes-of-traffic-without-signaling-and-talking-on-the-cell-phone, or smoking a joint like one mullet-headed SUV driver next to me, kind of bad drivers.
You know it's true, just admit it.
I have driven through many major metro areas, but Atlanta is the only one that make me white-knuckle my through it with visions of multiple-vehicle, fiery, car crashes.
3. Rest areas are your friend. Use them every chance you get and don't believe any child who says they don't need to--they're wrong.
4. Even kids get tired of McDonald's after a couple of days.
5. When staying in motel rooms, try not to let the 20/20 special you saw about bed bugs, and germy sheets play over and over in your head. You'll never sleep.
6. Add an hour and a half to any estimated time Mapquest gives you. Their travel times are only accurate for robotic machines that can fly over traffic jams, never need to refuel, eat, or use the bathroom. If you are a robotic machine, disregard this advice.
7. Drive defensively. Assume everyone else on the road is drunk, having a heart attack, off their meds, or driving with a six-year-old and eight-year-old throwing pillows at each other in the back seat. It's the only thing that explains the craziness you'll encounter on the road.