Families and road trips are summer. Oh come on, we’ve all done the road trip from hell at least once. Or, if you are like the MM family, you do a road trip from hell at least once a year. Anyway, this is the tale of a road trip with Junior when he was about 7.
There is no better way to bond with your loved ones than by taking a road trip. And not just any road trip either. I mean, a jaunt to to the neatest big city isn’t a real bonding experience–an hour or so in a car is not enough to really appreciate the highs and lows of family travel.
You have to drive at least 5 hours to get the full road trip experience. Only then are you truly able to see your family for what they are—a bunch of whining crybabies who drink too much water and never have to use the restroom when you are stopped at one. And just to show you that all families are alike, here is a little diary of our ride home from Disneyland – which normally takes about 5 hours.
12:33 PM – We are finally on the road. Everyone settles in for naps—except Harry who says he cannot nap while driving. Who knew? I always nap for at least two exits when I’m driving.
12:35 PM – Junior announces that he needs to use the restroom. NOW.
12:40 PM – Arrive at world’s filthiest bathroom. Use my entire supply of antibacterial wipes to clean it.
12:45 PM – Junior begins a medley of Beatles’ hits in alphabetical order while still sitting in the word’s filthiest bathroom. Pop my head out the door to tell Harry to shut the car off—we could be a while.
1:05 PM – Junior finishes singing “Yellow Submarine.”
1:10 PM – Back on the road.
1:15 PM – Return to world’s filthiest bathroom to retrieve Junior’s favorite souvenir of our trip—a junior firefighter sticker.
1:16 PM – Find Junior’s firefighter sticker floating in the toilet.
1:21 PM – After consoling a desolate Junior with a bag of Cheeto’s, we are back on the road.
2:15 PM – Have driven five miles in heavy Los Angeles traffic. And we are in the commuter lane. Plus, the twelve pack of Pepsi on the floor of the backseat has opened and all twelve Pepsi’s have escaped. They roll back and forth under my seat in the stop and go traffic.
2:20 PM – One of the Pepsi’s springs a leak.
3:00 PM – Someone in the car has gas. Junior says it is the dog.
3:01 PM – Realize that we left the dog at home. Travel up and over the grapevine with windows open. I finally settle in for my nap.
3:30 PM – Wake up and look around. Ask Harry where we are. Watch Harry shrug. Realize we are in Bakersfield – about an hour off our normal route for home. This means that not only are we headed in the wrong direction, we are also on the wrong freeway. I guess Harry took that nap after all.
3:32 PM – Take scenic drive through Bakersfield, looking for for the correct freeway or at least a means of escape.
4:00 PM – Yay! We have located our freeway and are on our way home. Junior wakes up, realizes we are out in the middle of nowhere and announces that he needs to go to the bathroom NOW.
4:01 PM – Head back to Bakersfield.
4:30 PM – Arrive at gas station. Oops! Turns out Junior doesn’t really have to go.
4:32 PM – Under threat of death, Junior uses the restroom.
5:00 PM – Back on highway.
7:00 PM – Arrive at Pea Soup Andersen’s for dinner. Eat, drink, and be merry. Well, as merry as three people can be after driving through Bakersfield twice – no offense to Bakersfield, a lovely town that is hotter than hell.
7:30 PM – Make Junior go to the bathroom before we leave Pea Soup Andersen’s.
7:40 PM – Back on highway.
7:45 PM – Realize we are going south on highway, when we should be going north.
8:00 PM – Finally able to turn around on highway.
8:15 PM – Junior asks how long it will be until we get home. I tell him 45 minutes.
8:17 PM – Junior asks when we will be home.
8:19 PM – Junior asks when we will be home.
8:21 PM – Junior asks when we will be home. Oh, and he needs to go to the bathroom.
8:50 PM – Kiss the walkway to our house. Vow repeatedly that next year we will only travel by plane. At least an airplane has a bathroom right there whenever you need it. And they don’t take detours through Bakersfield.
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