Back in 1983 my family went on the only vacation that wasn't to Myrtle Beach or Gatlinburg. We were SO predictable that we even stayed in the EXACT room, in the same motel every single vacation. My dad also requested we make a ham ball that had to travel on ice for the trip down to be consumed in transit. Memories I tell you.
On this one and only summer we drove across the state of NC on the way to the Outer Banks. I don't remember much about that trip other than being sunburned, my brother getting sick and puking inside some giant boat he was touring with my dad, and my Barbie Horse being throw at 60 miles an hour out of our family car.
Why would any parent do this? I now know after driving Ben and Ian 1600 miles to Florida. I remember when we were packing the car and my dad saying, "Heather, for the love of God why in the Hell would you bring both a Barbie Car and Horse on this trip? Let me tell you that 1. only one is going and 2. don't be surprise if we don't have room and have to loose it along the way."
I never should have doubted him that at some point when Brian and I were in the cargo hold of the station wagon, and we started throwing toys at each other that both my Barbie horse and Brian's G.I. Joe Hovercraft both were hurled from our car somewhere on I-40.
Now as a parent who restricted what could go in the car to 5 items (because Ben would turn 5 on the trip)I get it. Knowing that we would be bringing back more gifts from meeting up with family + we had the iPad which I am eternally thankful for having on the trip. Minus having Angry Birds drowning out Tina Fey the time in the car was manageable.
So at some point I realized I had missed my exit outside of Atlanta probably because I spent an enormous amount of time on the phone with Bill dealing with house buying/selling stuff while on the road. Really, should I be making decisions about a large financial purchase while drinking a 44 oz drink from the Hot Spot Gas Station while eating a bag of my *restricted to road trips only* purchase of Turkey Creek BBQ porkrinds (also from the Hot Spot.) Probably not, but I realized I was entering Alabama two hours earlier than expected.
I decided to stop at the welcome center and couple a pit stop and ask for directions. I got a map from the heavily made-up and love chain wearing lady who reeked of Designer Impostors Body spray circa 1987. Do you love Giorgio? No, and you shouldn't either. Just give me a damn map lady do you not see my children? One has grabbed my shirt and is trying to pull it over my head and the other is jumping off a display of brochures and rolling into the floor. Feel my pain, I am single parentin' it and we need to get back on the road, o'smelly lady.
She gives me the map, directions that are the WORST ever resulting in another hour of backtracking on the GPS and we are on our way, back into the 106 (really it was according to the one bank in the one stop light town she had us drive through) heat. Reason #912 I no longer live in Alabama outside of the too close for comfort nostalgia for SC, the heat that lasts a good 6 months of the year.
I DID snap this great photo outside and I can't help but think they forgot to add, "the right to not wear shoes inside this welcome center"
Ben is intrigued by the map and at some point I let him have it to "help me." I got nothing from him let me add. Help turns into him covering himself and Ian playing tent. Cute. I start to hear growling like a bear, asking what is going on I then hear the sound of ripping, no busting out like a jail break channeling Shawshank Redemption, and the sound of paper ripping into a zillion pieces. Ian is also in on the action and is squealing with laughter and also trying to tear paper.
I am still finding shards of paper in the car. I wish I had a picture of the first real time I think the boys conspired against me. My laughing at them likely didn't help.
So what do you think happened when at Chick fillet last night before t-ball practice Ben got a MAP of the NEW ENGLAND states as the kid toy. Who the hell comes up with their toys anyway? Wendy's currently has Minute to Win it games so as you can image we ate Wendy's a lot on the trip.
I made him give me the map to avoid a repeat 5 mins before practice and have him acting keyed up with the coach. What he doesn't know is I am all over busting out of that map with him.
Map = Barbie Horse = Different parenting approach