Tuesday, November 22, 2005

On the Road Again

When I was a kid, my parents were those parents. You know, the ones who piled kids into vehicles of varying degrees of suitability for the task and spent their "family vacations" driving to get places.

Until I was about 8, the chosen mode of transport was a 1979 VW Rabbit. It had a blue vinyl interior, no air-conditioning, and rear windows that didn't roll down. This was the car that drove them and 2 kids across the country the first time, through the Badlands, through Nevada, through various Really Freaking Hot Places. Hot! So hot! I was only four at the time and I still remember how miserably hot it was.

As the family progressed through the years, the car changed to a Ford Taurus wagon that was known to pull campers of various descrip behind it. The Ford gave way to several Enormous Trucks. (I'm not really sure of the make and model...they are all Enormous Trucks to me...) But again, I spent countless hours riding along placidly in the car, staring out the window at the scenery flashing by. The cooler months were the worst, the sun peering out through the leafless trees and causing a nausea-inducing strobe effect. The long cross-country trips were the best, waking up in the middle of the night to get roast beef sandwiches at the A & W, or resetting the trip odometer to see exactly how far away that grain silo in Kansas was. (Answer: 37 miles!)

When I grew up and moved Away, I still mostly drove to get anywhere. I was a poor college and then graduate student, and I certainly did not have the extra couple hundred bucks that a flight usually cost. But then, my car was stolen and never came home, and I became a public transit gal. So flying became my chosen mode of transport. It was easy, and cheap, and quick--that harrowing 13-hour drive home reduced to an hour flight!

I never drive anymore. We always fly. That was part of the reason we had to get a smallish dog--so she'd fit in a carryon. We fly a LOT--we actually earn free flights. And I roll my eyes (remember the eye-rolling???) at the non-frequent fliers who don't get the security procedures. Annoying!

But this year, for some reason, those flights shot up early and permanently. A round trip flight back home was $300 each. Add to that $600 (for me and Sean) the $200 or so it takes to rent a car and assure we are not forced to sit in my parents' living room the entire weekend, and you have nearly a thousand dollars. Which, I should note, is a lot more money when you are paying for oil spills and excavating basements and the like.

So long story short, it's roadtrip time. We're bundling up the Dog Kid (the cats are not fans of roadtrips) and heading for The Sticks this evening. In our car you will find 2 cases of Labatt Blue Light (my father's request) and a case or more of 2-Buck Chuck (My mother's request--you can easily see my family's priorites: Alcohol and Stinginess.) People keep asking me how long it will take, and I'm loathe to reply lest it take far, far longer than that (see also the trip to Philly for Dave and Joanna's wedding that took us about 8 hours...).

Should be entertaining, to say the least. Not much internet access in The Sticks, so turkey day love to all and know that if you're reading this, I'm thankful for YOU.

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