Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

So we all were having dinner one evening at a hotel restaurant. Our family was visiting our youngest at her college, and we were reminiscing about our family vacations when the kids were little. I asked the kids, now 23, 24, and 27, what they remember as being exceptionally memorable.

I was mildly surprised to hear that they all loved those times when their dad and I would cram them into the mini - van with a cooler full of sandwiches and drive cross country. They laughed about staying in some weird hotels - like the one that promised a swimming pool, but actually directed guests to cross a freeway and use another hotel's pool - and strange foods, and that psychosis that affects everyone in our family after we have been cooped up in a vehicle with each other in close proximity after sixteen hours.

Lucky for us our car - crazy symptoms include stupid jokes, farting (never by me, of course), singing old songs loudly and out of tune and deviating from the real lyrics, harassing our youngest about the various unusual places that she has barfed due to motion sickness, harassing our oldest about how long he can wait to hit the nearest bathroom break, and harassing our middle child about just about everything else.

My husband loves nothing better than to drive a captive car-full of family members for great distances. His eyes shine as he pores over the road atlas, programs the Garmin, Google maps alternate routes, and fills a manila folder with a ream of paperwork related to our trip. He excitedly washes the car, checks the tires, changes the oil, replaces the windshield wiper blades, and cleans the car interior thoroughly.

I am so thankful that he enjoys all those tasks. Although I did have to mention last time that after he cleaned the leather seats before a trip, we all slid precariously around inside the car whenever we went around a corner. We must have looked pretty funny with our faces smooshed against the door windows every time the car went around a sharp bend in the road.

So as I mentioned earlier, we were at this hotel's restaurant. We decided to have a few after dinner drinks since going home for the night meant a simple ride up on an elevator to our hotel rooms. Now, I have an occasional drink, but one drink is my limit, and my family knows it. They know that I will agree to just about anything when I have had one and a half drinks. As a matter of fact, after one and a half drinks of any adult beverage, I will not only agree to their suggestions, I am also very easily convinced that whatever scheme I agreed to do was probably hatched by me.

I'm not accusing anyone of anything here.

So I was enjoying my second lemon drop martini when the discussion turned to our upcoming summer vacation to visit relatives in the Midwest. Someone said that we should make the four thousand mile round trip, yes, four thousand miles, not in a plane but in our SUV. Everyone began talking excitedly about what fun it would be. We could pack that old cooler with sandwiches again. We could buy our youngest her own set of brand new barf bags. We could drive for at least fourteen hours a day, and we would absolutely love every minute of it. As a matter of fact, we could even invite our son's girlfriend to join in on the hilarity.

I vaguely remember my enthusiasm about this trip. My family tells me that I was simply brilliant to concoct plans for such a grand adventure. I am having difficulty remembering all the details, especially after someone put a third lemon drop martini in front of me. I do remember being very happy about it all....

Today I am packing up my suitcases for a very very long car ride. We leave this week.

And it was all my idea.

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