Whenever our family goes on trips, it’s to see family, or for a day trips, like to the DC zoo. OR we swing in the other direction and move to places like Guatemala and Puerto Rico to work (and then occasionally trek about). But then our older daughter moved to Massachusetts and one thing led to another and before we knew it, we’d mapped out at honest-to-goodness road trip, our family’s first!
(And then our older son bailed on us and went to Hawaii instead, but more on that later.)
Usually a travel hater, I was uncharacteristically excited for this trip. I was eager to see my daughter, and I had a fun plan, complete with booked tickets for a touristy outing, hotel reservations, and a ungodly amount of snacks. I google-mapped the heck out of stuff (and somehow still managed to never know where I was), and emailed with family and friends re travel tips and home visits. As we collected supplies, I piled them behind the living room sofa: the box of homecanned goods and Costco socks and GoT DVDs for my older daughter, bags of homemade granola for our breakfasts, plastic bowls, a huge bag of reading material (that I hardly touched), etc.
Pre-trip, cleaning out my bag. Apparently, I mostly haul around junk.
But the biggest reason I was excited, though, was because for the first time maybe ever, money was not a stresser. Thanks to the pandemic, kids moving out, and random goodies from the produce farm and the bakery, plus our own beef and milk, I’d managed to squirrel away a good-sized chunk from our grocery budget each month. We still had to play it smart — no fine dining or room service — but if we had to pay for any surprise fees, or screwed up and found ourselves at a hotel with 55 dollar valet parking (oops), or wanted to buy fancy coffee, we could. The not-pinched feeling was totally new to me. So this is how people go on vacations, I thought. What fun!
In the week leading up, we readied the property, emptied the fridge, cleaned the van. My husband and the kids tightened up the dog kennel (i.e. electrified it because Danny Boy likes to jump fences), and we arranged for animal care (thanks, family!).
This particular set-up was not parent-approved and thus removed.
My son ordered tech stuff and the Spiderman movies — he reports that he watched the first one two-and-three-forths times and the second one two times; by the end, he was reciting the lines along with the actors — and spent hours scheming ways to transform the van into a lux entertainment studio.
And then Friday morning came and we were off!
This same time, years previous: Novia Scotia oatcakes, one morning, all before lunch, the quotidian (6.19.17), puff!, the quotidian (6.20.16), sinking in, in recovery, magic custard cake, refried beans.