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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Road Tripping Part I

The Road trip is an annual event for us...is it because we enjoy the extreme closeness of each other? Not so much. In a word, money. We cannot possibly afford to purchase 5 airline tickets for a five day visit, plus a rental car to hold all of us which we would need to rent car seats to go IN the rental car, as you can see $$$. Plus, where would we put all the Christmas presents my mother-in-law gives us to bring back?  So we pack up the car with snacks galore and set our sights on a 22 hour trip in 2 days.  We always have the best intentions to leave at a certain hour, but I know by now that its always 2 hours past that time..( another reason we don't fly) plus the last time we flew was in 2005 to Arizona, back then we only had 2 kids...ah amateurs and we were "randomly" selected for a security search where I watched a guy pat down Fin's diaper... " don't touch my junk"
So we left our home at 4 a.m. Saying good-bye to our loyal lab, who will not sleep the entire time we are gone to uphold his duty to guard the house. When we return he always has puppy bags under his eyes. Without fail as soon as we get in the car I crave chees-its. I don't know why.  And coffee, lots of it.  Most of our boys do very well, and who can blame them?  Our car is stocked with two dvd's players 2 dsi's and numerous books, toys, animals, candy and cd's.  Since when did adults care about a kids boredom? I can specifically remember that concern being at the bottom or not even ON my parents travel list.  It seems like everyone is so concerned that their kid might get bored on a road trip that they spend a lot of money and effort on avoiding it.  We drove in the dark and the freeway is illuminated by the light of in-car televisions, we spotted a showing of Barbie, the Incredibles and our car which was a double feature of  Yo Gabba Gabba and Scooby Doo. I hate to sound like a grumpy old man, but I remember bringing a walkman with tapes that I recorded of television shows. I would hold the recorder up to the tv and hit record and LISTEN to it. That was my entertainment.. second hand recordings of You can't do that on Television. But in all honesty, I wasn't strapped to a car seat. I had full roam of the car, floor boards and cargo space. We got as far as two hours before we needed to take a potty brake. I have a weird issue with co-ed bathrooms, so much so that I will not use them, (possibly the people I have seen come out of them.) That happened to be the only one available at our first stop so we had to go to a different one at Mc Donalds, by this time it is 6 a.m. and what we saw at Mc Donalds before sunrise on a Saturday morning was a dozen old men have breakfast.  I guess I had always heard about this type, but never saw it with my own eyes... its true, these men do exist and seem remarkably happy to be eating foam pancakes.
So as we traveled to each state we like to celebrate it by yelling the name of the state, for our own amusement because the boys are in a techno-coma. This proved to be very difficult when we crossed from Tennessee to Georgia and back to Tennessee. Our eyes are then continually harassed by old signs advertising Ruby Falls? I swear there are at least 25 1970's looking faded signs saying it is the best family vacation spot. By the 25 one I actually want to go to Ruby Falls but Don reminds me that we must not let silly propaganda get in the way of our final destination. Fast forward to Georgia where we noticed a huge temperature increase and the locals attire decrease. I saw a girl wearing  boxer shorts with bed head  at a Dunkin Donuts where she was flirting with the dunkin donut guy and I was virtually invisible..I was going to get a latte, but seriously questioned the ponytail donut guys ability, so I just got a large black coffee instead.  The signs du jour are for "spas" and I wonder how such a beautiful thing as a spa could become a pseudonym for sex? And 50% of my boys can read and kept asking what
"we bare all" meant or "strippers, need we say more,  trucks welcome!"  As we cross into Florida, clearly their billboard bread is buttered with pro-life billboards, and photo's of fetuses. Maybe its a sort of consequence of the Georgia billboards... Tennessee and Kentucky are also states we pass, but at that point I'm in a travel trance.
We announce everything we see too. Cows! Horses! Hay! and every state line we pass.   It makes for one crazy ride in our party bus. By the time we reach Florida, we are so excited that the we get an added shot of adrenaline.. except that we run into a car accident and are stopped on the freeway. Talk about a buzz kill. We are going at a snails pace for what? An car that had caught fire at least 5 hours prior and everyone is rubber necking. And so it goes.
Once we arrive I feel like we have a van attached to our rumps.  Its all excitement and chaos and immediately our tidy quarters have been violated by our explosive suitcases. Our 22 hour journey has concluded and we are ready to kick back and relax.. or so we think.

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