How Long?


So I was lazy this morning. I’m in vacation mode already. I walked my daughter outside and sat on the driveway in the sheltering shadows of the trees so I could watch her waiting for the bus. No one could see me. I was OKAY in my big t-shirt. Then I realized she hadn’t taken her picture money and she won’t be at school all next week so if she didn’t take her picture money today then it would be too late. So I got up and ran inside, got the picture money. I could hear the bus coming. No time for pants now! I ran out into the road and yelled at her to come get it.

Of course, at exactly that moment, the neighbors pulled out of their driveway and I was standing in the middle of the road with no pants. ::thunk::

I need serious therapy for my pants issues.

Okay, distract me from this humiliation. We are leaving in the morning for a supposedly six-hour drive (according to Mapquest for a straight drive with no stops) to the Outer Banks with two Australian Shepherds and three children. The last time I took a five-and-a-half hour trip with the 80-year-old man (my dad) it took eight hours.

How long will this trip take with two dogs and three children?

Six hours?

Six and a half?


Seven and a half?


Eight and a half?

One winner will be drawn from the correct answer and will get to pick an autographed book from my contemporary backlist! (Or you can just play for fun. If you want the book, be sure to say you want to be in the drawing.)

Since we’ll be travelling tomorrow, I’ll be back on Sunday with the answer!:mrgreen:


  1. Estella says:

    7 hours—frequent potty stops with children and dogs.
    I really would like a book.:bananadance:

  2. Angie says:

    :rotfl: Pants issue!
    Well, It could be worse..what if it was underwear issues? Now that would be embarrassing!

    My guess for your trip is 6 hours and 55 minutes…and I would like to be included in the drawing, please.

  3. Eve says:

    Hmmmm, 3 kids equals 6 potty breaks, 2 dogs equals 4 potty stops … factor in food … I’d say about 8 hours.

    I wanna book!

    You’ve got your stops mixed up – no pants for traffic stops, pants for bus stops, got it? Unless, of course, the bus driver is a hunk …

  4. Robyn says:

    I’ll say 7 hours. You never know what the
    traffic is like through towns or cities, how many pit stops will be needed, etc.
    Include me in the drawing, please.:wave:

  5. MartyK says:

    Since it never takes as long as Mapquest says, and factoring in the human and doggie element, and assuming you’re wearing pants…I’ll gamble on 7 hours, 15 minutes…

  6. Caro says:

    I saw the words “big t-shirt” and went “uh-oh” — I just knew that somehow you were going to be caught with no pants. It could be worse; it could be a tops issue. :wigglebrow:

    Have fun on the trip — I’m betting about 7 and a half hours unless there is a sudden desperate need for multiple rest stops. In that case, it could take 8 hours, but will feel like 8 days. And I wouldn’t mind being entered in the drawing.

  7. Melissa says:

    :hyper: Yes, I want to be in the drawing and I think it’ll take you eight and a half hours. Good luck and have a safe trip. I love the Outer Banks. πŸ˜€

    :wall: How I feel after an eight and a half hour trip. Think you’ll feel the same, Suz? No worries, the water will calm you. Think ocean thoughts. πŸ˜†

  8. Alyssa says:

    I’m guessing 7-1/2 hours. Please add me to the drawing.

  9. Alyssa says:

    And I hope you have a nice trip!

  10. Carol says:

    I hope you have a great trip! I think it will take 8 hours. Please put my name in the hat! πŸ™‚

  11. Jennifer says:

    It could have been worse. It could have been bus, neighbors, and a sudden strong gust of wind. 😯

    I’m going to guess seven and a half hours. You will need food and walkies. The walkies may take a while because there are so many good smells on roadtrips.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  12. Kelly says:

    Hmm, I vote for 7.5! Good luck and have a great time!

  13. Mary says:

    Let’s see, maybe 3 or 4 days! Have a great time. Hugs.:hissyfit: I want to go.

  14. Tori says:

    :rotfl: You definitely need therapy for the Pants Issue. Did you pack any for the vacation?

