In just over a week's time I will be taking my four and six year boys on the time-honored, All American, designed to make Mom lose her schmidt, ROAD TRIP!
|Hello darling. I just called because I heard you lost your effin' mind!|
The reasons behind making the trip are a little bit sad and a little bit happy.
My grandmother is ninety-two and has gotten much more frail in the last few years. My dad (who is to blame for this cockamamie idea), would like to see his mom again for what might possibly be the last time. And he asked if we would like to come with him and, of course, we do. I miss my grandmother, I haven't seen her nearly as much as I would have liked to in the last decade, and I'm not very good on the phone.
(Ask anyone. I do not enjoy the telephone. Talk fast, get to the point and let me get back to parenting/cooking/writing/watching The Daily Show.)
But it's happy, because we get to see her, and the rest of my dad's family, and some very good friends that we don't get to visit nearly often enough. So, there's that.
Because it would be ridiculously expensive and chaotic to fly with the munchkins, we decided to make the drive from North Carolina to Connecticut in my mini-van instead. It's about a full day's drive, not too bad, especially since The Beast is fully loaded. (I've got two TV/DVD players, with cordless headphones and Wii plug-in, up in here, yo. Bling, bling.) Also, after six years of driving to South Florida to visit my husband's family, I'm prepared to deal with breakouts of boredom.
|We forgot the Cars 2 DVD at home?! Cry me a river, Lunchbox.|
Want to color? I got this. Two lap trays with pockets on the side to hold crayons and markers and a hard flip "desktop" for drawing on.
Hungry? Same lap desks convert to portable tables, so the kids can eat on them, and now the pockets can hold silverware or drinks.
Feel the need for an epic battle between good and bad cars? Detach the flip top of the tray, and you have a "well" where you can crash and smash to your little, evil...um, I mean, energetic...heart's content.
Feeling the need to poke your brother, make high-pitched noises for no reason at all or ask "Are we there yet?" for the 873rd time? Just ask Mom to pop in a DVD and slap some headphones on. It's better than getting left on the side of the road.
Being On The Road means eating almost exclusively out of Mickey D's or The Cracker Barrel , but one of the ways around that is to bring your own food. We do this a lot. It looks like we are in some survival movie, when we go on vacation. There are at least two bags full of "snacks". And when I says snacks, I actually mean what most people would consider a week's worth of groceries. Fruit, dried fruit, two or three types of crackers, pretzels, bread, peanut butter and more fruit. Did I mention we usually pack a small cooler too? Cheese sticks, jelly and maybe some lunch meat.
Also, we bring a gallon or two of water. In case we are stranded in the desert. You know, the one that magically appeared overnight somewhere in Virginia.
Because you never know when The Zombie Apocalypse could happen, and darn it, I'm not going to die because I had to go foraging for food because someone forgot to pack enough Fruit Rollups!
|This is what happens when you have to stop for road trip munchies.|
Also, we have a lot of luggage. Let's just not go there, m'kay?
I'm actually looking forward to this, though. My husband and my mom both have less flexible schedules and had to stay behind, so it's just me and my dad and the boys. I think it will be fun, sort of a bonding time. And did I mention that we are staying at my aunt and uncle's house...out in the driveway in their RV bus? I've never slept in one before. I'm going to look at it as luxury camping. I think the boys are going to love it, and it will be good practice for the Major Travel Campaign that my husband and I are thinking of undertaking in a few years. In fact, this whole trip will be a trial run for the Big Time.
We want to travel from NC to Maine, then up into Canada, and come back by way of The Great Lakes. We might be insane at the end of those two weeks, but we will have memories, damn it!
|"Donner? Party of one?" It's a cookbook! It's a cookbook!|
(I have many memories of my own childhood road trips. Most of them are from the books I refused to look up from.)
Did your parents take you on road trips when you were young? Did you enjoy them or hate them? Are they something you would do now for a vacation or do you prefer to fly somewhere warm and loll on the beach instead?