Friday, July 19, 2013

On The Road Again

 
 I don't do well on long road trips. Being confined in a car for hours on end causes me to search frantically for a roadside bar. My butt becomes numb and my long legs ache from being folded up like an accordion under the dash. I fiddle with the A/C between hot flashes, causing everyone else to shiver or sweat in the backseat.
     Some of the other issues that make me want to claw my way out of the car during a long road trip include:

THE RADIO:  One minute I'm listening to Bon Jovi and digging it, then suddenly the radio station changes over in the next city and Wayne Newton is serenading me with a love ballad that makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

SNACKING:  Long hours in the car causes terminal boredom. Boredom breeds hunger. Every five minutes I'm popping M&M's and Cheez-Its in my mouth like a cracked-out snack hoarder.

REST STOPS:  Within the first two hours of the road trip, my bladder starts knocking at the door. "Hello? Remember that grande size iced coffee you insisted on chugging down seventy miles ago? I'm not doing the camel thing here for you by storing all this liquid. Go pee!!" Murphy's Law inevitably points a finger at me and laughs by trapping me in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate. At this point, I place my hands together in silent prayer: "Dear bladder, please don't fail me now." I'm also forced to consider using my red Solo cup for something other than it was designed for. The cup is probably cleaner than most of the highway rest stops we visit, where everyone looks like Walmart refugees. Maybe it's because we're all sporting the same, rumpled clothes and a glazed look in our eyes from white fever. The good news? I can stock up here on more snacks---a soda for five bucks, a bag of chips that expired two months ago in the vending machine or boiled peanuts from a one-armed man.

SINGING IN THE CAR:  Another hour on the road and the bored men break out singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" when it plays on the radio. I feel like I'm trapped on a tour bus with either The Mormon Taber"knuckle" Choir or The Vienna "Sour Note" Boy's Choir.

FAST FOOD:  Junking out on fast food while driving 80 miles per hour down the interstate is always fun, especially if nobody has any napkins on hand. Half of the food ends up in your lap and the rest of it on your greasy chin. By the time we emerge from the car at out final destination, we look like we've just played paint ball with ketchup, mustard and chocolate milkshakes.


CAR FARTS:  Eating all that crappy fast food and sitting for hours on our butts causes noxious fumes to fill the car. It's too big of a job for those little, hanging air fresheners to mask the smell. The Hubs thinks it's hilarious to crank up the heat and lock the car windows when he farts, just so he can listen to us gag and beg for mercy. I usually try to suffocate myself with a pillow when this occurs. Even worse, pug farts. Word of advice: Never, EVER let your teenager feed the dog a leftover bean burrito before
hitting the road for a long trip. Your olfactory senses will never be the same.

THE HOTEL:  I'm not sure where hotel chains purchase their pillows, but I'm betting they come from a sandbag factory. The mattresses aren't much better; they're so hard, I wake each morning folded over like an elderly man with rheumatoid arthritis.
         Four people sharing one bathroom keeps things interesting as well, especially if everyone indulged in the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet the night before. Hotel managers would be wise to install timers in each bathroom so that everyone gets their fair share of privacy on the stink throne.
        Large bath towels would also be a nice addition. No one can dry off properly from a shower with a towel the size of a dinner napkin. Foam padding needs to be added to the walls of every room so that it doesn't sound like the family upstairs is bouncing on a trampoline or a herd of elephants stampeding the hallways.

VACATION ACTIVITIES:  We spend most of our time hiking, visiting museums and fooling our stomachs into thinking we've entered a Man v.s. Food eating contest. The prize goes to the person who can no longer button their pants at the end of the trip.
 
 Hiking in an unfamiliar forest with a multitude of winding paths is not a good idea if you're codependent on a GPS. With dozens of banana spiders hanging from the trees and a gimpy husband with a bad knee, I don't feel safe getting lost in a secluded area that resembles a perfect spot for a sequel of The Blair Witch Project. It's enough to make me want to pee my pants, but I don't recommend doing that in the forest either, in case you accidentally squat over a patch of poison ivy. Try explaining THAT to your doctor.
     Museums are a great way to pass the time, mostly because they're air conditioned and I don't have to duck under banana spider webs. The downside is standing in a quiet room filled with ancient relics
when your teenager farts loud enough to shake the walls....then points a finger in your direction.
     Caves are also a fun activity to explore while on vacation, but not so
much if you're claustrophobic. Or penis-phobic. There are too many underground stalagmite areas that resemble multiple rooms of erections. It's not cool to snicker about them either, especially while your tour guide is trying to explain these rock formations to your group.
     Here's another travel tip: if the weather has been crappy all week, don't delude yourself into thinking it will pass and schedule an outing to the park. Nothing gets the heart pumping faster than being forced to run like an Olympian a mile back to the car while torrential rain is lashing at your face and dark, ominous clouds begin funneling overhead. Even more thrilling, yell, "TORNADO!!" and watch
everyone scatter like ants out of an anthill. Leave the gimpy husband behind as he does his best imitation of a peg-legged pirate limping over tree roots and rocks. It's every man for himself when a tornado is involved.

