Saturday, June 6, 2009

On the Road Again

Howdy Hi from the open road. I'm writing today from my sisters camper. We're going 65 m.p.h. down the PA turnpike as I write. We are in a decent sized motor home, pulling a car behind us. We were our own mini-convoy. You got a copy on me? Come on.

So I'm typing away. My laptop is connected to a wireless router which uses an air card. Liv is listening to CD's and drawing illustrations for a story she's working on. Lea is sleeping off the last of the Dramamine. Shelby is reading us jokes from a joke book. Wendy has just cleaned up after lunch and is headed to the back bedroom to read. Tom and Mark are taking turns driving and sleeping. When Lea wakes up, they'll probably watch a movie.

I used the bathroom while the vehicle was moving. Awesome. I kept thinking about that lady I saw on the Today show last week who was using the bathroom in an airplane when they hit some turbulence and she hit the roof or something and was paralyzed. I was pretty sure that wasn't gonna happen in a camper, but I peed fast anyway, just to be safe.

As I came out of the bathroom, I glanced back at my sister, sound asleep in her queen-sized bed with her book beside her. It was hard not to remember traveling with her when we were the wee ones.

(Scene blurs, lines squiggle and fade, indicating that it's time for the flashback sequence.)

I've mentioned before that my dad was a teacher and my mom was a SAHM. In the summer of 1970 they decided it would be super-fun to spend the full summer traveling across the country in a little car pulling a travel trailer with a 7 year old and a 5 year old.


It goes without saying that said car and camper did not have anything as luxurious or frivolous as air conditioning. We rolled down the windows. Manually. It goes without saying that there were no DVD's or CD's or iPods. There was an AM radio and we all listened to the same thing. Should I try to do some more? Twenty-five or six to four... We played license plate bingo and we counted cows. At 7 and 5 we knew every state capital. These were good ways to pass the time. Another good way to pass the time when you're 7 and 5 and confined in the back seat of a small car is to fight and pick.

"She touched me."

"Her foot is on my side."


And, of course, the requisite:

"Are we there yet?"

We all survived to tell the tale. Wendy and I had perpetually bruised wrists that whole summer from my mom holding on to us a little too tightly as we shared campgrounds and state parks with what she called "hippies, weirdos and druggies".

But we all survived, and were better for the experience.

Coming out of my flashback I look at out three girls. Books, snacks, CD's, DVD's, iPods, phones, games, computers... they have it so good!

And then I heard it.

"I'm bored."

"Are we there yet?"

Are you freakin' kidding me?


the girl with the pink teacup said...


You could always tell them to go and pee if they're bored. Sounds like a bit of an adventure!

Family road trips = bizarre fun.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm really just stuck on the Convoy reference. That makes you way way cool in my book.. Come On.

Anonymous said...

love it!! enjoyed reading of your adventure AS you travel.....way cool!!!

Pam said...

I copy you. Another great post. Love the images of you and sister on an entire summer road trip. That is the definition of hell for me. And some things never change. 10-4!

FranticMommy said...

What a great blog post! I had a few traveling flashbacks myself as I read it. A few "I'm bored" with many "Are we there yet"s is standard procedure when travling with kids!

Unknown said...

This is great! Stopping by from SITS! And love your blog too!

Housewife Savant said...

Family travel in the 70s...some good fun, if by fun you mean horrible suffering.
Oh, but you're still talking to your sister, so we're not on the same page this time.

Well written post.

Macey said...

Awesome. I'm bored...they just don't know what bored is these days! How old am I? Too old, I guess!

Unknown said...

Oh my lord, I think I've been on that flashback vacation! I guess I was lucky, we did have A/c, but wished we could crack a window as my parents were chain smoking Tarkenton.....gag. It was my brother and I in the back seat, my sisters had graduated HS and aged out of the family vacations.......lucky them...ha ha, but that was the voice of a 10 or 11 year old, looking back I didn't know how good I had it. 10-4 good buddy catch ya on the flip flop!

Alex the Girl said...

We were four littles in the car (all sisters) and it was a car for a long, long time. Remember back then seat belts weren't mandated and parents weren't paranoid about cars rolling over? Well, the prize seat we fought over wasn't a seat, but the back dashboard was long enough for us to squeeze in there and take a nap. The two seats by the windows had an ice chest topped with pillows or blankets...we'd nap on those and stick our feet out the windows. Those were the days...fortunately we never went further than our neighboring states for vacation. Oh yes, not to mention we ALWAYS ended up getting lost (and my parents listened to honky tonk music).

Claudya Martinez said...

Please, the motor home you're in sounds nicer than my home.

Gibby said...

LOL, that flashback was hysterical! Partly because that was my youth with my brother, and partly because that is my today living on the road with my kids. They have iPods, nintendos, etc, and they are still driving me nuts. Somebody save me!

AiringMyLaundry said...


I'm paranoid about using airplane restrooms after hearing about that lady being paralyzed too. I try to avoid it when I can because ew, they're so tiny and scary looking but after hearing THAT story..well,I sort of like having the use of my legs more than peeing.

Carma Sez said...

Kids these days! gosh! ;-)

Kathy B! said...

Ah, the perpetually bruised wrists... I think my kids might have some of those! It was a long. flight. home...

Shawna said...

What was your mom? I didn't get the abbreviation.

And my favorite part of that entire thing: "MAKE HER STOP LOOKING AT ME"


Shawna's Study Abroad

MaryRC said...

kids will be kids no matter how jaded they are. i am envious, the mo-ho experience is one, i would love to do. problem is my kids are about to get past the age of an enjoyable vacation of that type.