It’s official. We are back from our latest road trip. And, quite frankly, I need a real vacation now.
Last year we took our first road trip with the kids and enthusiastically agreed to make this our yearly family tradition. So far we have kept our end of the deal though there is always enough “I’m NEVER doing this EVERRR again” mumble to keep us guessing.
This year’s trip was a bit shorter than the last. My husband tried new things and decided not to quit his job this time around, so we only had mere 2.5 weeks to explore. It was a lot of fun nonetheless with minimal chaos thanks to following our simple family road tripping rules.
We visited 4 national parks and monuments and whatever caught our eyes along the way, did some unexpected off-roading in a place where wolverines and Bigfoot kiss you good night, traced the steps of Ancestral Puebloans and found (and left) some amazing ancient artifacts, camped at every single destination (we ARE a bit nuts), climbed up mountains and sand dunes and waded in a snowmelt spring, explored cool water-worn slot canyons, got bluff-charged by mad territorial hummingbirds, did some stargazing under the rustling wings of clouds of bats, met new people, and just allowed ourselves to get engulfed in the molecules of raw nature that we miss so much here in the city.
It was pure awesomeness.
Most of the time.
The worst part???
Imagine leaving your lawn with a fresh haircut and coming back to wild grasslands on the verge of breaking village codes. (Surprisingly, no ticket.)
But instead of a Condor Goloc, you only have a push reel lawn mower at your disposal. (Yes, that is what we own. Done laughing?)
Two huge blisters later, the tallgrass prairie is now gone and I’m still alive. Yay?!
We left for the trip with a neat stack of clean clothes and returned with a filthy pile five times larger and ten times heavier.
So far I have found in my girls’ pockets a plethora of small colorful rocks, granola bar crumbs and a few crackers (mental note: check kids’ pockets more often when camping in bear country), a bunch of cute feathers, a crushed robin’s eggshell, a few small sticks, something unidentifiable, 1.5 dead forest ants (don’t ask), and enough sand to build a private island. I’m not finished yet.
Both kids – freshly reunited with their long-forgotten toys – must play with everything at once. Because that is their job.
Necklaces and trains, bracelets and cars, puzzle pieces, Lego bricks, dress up stuff and dolls and, of course, all those annoying odd little trinkets I swore I’d get rid of. Tomorrow.
A half-day of fun later the floor is no longer visible, and I reluctantly resume my balancing act of trying not to kill myself when walking around the house.
Holy duck, I have to cook again!
Every. Single. Day.
Canned organic soup or gluten-free cereal with coconut milk for dinner, anyone? I hear NO.
The good news is that the bulk of our berries will start ripening soon, so I can lock my kids out in the yard by accident for the day. Not sure about my husband though. He has keys.
I sure wasn’t missing you, dear Midwest summer. I think I saw fireflies fanning each other with a blade of grass the other day.
What are we doing, living in the outskirts of a metropolis?
No, really, what were we thinking?!
The water heater decided to go on strike yesterday because – apparently – the fridge is fixed and the furnace has been paid off and the water heater people need to eat, too.
THE DAILY GRIND
I need a vacation from my life!