     Would I do it all again? Absolutely. Those moments of deep laughter with my family that caused our eyes to water and our bellies to ache were worth every mishap. But next time, we'll skip the bean burritos and carry a bottle of Gas-X instead.

76 comments:

  1. I am dying here because I can totally relate to everything you said. We just returned from a mini vacation with our two teenage boys and I appreciate my own bathroom so much. Yea it's one thing to be able to escape the burrito farts in your own home but when you are confined in a car it's a fate worse than death.

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    1. i truly is! I was gagging all the way!

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  2. You could write a script about this one event. Very funny. Loved the fork-in-the-eye imagery.

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! It was the best way to describe how I felt.

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  3. haha. I just drove 8 hours yesterday so this was a timely topic for me. Good thing calories don't count on road trips! Talya www.gracegritsgarden.com

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    1. That's a long time to be on the road. I would have pulled all of my hair out and be bald by now.

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  4. I know you don't like to fly, but there are some benefits. I rarely ever spend more than an hour in a car with my family. The kids grew up thinking that was some kind of law and I haven't corrected that impression yet.

    But in the end you clearly not only survived but had a great time. So glad you decided to share the hilarious vacation antics with us all.

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    1. I wish I could fly so that I could spare all the road time-- I really do hate it. Now my two older kids are thinking about moving out of state--I have no clue how I'm going to manage seeing them. I'm considering trains as an option...but still worry about the bathroom situation...Lol!

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  5. I am so picky about hotels when we travel haha.

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    1. I think I'm going to have to be from now on. I just want a soft pillow and a soft mattress!

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  6. The heater AND the windows rolled up??? Surely you must think of a way to pay him back for his double generosity. Maybe turning of the hot water on the water heater while he's showering? Buahahahaha or something. :)

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  7. Banana spiders and penis caves. Related? Hmmmm... I want to go somewhere, ANYWHERE! Bring on those phallic symbols, I'll brave them to get out of the house. PLEASE?????????? Having a husband on 60 hour weeks is killing me. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....

    I seriously loved this and I'm thinking everyone must be on vacation because this needs more looooove. Don't worry, I'll share the crap out it. If I share it, they will come, right?

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    1. Ok, we will have to go on vacation somewhere that has a lot of phallic symbols....Las Vegas? Lol. Thanks for sharing the post XO

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  8. Oh my gosh, using your solo cup for something other than it was designed for b/c it's cleaner that most of the bathroom at the rest stops!! And even better than that was how you lumped yourself in with the people who visit the rest stops b/c EVERYONE looks like a Wal-Mart refugee. And then the pic of your dog--omg, too cute! Loved it loved it loved it.

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    1. Sadly, I really did look as bad as the rest of the people at the rest stop. Glad you liked the post--the whole time we were on the trip I kept saying, "OMG I have to blog about this!!!"

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  9. You are so hilarious Marcia... I seriously laughed out loud especially when you wrote about yelling out Tornado and watching your gimpy husband left behind because it was every man for himself.. lol

    Also the eating contest and the one who wins is the one who cannot button their pants at the end..

    Oh my, your family is so funny :)

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    1. It really was a funny experience at the park. The clouds started to funnel and we all just got up and ran across this huge field. I felt bad because I seriously wasn't even thinking of my husband's leg--felt like I was running for my life so I just took off without him. Bad, bad wife LOL!

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  10. You had me smiling! I love Chinese Buffets..I can totally understand about the "bathroom" things!! =)

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    1. Chinese buffets are delicious but they get you afterwards....as in the bathroom usage...

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  11. Everything you mentioned about the road is a fact, no doubt. The pillows are all imported from overseas, as many of the hotel owners now come from the Middle East. If you try real hard, you can smell the camel dung in the sand within! Many do lose their pets on vacation, so it was well you only took the family. Oh, you found some of those pets? That's right, you did eat at that all you can eat buffett, didn't you? lol An excellent job of making this hilarious!!!

