Yes, agree on both. They are pretty lax about a hard deadline.
This is really interesting! I'm not sure this matters, but it feels like this must matter!
Thinking about the end of the water... the water was the "room" they were looking in, and what he finds is "played catch with dad" (though he doesn't recognize it at first).
Now that I've typed this out, this seems like a Requirement or Prerequisite, not an option. Or maybe an Option (water) + Requirement (item on checklist).
Only thing that comes to mind: taking the freeway is faster, taking the Road of Peril costs them time. Interestingly, they end up doing both (so, both options) and realize that they right way to think about the problem was to ask "what are my options?" and not "what is the fastest way to do this?"