Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Traveling Man

When I was a kid, I never understood the logistics of my mom and dad taking the entire horde of children with them on vacation. Now I think about it, and it terrifies me. Anywhere from five to eight kids, sometimes including friends, stuffed inside a hot station wagon. Up on top of the car would be all the necessities of life, gathered by my mom. She would have to plan for every possibility. Entertainment for the younger kids, distractions for the older kids, and plenty of baby things for the ever present infant in our house. Mom would make sure we packed enough clothes and underwear for an entire week, and not just the one bathing suit I figured would be all I'd need. I was thinking about this because Mark and I are planning our yearly summer trip to Chicago, and all I have to do is account for myself, Mark, and Chandler. I do have to arrange for Sasha and the cats to be taken care of, but that won't be any problem. I'm sure my mom would have loved to just tell a neighbor to put food out twice a day, and leave us kids behind.

Now it's not that traveling with Mark is much easier than my parents taking a gaggle of kids. He does tend to over do things, like packing enough crap for two months. But that's his thing. I simply make sure the car runs, has gas, and is supplied with enough music and books on CD's to keep me happy. I also will have to make sure we have motels to stay in that will welcome a ninety pound mutt. Luckily, La Quinta Inns solves that problem.

Traveling as an adult is so different than as a child with my parents, or for that matter when I was nineteen, or twenty. Back then my friends and I would decide on a whim that we wanted to go to California, or a music festival in a swamp in Louisiana, and jump in the car and go. Often with just the clothes on our back. Motels? We didn't need a bed, we would swap off driving, with one snoozing in the back seat. Yes, those were the days. But as much as I think I'd like to be that free again, I remember the smell of a car full of hippies. I'll take La Quinta, and Mark's over packing, thank you.

7 comments:

  1. I'll take a car full of young hippies please.

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  2. Young or old, they still smell bad.

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  3. We did the station wagon thing also. My mom made flash cards to test us on our multiplication tables (note previous comment on math). Contrary to popular belief I do not think the journey is half the fun. Give me an airline ticket, ipod and 3 of those delightful in-cabin cocktails and I will fly across country and arrive to my vacation in style, thank you.

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  4. I remember how Alan would choose destination points of travel in the early 1980s. One trip he threw a dart at an Illinois map and we ended up traveling to Oquawka, Illinois on the Mississippi River. We found out that "within the city exists a memorial and grave marker to a circus elephant named Norma Jean, who perished on July 17, 1972 after being struck by lightning."

    ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oquawk
    a,_Illinois

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  5. Oh PLEEEASE let Mark drive and take a video! I love when you do that! I'll light a candle for Norma Jean, poor thing.

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  6. Ok...an elephant standing in some random small town in the middle of nowhere and gets struck by lightening. What are the odds of that? I suggest everyone make the pilgrimage to see the elephant Norma Jean's grave maker and burial site in Oquawka, Illinois. Oh I like that photo of you Alan from the Rocky mountains. I never saw that one before.

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  7. I'm lighting a joint for Norma Jean, poor me.

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