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    1. Hahaha! Let's hope I didn't eat someone's dog in the Chinese buffet! Or perhaps we all did...and that's why the bathroom smelled so bad.

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  12. Hi There I am a new follower via The Aloha Blog hop!

    http://naturalbeautism.blogspot.com/

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  13. I am the exact same way in the car! I love your hint of sarcasm in your writing, totally my style!
    New follower from the bloghop! Come check me out. Let's be friends!

    Shannon

    www.smileandwrite1.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Shannon, for the follow! I'd love to check out your site!

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  14. Ha... Too funny!!! We leave for ours on Sunday and the good thing??? Seriously, a 20 minute drive!!! So looking forward to it. I just hope we can avoid the rain.

    Enjoyed, Slu

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    1. Oh, you're getting the rain there too, huh? We are flooding over here. Hopefully things will dry up soon. Have a great trip, Slu!

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  15. 1. This is exactly why you need to get satellite radio. You will never have to listen to Wayne Newton serenade you again. Unless you want to. If so, there's a channel for that.

    2. I don't understand why you don't like car eating. It's one of the best parts of traveling. M&Ms are delicious.

    3. If you don't like car farts then we should probably take separate cars when I come to Florida.

    4. I often pack my own towels for the hotel. If I wanted to feel fat, I'd look at myself naked in the mirror. I don't need a hotel napkin-towel to remind me that I'm fat...and dripping wet because the hotel towels are not absorbent.

    5. But then again, this is what makes those family trips so great. So eat away and then fart away too. Just make sure you do it at the rest stop.

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    1. Lisa, you always crack me up! Ok then farting it is, when you come down here for a visit. I'll be sure to serve cabbage and beans just to be sure! XO

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  16. Okay...I am just going to say it. Were you with us on our last vacation? OMG!!! Seriously, I was laughing my head off as I read this. It's the first time in a week! Thank you for sharing this hilariously, yet delightfully reminiscent of my last vacation!

    Susan Dusterhoft
    Today's Working Woman
    todaysworkingwoman25.blogspot.com

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    1. Good to know I'm not the only one who goes through this stuff while I am on vacation. Glad I could make you laugh!

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  17. If hubby's driving, I totally take Benadryl. Two. I mostly wake up by the time we get there. ;)

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  18. Love this! So funny! Im your newest follower via Bloglovin!

    Amanda @ Happily Ever After
    http://www.karlshappilyeverafter.blogspot.com/

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  19. Love this! I was giggling like a 5th grader in sex ed class about the cave penis's. Great pics!

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  20. How in the world do you know everything about my family road trips? From the car eating, to the radio, the uh farts, shoot pretty much everything! Thanks for the giggles and love that you'd do it all over again. Glad I found your blog over at the Journeys of The Zoo Bloglovin' Hop. See you next week. :)

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Rhonda! I love the blog hop and will swing by to check out your blog!

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  21. I've rarely been on long car journeys but I know what you mean about all the activities that take place.
    Don't use the cup MM, get yourself one of those disposable nappy things what the babies use. It's called 'Pampers'. Only for emergency cases though, ha ha ha.
    Remember the more you eat, the more you'll be fighting with your weight later. It will just creep up on you during the night, so take some healthy snacks instead. You might not like it but your body will :)
    As for the hotel. I'm sure your family entertained the guests all the time you were there and that was the best time the hotel had ever seen. I would loved to have been a fly on the wall.
    You all must have had such a brilliant time. It's good to have a belly laugh with those you love, but you're absolutely right, skip the beans.... :)

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    1. You're right---I need to think ahead for these trips and lay off the junk food. I put on 4 pounds from the trip and have just now (thankfully) lost it again. You want to be a fly on the wall during one of my trips? That's awesome because next week's blog post is exactly about that subject---everyone gets to be the fly on the wall during my last trip....hahaha!

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  22. Ahh . . . family vacations. Also known as: the endurance test to end all endurance tests. There is something far worse, though. When they are all too busy working to go. Sigh.

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    1. Oh, I never thought of it that way---yes, I am grateful everyone could get time off to go on vacation. But I LOVE the way you described it as an endurance test LOL!

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  23. I just have to tell you, when I was little I had a daycare teacher that told me how she had to go pee in the woods, and used a leaf to wipe herself..... Yup. Poison Ivy.

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    1. Ouch!!!! No fun...don't EVER try to get down to nature by peeing in the woods...carry your own damn tissues. The end.

