When I was a kid one of my favorite movies was National Lampoons Vacation. I always thought that Chevy Chase was the perfect dad, and I would be psyched to go on a long vacation to Wally World with my family. It would have been much better than my own family vacations because my own father had a terrible temper, and frankly, I think my mother would have preferred being married to Chevy Chase (he was super hot back then, don’t pretend it’s not true).
I have always envisioned taking my own children on cross country trips every summer, and since they are 2 and 3, I decided to start them off slowly. We made the journey from Washington state to Southern California to visit my mom and grandmother. I grew up in an unbearable small desert town, unbearable in heat and mere existence. It was great to see my mother and grandmother, along with a few family friends, but after two days we were done. Last year, I struggled with my move to Washington, and wanted desperately to return to California, and now I can’t think of a single reason why I would do such a thing. I find California depressing now, and was eager to return to my Evergreen state.
After having a two day drive south, and three days of visiting, we jumped in my sedan and started heading to Nevada to visit my best friend, Amber. Amber and I have been friends for eighteen years, so it was a given that we would make a stop in Vegas, no matter how short it had to be. We then headed up through Salt Lake City, up to Idaho, through Eastern Oregon and right back to lush, and thankfully raining, Washington.
The surprising thing about the trip was how well the kids did. My daughter only threw up twice, which is pretty good for a 2-year-old. If I was stuck in the back seat for that long, I would be puking more than a bulimic after a buffet, but my daughter is a champ.
My son urinated in his first Power Aid bottle, which made me very proud, and the kids worked out all their amped-up up kid energy in hotel rooms. Unfortunately, we didn’t camp anywhere which was a major disappointment. Next time.
The relatively short road trip showed me that I do not have to worry about future trips, because I would assume it only gets easier as they get older. I realize that is a ridiculous assumption, but let me have my dreams. Currently, I am attending school in hopes of teaching next fall, which makes future road trips pretty easy to schedule.
Next year, I plan on going to the East Coast; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, the Carolinas, I just don’t even know. There is so much for the kids to see, and I am eager to be their cruise director.
Sure, I may have delusions of family vacations based on 80s classics from my childhood. I may even buy an RV someday, and if the kids do not want to go on a trip, I can always cook some meth.