I have always looked forward to our trips as a family. It’s the planning I dread.
So while the idea of going on a vacation is exciting, the fact is I just don’t like leaving home. I love my home.
Therefore, closing up shop for a trip becomes a stressful event for me: Deciding what clothes to take, based on what is clean versus what must be washed; making sure there are snacks for the ride; leaving instructions for the house sitter on my way of managing household tasks and caring for the pets, and praying the house doesn’t burn down or the washer hose doesn’t break, all those sorts of things. It makes me a nervous wreck.
In the earlier days I would need to pack for four. And I had to stay true to my mother’s rule: always divide the underwear and necessities into two suitcases in case one gets lost. It could get confusing. When we began road tripping with the kids the problem was getting everything jammed into the vehicle. Now that is just the old man and me it should be easier…..
For this vacation, our daughter’s boyfriend suggested we rent an RV for traveling around Europe instead of hotelling it. This vacation had the making of a perfect storm: packing for three weeks in Europe, an uncomfortable nine-hour plane trip just to fly from Las Vegas to Brussels before we even begin, and then sharing an RV with our daughter and her boyfriend. But at least once we’re on the road, I’d have my own toilet.
We used to love yelling the phrase, “Gorman road trip!” We really like to spend time together as a family. This time our son gets to stay home with his wife. Don’t get me wrong: traveling with our daughter can be a pleasure. Unlike earlier times when her suitcases would explode every night in the hotel room and require search and rescue missions each morning to find her stuff, she has turned into a very tidy young woman. It fact, it is a bit dismaying because after years of being a neatnik myself, my effort s have eroded against the onslaughts of my husband’s love of clutter. Now I am a bit of a slob. The three of us in the RV? This time it’ll be our mess that she will have to contend with.
But daughter takes good care of me when we travel. She looks after me and guides me and feeds me and nags me and prevents me from buying useless souvenirs. And yet we do have fun in spite of that.
And Tom is so great at planning things. In fact he’ll plan so many different possibilities of what to do and where to go and what to see that I want to strangle him. But if I complain, daughter gets upset with me and defends her daddy — and then they both punish me by looking at me and saying, “Well what would YOU like to do?” Uh, I don’t know.
Did I mention I really look forward to trips with my family??