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  24. I think I can handle the Blair Witch easier than I can banana spiders. One thing I do not miss about Florida: SPIDERS THE SIZE OF HUMVEES! Especially the kind that hang in webs in trees high above you, making you wonder if one of the little futhermuckers are going to suddenly drop on your head or even worse, EN MASSE!

    I hate hate hate hate HATE HATE HATE spiders more than I do county-wide tornadoes and Cat 17 hurricanes! I would also kill anyone who cranked up the heat in the car in Florida, farts or no farts. But *with* farts, the death will be particularly slow and terrifying.

    Death by banana spiders!!!

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    1. Now I know your Achilles Heel, Nicole...Bwahahaha!!!

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  25. waoooo..I love family vacations..
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com

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    1. Me too, despite all this weird stuff that happens!

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  26. Nothing like a family vacation :) Thanks for joining us at the Let's Get Social Sunday. Have a wonderful week :)

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    1. Even though they are crazy and hectic at times, I couldn't live without them!

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  27. I so need your id name, I am fixing to turn 45.
    and which nut case MAN names it pre menopausal,to me going through it is going through it, i guess they THINK if they name it PRE that we will be ok with it all,
    OOF If they had to wear our shoes one day going through this mess, they would want to scream as well.
    *Blessings,Renee

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    1. Yeah, I was never a big fan of the "pre" before menopause. It all sucks, so why not just call it what it is? MENOPAUSE!

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  28. LOL Or how about this.
    Time to mess with your body,and MIND!

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    1. Yes! Exactly! Because menopause makes us lose our minds AND the nice bodies we once had!!!

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  29. I can so relate because your family sounds exactly like mine! I do not find all the farting amusing, but my husband and kids do and certainly the dogs don't think twice about it!

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    1. I'm thinking next tine I'll bring a gas mask in the car!

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  30. I haven't laughed this much in a while. I'm certainly following your blog. You're quite the writer if you can get me to read and continue reading an account of a road trip with family. It started out with sympathy for you but then I couldn't stop. Brilliant. Feeding the pug bean burritos, family farts, conversations with your bladder...

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    1. Hi Kalpanaa! Welcome to my insanity--glad you liked it here and I really do hope you'll come back again for another dose if it!

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  31. UUUG I have no idea whats going on with my blog.How are you doing?
    Blessings,Renee

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  32. Junk food is my downfall, too, when on long trips. I get so bored and need to do something with my fingers other than scolding my husband over his driving. ;-)

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    1. I think I gain more weight from the stuff I eat in the car than the actual trip!

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  33. Ah yes ... the car farts. The worst. Thanks for a fun post!

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  34. I loved your point about fast food. I normally wouldn't go within a hundred yards of a McDonalds, which makes running errands around town rather inconvenient and time consuming, but when I'm on a road trip, it's just assumed I'm going to get a value meal #2 from Ronald, Grimace, and the crew, smelling up the car for weeks on end. I don't know why this happens.

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    1. You'd have to sit in the back seat of the car with the pug if you went on a road trip with me....

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  35. It's so funny to look back at our favorite family trips and realize they were just like this. I complain the whole time, then get sad when the trips are over. Dog farts rival the men and they're burritos. How do we keep letting them back into our houses? After the long car rides, I'm always amazed at the amount of Pringles' cans and empty bags of licorice we inhale.
    I cringe at the thought of banana spiders, though! How do you do it?

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    1. The spiders were creepy as hell...I just had to keep my head down and not think about them. I almost stepped on a snake as well--mere inches from my foot when he slithered out from the bushes. BUT I still had a fun trip! Now my big question to you--licorice--red or black??

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    2. Red. Always. Black licorice (anything anise flavored) is evil. Haha

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  36. My husband enjoys farting in the truck and then holding the button so I can't roll down the window. And I have to bribe him to pull over so I can pee. He's learned his lesson after I came down with a kidney infection because he wouldn't stop for a potty break! As for snacks; the best part of the trip! I get to eat whatever my little heart desires. :D

    Sorry I'm late stopping by from the Humor Me! Blog Hop.

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    1. I agree--the food is the best part of the trip--diets be damned!!!

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  37. I love your spirit in your writing! You had me laughing out loud at your adventures and it reminded me of similar ones our family has been on. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Debi @ That Crafty Lunch Lady

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    1. So happy to see you here and I'm glad you liked it!

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  38. Okay, LOVED this post! I have to add a few things:
    Try being vegan on a road trip. It is pretty much a pack your own food situation unless you plan each and every single stop. Super fun.

    Being the only driver for vacation sucks. lol

    Had to put in my 2 cents.

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