Travel Compatibility

The first holiday debate ended amicably years ago. We chose a civilized approach to the holidays and trade off celebrating with each side of the family each year. It is very predictable and works very well for all concerned.

The other classic debate we have is over travel: do you fly the red eye or do you take the 6 am flight?

I get no sleep either way, so I might as well fly the red eye and have my kids at least sleep while we are making time to our destination.

I think this is much the same debate that parents have about night drives. Do you drive all night to take advantage of the peace and quiet of sleeping children? I grew up with a night driver, so I, of course like this idea.

George is a day driver. He is a speeding, maniac day driver. He has the tunnel vision of a coal miner with a headlight. He points the car in the direction of the destination and it takes a medical emergency or natural disaster to steer him off course. This includes use of the bathroom and eating.

If you need to go the bathroom, you have to make it abundantly clear that it’s an emergency and you have to do it at the first twinge. If you are not direct and clear on this front, you could wind up trying to pee into a ziplock bag, and this is very tricky and mostly doesn’t work.

In my family, eating is one of the best parts of a road trip. You buy all of the secret forbidden snacks and proceed to eat them randomly and continuously for the duration of the road trip. Of course, rules dictate that the trip must be over four hours in order to buy entire bags of doritos and assorted childhood favorite candies that you no longer allow yourself to buy in public daylight.

Shorter trips beckon fast food restaurants with poutine, onion rings and double cheeseburgers with bacon. I used to buy my snacks on the road from shady gas stations, but now I have to pre-hoard. There is no hairy eyeball to contend with from George if I pre-plan my menu.

This man believes in not eating the whole trip. You don’t get the big gulp or the supersize fries, because then it warrants the aforementioned stop at the bathroom. Why would one leave their speed train and have to pass all of the semi trucks that you just got around again? You eat when you get there, even if it takes 7 hours.

Over the years, I’ve corrupted him a bit. He’s put me more on the straight and narrow. The best thing about 15 years plus of marriage is that you can prepare and strategize for the arguments or roadblocks ahead of time.

I’ll tell you one thing: if you try to pee one time in a ziplock bag and it doesn’t work, your husband is more likely to make a genuine pitt stop in the future.

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One Comment

  1. midwin
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    George would have loved travelling with my parents. During our cross country trips to Colorado each year, they didn’t even stop the car to switch drivers. One would just slide under the other and assume the wheel. Drinks consisted of a milk gallon jug full of water that had long since reached 80-degree air temperature. Nebraska was the worst — my brother and I would press our faces against the window screens in the back of the truck hoping to catch a little breeze.

    Of course, my parents are no longer the people I grew up with. Case in point, last year’s Colorado camping fare consisted of filet mignon. Ah, the beauties of life my children will never know.


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