Even a little vomit is a game changer.

Okay. If you thought our day-o-urine was upsetting then hold on to your butts because we saw our first debut of vomit to kick off day #4.

Harper woke up yesterday morning complaining of a stomach ache. We were all concerned because it was Washington DC day, and it would be a lot of walking. Washington went right out the window when Harper threw up on his arm.

The temperature was supposed to get up to 108, so we immediately scrapped the idea of dragging a kid with a stomach virus into a crowded city so he could boil, and then inevitably vomit on the fanny pack of a tourist.

We carefully selected a hotel room. (We learned a few years ago not to just snag the best deal, when we had a room where the check-in clerk stood in a bullet-proof glass booth in the parking lot and it looked like someone shaved their back on all the bath towels.) So, we took our time to read a zillion reviews and we booked a safe and chest-hair free hotel room.

Sweet, sweet relief.

Harper only threw up that one time, and we spent the 108 degree day in the hotel swimming pool doing "camping balls." (London is very confused about all things camping and road trip... So for her, cannon balls makes as much sense a camping balls.)

I think maybe Harper was just so disgusted at our choice to drag them around the country that he just finally puked about it all. Either way, he made a full recovery once we got him out of the wilderness.

We had to rearrange the schedule to do Washington DC today and we are on our way now. For those of you who have waited in eager anticipation for the ATATT debut, the time has arrived.

Me: Tom, what would you like all your fans to know about your expectations going into the trip this year?
Tom: "Another wonderful adventure with the family... Buuuut, in underwear-boiling temperatures."
Me: Can you tell us a little bit about your reaction to the first four days? And what are some of the emotions you've experienced.
Tom: "Well, there's been a lot of 'what in the world were we thinking' and 'this is really crazy' but also plenty of 'this is really fun.' It makes me think that there must be something wrong with all these people who are here camping, and ignoring government health warnings... About extreme heat, severe weather, ticks and chiggers... You know, the ones that scroll by in red when you are checking the weather. But what really keeps me up at night is the self-realization that not only am I one of those people, but that we subject our children to it. Oh, the other thing that keeps me up at night is the torrential sweat downpour triggered by nothing other than lying perfectly still in the tent. I will say my WWPRD alarms (what would Paul Robinson do?) were sounding loud and clear very early on this year." (first-year readers may need to double back to previous years to appreciate this reference.)
Me: In your opinion, what was the scariest creature we encountered at the aquarium?
Tom: "Opinions aside, the most terrifying encounter was when I was in an enclosed space with a wild, unpredictable and potentially violent creature. I was in the elevator with a twelve year old girl who yelled at her little brother for no reason. We made eye contact twice and I really thought she was going to yell at me next."
Me: What have been some of your extra duties since I have been injured?
Tom: "I've had to do pretty much everything short of feeding Lara, little baby choochoo style. I have also served as Mobile Barbie Recapitation Services.
Me: what has been the most ridiculous thing said on the trip at this point?
Tom: "I'm about to duct tape him to the ceiling."
Me: How has this trip compared to the past two?
Tom: "Roughest start yet, but I also feel like we are more prepared because we've already done it twice before."
Me: What animal is your focus this year? Trip 1 was the buffalo, trip 2 was the moose... What is the animal obsession this year?
Tom: "This is Sasquatch territory we're heading into this year."

*To say that getting Tom to answer these questions is like pulling teeth is an understatement. I pulled one of Marlie's teeth this morning, easy breezy compared to the trillions of seconds that elapse between the Q and the A.