After months and months of planning the day finally came, we were ready to leave for our trip to Florida / Disney. I spent most of the morning packing the car so that everyone could travel in comfort, and it was undone before we even got over the American border in New York.
Our plan was to take naps during the day and drive all night long while the kids slept. It was great plan that has done us right on many family vacations. As you may have already guessed, our plan did not quite go according to plan. My procrastination ate up quite a bit of my nap time, then I got a call from the school at 12:00, Riley was having chest pains, could I come and get her? Riley has a heart defect and I could hear the paniced tone in her lovely teacher. She has a Pulmenary Stenosis which is completely stable. She could be an athelete and be fine her cardioligist told me at our last visit. Having said that, we still worry. Well it turns out she had indigestion and was fine withing minutes of taking a Tums. She did however succeed in destroying my nap.
We did still head out at 4:00. Mom and Dad came over to drop off Elly (they were kind enough to watch her so that we could nap) and send us off. Christopher had squeezed in an hour nap, and we werere hoping that it would help.
Off we road on our adventure. We all cheered as we passed through the border into New York. Everyone was so anxious to get on with our adventure. The kids however were frustrated with our progress when it took us four hours to get to the Pennsylania border which none of them were even awake to see. Maryland went by in minutes, as did West Virginia, but Virginia I am sure is the largest state that there is (I know it isn't really). It's funny, but after Pennsylania and Maryland they all somehow woke out of their sleeps at the borders and were ready for their pictures to be taken.
As per plan, we drove all night. We took turns napping while the other drove, and made it to Savannah, Georgia where I sit and type this as we speak. Here is what I have learned so far...
I love an adventure. I do not mean the adventure where we go parchuting or hang gliding, or something that might get me killed or maimed for life. I like to explore the unknown. I love seeing plants that we don't have at home. I love seeing new things, and meeting new people along the way.
I was most taken with the wild wisteria that was growing along the sides of the interstate in North Carolina and South Carolina. I made my poor husband pull over at the side of the road so that I could take a picture of it. I love the rest stops and grabbing brochures for new places.
I love pretty much everything about travel.
I also learned something in my teachable moment yesterday when we were checking into our hotel. Christopher had run in to check rates, and see if there was a room available. As we sat in the car waiting, the kids noticed this little hunched old couple. Riley asked why some old people have hunched over backs. I explained to her (as best as I could with my limited medical knowledge) that our spines look like tiny frisbees that are held in the middle by a post. In between these frisbees are gel. As you get older the gel starts to go away sometimes. She was satisfied with my answer. Then the inevitable, will Popa get a hunched back? Will you? Will we? Finally Riley asked if Daddy would get one. I told her I didn't know. "Would you still love Daddy if he had a hunched over back Mommy?" "Oh heaven's no!" I laughed. This is where the teacher was taught. "You know Mommy, it might be o.k. if Daddy got a hunch when he got old. Then when you always kiss, Daddy wouldn't have to bend so much, and you wouldn't have to reach." My husband is six foot four and I am five foot five. It stuck me in two ways, Riley's comment. The first was that I was glad she had noticed that her father and I still kiss and are affectionate. I think that will help them find good marriages when they come from a home where their parents love each other. The second thing that struck me was a child's view. To her it was not tragic that the old people would have hunched backs, it was a blessing to help them more easily kiss.