Friday, October 10, 2008

I called SHOTGUN!

It's almost time for my next road trip. I love road trips. Almost everyone I know loves road trips. My daughter is such an explorer, an adventurer of sorts, and I couldn't ask for a better companion. It makes me think about those road trips I took with my family when I was a kid.

Like that time when my family lived in Italy and my dad drove us all to the border of Yugoslavia. I remember we had a small car (all European cars are small), it was orange and ugly and rusted and you could spot it from a mile away. Anyway, the mountainside next to my window had the word "TITO" spelled out in white flowers. I never knew the significance of that name until many years later (and if you don't know it either, look it up!). One of my most vivid memories is seeing the hang-gliders jump off the top of the mountain and float all the way down. Another one of my most vivid memories is how carsick I got. I think I puked a trail from Aviano, Italy to the Yugoslav checkpoint.

Then there was that one time my parents thought it would be a good idea to drive from Upper Michigan to South Florida in a Yugo. No, silly! It wasn't just them in the Yugo. It was all of us! The entire family of five + large shepherd/collie dog. We camped out in somewhere in Kentucky or Tennessee and I remember being fascinated by the fact that a school bus picked up the students who LIVED at the campground! What kid didn't want to be at camp all the time? Anyway, we packed up and hit the road again when the dog (the very LARGE dog) suddenly started drooling heavily and slopping her slobber all over the backs of our heads (she was in the "hatchback" seat). Finally, we all heard her go "blaaaaaaaaagh" and all of us little kids were screaming,"eeeeeewwww!". The dog puked.

Or that one trip we took to my uncle's farmhouse in Slinger, Wisconsin. It was a five-hour drive from Gwinn, Michigan. My mom packed some sandwiches in a cooler, a few suitcases of clothing, and our entire family of five + large shepherd/collie dog into a BRAND NEW Ford Taurus station wagon. Brian and I sat near the windows in the backseat and Nick straddled the middle hump in his car seat (this was my mother's idea and eliminated the need for "drawing an invisible line" between Brian and me). Nick had been sucking down a few cherry Hi-C juice drinks and "looking at me" for about an hour when he started complaining that his stomach hurt. We knew what that meant. Brian pushed him closer to my side so I retaliated and push him closer to Brian's side. Nick just wanted someone to make him feel better. He felt better after he puked all over the inside of my dad's brand new car. We eventually got to Uncle Larry's farmhouse where my Aunt Janice promptly offered Nick something to drink: a cherry Hi-C.

So, I'm very observant and noticed that all of these "accidents" happened in the back seat – or the hatchback, however you want to look at it. And I'm so happy it's just the two of us, Elle and me, riding up front.

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