The kids, the German Shepherd, Chris and I all piled in the sedan like clowns. We willingly headed north toward the prairie.
The discussion of a road trip began when the Wisconsin Badgers landed themselves in the Rose Bowl.
I care nothing about sports, and bowl games only screw up the viewing schedule on network television. The husband cared, though.
He cares a LOT.
The more I thought about it, though, I was up for THAT sort of road trip: through deserts, mountains, and ultimately Orange County (which I have a bit of fondness for. It began before Real Housewives of Orange County. Honestly).
Orange County morphed into Minnesota.
A leap? Why yes, it is.
We would mooch off of family.
I began warming to the idea of Minnesota in JANUARY.
Then I dusted off my jeans and tried them on.
Perhaps it was that I have worn elastic band pants for three years. Damn those evil elastic waistbands: they are so COMFORTABLE, yet they hide that one has put on 20 pounds in relative comfort.
I had NOTHING to wear.
And...a coat? What coat? We live in Florida. I sold them all before we moved here.
We set out, me in inappropriate clothing. Of COURSE a cardigan and a scarf would keep me warm.
I had blocked Minnesota cold out, much like one blocks out childbirth and colonoscopies.
We left Orlando after my brother's wedding on a Friday night.
Within ten minutes we were lost and screaming at each other.
The toll that was supposed to have been $1 turned into $4 as we backtracked. Our exit was missing because of road construction.
We tried again. The kids had found something to hit each other with. There were feet flailing. Someone accidentally kicked the dog. There was yelping.
This was a ROTTEN idea.
They eventually fell asleep. When they woke up, we were in the Midwest covered in dog hair.
Perhaps it was all of the dog hair, or the entire tub of Pringles that Wes ate in, like, TWO SECONDS. But somewhere in the Middle, we heard moaning in the back seat.
"I have a stomach ache."
"What," I screeched. "What kind of stomach ache," I demanded. "Do you have to go to the bathroom," I asked. Or, the horrible, horrible alternative:
"Do you have to throw up?"
"I think I have to throw up," Wes whimpered.
We opened all of the windows to get air moving, and at the next "safe" area, I pulled the car over.
We sat for several minutes with a ten year old dangling out of the back seat, unsuccessfully summoning the contents of his belly.
We tentitively continued on.
Not five minutes later I heard wretching. I looked back and Wes was bent over and throwing up on the floor.
"Get a bag! Get a bag," I yelled. There was no bag. Anywhere.
I was swerving, hit gravel and flung stones at the startled minivan behind us.
I rolled his window all the way down.
"Throw up out the window," Chris yelled.
"There's a car behind us. He can't do that," I screamed.
"Throw up out the window," Chris repeated. Pathetically, Wes stuck his head out the window while vomiting.
A portion of the vomit showered the car behind us, but most of it hit our car and flew back in all over Wesley's shirt, the back window.
Mass confusion in the minivan unfortunate enough to be directly behind us.
The drive to the next exit was interminable. As in, we drove at LEAST 25 miles in the middle of no where to find a gas station.
Chris walked in and bought paper towels, Lysol wipes and trash bags. The small town gas station attendant eyeballed us suspiciously from her place behind the cash register.
Wes stumbled out of the car covered in vomit. Chris handed him a change of clothing and a trash bag and ordered him inside to clean himself up. Chris, my angel, cleaned up the mess in the back seat.
Driving straight through always seems like such a good idea. The trip was about 25 hours total, and that included stops.
I distinctly remember how much easier these marathons were for us in our 20's. We would drive and drive and bounce back.
|The German Shepherd and the Norweigan Elkhound sort of got along....|
We arrived home yesterday.
I loved every minute in Minnesota and was so happy to spend time with my husband's family. Not everyone can say that about their inlaws....but I am blessed beyond belief that I definitely can.
I was able to hold my twin nieces that I hadn't seen before, and watch Maggie play with her cousin. They are both three and fought like cats and dogs... both of them challenged by the concept of "sharing."
They sled together and played "house." They took videos and pictures of each other on the Mac's Photo Booth.
Chris suggested that this could be a yearly thing.
I looked at my hands that are chapped and dry, my sinuses were dry and are painful ~ my skin is flaking. I have cankles.
I think I need a year to recover.
We'll discuss it in 2013.
|The divas: no photos!|