Ha, I’m not really going anywhere. Well, I am, but it’s got nothing to do with my blog (although really, as far as the blog is concerned, I probably ought to re-introduce myself since I never seem to post anything here). No, the girls and I are leaving for Florida tomorrow. And we are driving. And this should be interesting. Hopefully it will be interesting in a good way, and not that euphemistic “ah… interesting” way people say when they don’t want to come right out and say “damn, that sucks.”
So in planning this trip, which is almost exactly 1000 miles from my doorstep to our destination, I debated a long time about the best mode of travel. I considered flying, which I enjoy about as much as my cat enjoys taking medicine. And I pretty much [and enthusiastically, I might add] eliminated flying right off, because (1) the times were inconvenient, (2) the price was very inconvenient, and (3) I simply am not allowed to check the amount of luggage I need to take. We are staying a week in a condo-style hotel, and I will need a coffee pot and lots of knitting and my big, floppy hat. All of those things are bulky and heavy and would be really really hard to take on an airplane. That would be, uh… interesting.
Plus, we need a car when we get there. I could rent one, but the cost to rent a comparable mini van for ten days was hundreds of dollars. It seemed much better to have my own lovely mini van and just pay for the gas.
Next, I considered the auto train. We did the auto train two years ago and it was fabulous. Unfortunately, lots of other people also seem to think it’s fabulous. Not only was it a lot more expensive on the dates we wanted to travel, it was sold out. Drat.
So we are left with driving or taking the bus. And since taking the bus will not accomplish the goal of having a vehicle down in FL to gallavant around in (and pick people up at airports and such in, which will be occurring at least twice), we are driving.
I am driving, since my children are not quite tall enough to do so yet.
I like to drive, so this is not a big deal. I have driven to FL twice before, once with DH and the kids and once with my mom and the kids. I did about half the driving with DH and all of the driving with my mom. So I am an expert driver. No, really, I am. I have a commercial driver’s license with passenger endorsement. I might give that license up this year when I need to renew and fill out some new form that the state is requiring, though. But fortunately, a commercial driver’s license with or without passenger endorsement is not necessary to operate a mini van, so we should be okay with just a regular old driver’s license.
The situation that I am currently facing is the Mother’s Corollary to Parkinson’s Law, which pretty much states that
The amount of luggage/toys/clothing required for a trip expands to fill the amount of space available in one’s mini van.
I am really trying not to overpack. And in the way of clothing and toiletries, I have done a marvelous job. But I also have a large box of kitchen items, because I can’t bear the thought of not having a good knife or a good cook pot or- heaven forbid- a decent coffee pot for an entire week. And if you have those things, then you must have accessories, like spices and a vegetable peeler. It’s a downward spiral into kitchen insanity if you really start anticipating all the things you might need and all the things that the hotel’s kitchen probably won’t have. I’m trying hard to breathe deeply and focus on the fact that all we are likely to eat at our hotel is cold cereal for breakfast and salads for lunch, but it’s hard not to add the food processor and stand mixer to the packing pile.
Happily, though, we have audio books ready to listen to and maps to follow and lots of munchies (healthy, of course) to eat along the way, so as long as the suitcase with my contact lenses makes it into the van, we can probably replace just about anything else we happen to forget. So I’m not going to worry much more about it, other than to cross off the things on my to-do list.
It’s something of a long list, but that’s another blog post. Bye!