  15. Amy K. says:

    7 1/2. Can I come? But please, put some pants on. :hyper:

  16. Jordan says:

    I am convinced that you are flasher at heart. πŸ˜†

  17. Maureen says:

    I’m guessing 7 hours 15 minutes. Please put me in your drawing and have a great vacation.

  18. Emma S says:

    You hope you’ll be back Sunday with the answer. With 3 kids and 2 dogs (and having to watch that speed now that you’ve already got one ticked under your *snicker* belt?) you may still be on the road on Sunday!

  19. kacey says:

    two and a half days. Minimum…

  20. ruby55 says:

    Oh (sigh) what a beautiful picture. I just love that. Wish I were there. Haven’t been to an oceanside beach since I was in Oostende, Belgium in 1979. Actually, I guess it wasn’t ocean-side more like English Channel. Can hardly wait until Jan. 3 for the Dominican Rep. :yes: Wonder what it looks like there.

    As long as you T was long enough to cover panties, I wouldn’t worry. I sometimes do the same. I don’t go outside but I answer the door like that.

    How long you’ll take? With dogs? And kids? And maybe traffic? And I’d be stopping at beautiful scenic spots? Hmm.

    I’ll guess 8 and a half hours. I hope we don’t have to be as exact as some people are making it.

    :grin:And I’d love a book, of course.

  21. Cheryl S. says:

    Can I go with 9 hours or do we have to stick with the choices given? I think you also will need to factor in lunch and the arguments between siblings that necessitate invoking the “if I have to stop this car” threat. :rotfl:

  22. Juanita Stender says:

    I want a book so I will say 7 hours and 10 minutes with Pants and 6 hours and 45 minutes without Pants. LOL!:rotfl:

  23. Gina says:

    Eight hours. And I’d like to be in with the book drawing please!

  24. Toni Anderson says:

    Looks glorious!! Five and a half hours– with the speeding πŸ˜‰

  25. Cynthia says:

    Wow, I am so jealous! The beach looks beautiful.

    I’d say eight hours with all those multiple potty breaks. My boys are famous for the “I’ve gotta go real bad” after we just left the house, restaurant, or any other place with a public restaurant.

    Have fun!

  26. Christy says:

    I’m going to be VERY optimistic and guess 6 and a half hours (hopefully they will nap all the way).
    Please enter me in your book drawing also.
    Have a safe trip.

  27. KimW says:

    I want to be in the drawing and I say it’s going to take 9 hours.

    Funny about the pants.

  28. Jeanette Jackson says:

    I’d say 7 and 1/2 hours and I’d like to be in the drawing

  29. ValMarie says:

    7 hours and twenty-five minutes. And I’d like to be in the drawing.

    Have a great trip!


  30. TeresaH says:

    Have fun! I think it will take about 6 hours and 45 minutes. Please enter me in the drawing

  31. Laurie says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Whenever we travel 4 kids, no pets…we ALL just want to get it over with! Soooooooooo I’m going to say 6 hours! You can always eat in the car. Map quest etc they always say it takes longer because they go the speed limit. I’d love a chance to win a book! Love them!

  32. raine says:

    Eight hours and twenty minutes.

    That includes the traffic stop for speeding by the cop who also wants to know why you’re not wearing pants… 😯

  33. Peggie says:

    eight hours, 1 hour for lunch plus frequent stops

  34. Michelle says:

    I’m going to guess six and a half hours. Have a wonderful time!:bananadance:

  35. Cheryl S. says:

    When I made my guess above, I forgot to say I want to be included in the drawing. :yes:

  36. Marcy says:

    I’d like to be in the drawing. I’ll guess 7 hours. πŸ˜•

  37. Dorothy says:

    :?:8hrs 25 min
    If your are still sane enough to count(HA HA)

  38. Dorothy says:

    :?:8 hrs&25 min.
    If you are still sane enough to count(HA HA)I did not take the trip but i forgot to say please enter me in the drawing!
    If i win i would like: