going on holiday

So the last time I made this trip it was in reverse, driving from Des Moines, Iowa to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Because Katy and I were road novices, Rob broke up the trip. We left on a Wednesday evening and stayed at a hotel about an hour away. This way we’d said goodbye to the house and would start the trip a bit “fresher”. We crossed the border on Saturday and stayed that night in Regina, Saskatchewan where I met my mother in law, Gerry, for the first time. It’s also where we met Rob’s sister, Lice Widow. The journey ended with our new home on Sunday evening. I think it may have been solstice or pretty close.

This evening we are heading in the opposite direction with Northeast Iowa as our destination. Just four hours tonight and crossing the border Saturday morning and then heading to Minot. Minot to the Minneapolis area Sunday. Monday to my folks. And yes, this is much abbreviated. We aren’t road virgins anymore.

I may “live” blog over the weekend. Depends on the scenery. The flora, fauna and natives you run across on a road trip can make for interesting blog fodder. 

I have a new short story I am working on and it might distract me. It’s terribly sad. So sad that it made me cry while I was working on the beginning the other night. I am stuck in post-apocalyptic themes. Not cheery and it was only yesterday that the reason for it hit me quite squarely during my morning run.

It’s about surviving. 

On the day after – when it’s obvious that you are still alive and will be for a while – you get up, survey the wreckage and get on with whatever it is you have to do.

Anyway, it’s a really sad story. Even Rob couldn’t believe I was writing something so sad.

Regardless, I will be blogging over the “holiday” though  playdate mommy today remarked that it didn’t seem as though we were going to have much of a holiday.

We’ll see.

I have known about the our upcoming holiday now for a little more than a month and still, it is nearing midnight the night before we are leaving and the packing is not done. Started. But not done. We need clothes enough for nine days. All three of us. And my husband is sure we can get everything in two little carry-on suitcases, a back-pack and one large sized suitcase to check at the counter. Did I mention that he and I will be taking a short belated honeymoon jaunt sans child during the trip and need our hiking gear? Yeah, low hopes on the packing being done until about 30 minutes before we head out for the airport. The darn TSA rules don’t help make the packing easier either or make me feel safe for that matter. They only serve to remind me what a joyless experience flying is in the post 9/11 era. I feel like I am being herded on to a boxcar by the time I have finished the gauntlet that is know as screening. On the Canadian side it is better than it is coming back through the U.S. version. They are basically identical but I feel a little less like meat going than coming. It’s ridiculous to worry  and work myself up because I am an American citizen within weeks of obtaining my Canadian residency and the system is not out to get me. It’s just set up to make everyone feel uneasy and slightly tainted. That’s how you catch the bad guys, right? Still, I prefer to drive anymore. I like the comfy cozy feeling of control it provides even if it adds days to a trip. Contrast the comfort of our Chevy Avalanche with child engrossed in a DVD or video game in the back seat. All her toys and a snack within arms reach. My husband and I upfront with legs stretched out, wide leather seats with heater control and the iPod plugged in and playing our favorite tunes. Grande skinny chai’s in the cup-holders. Space and comfort. Masters of our Domains. How does a trip by air hope to compare with that? The three of us crammed into a space smaller than the Avalanche’s front seat. Rob and I with are knees pressed into the backs of the seats ahead. Tiny seat pans that thank god I am able to say I have inches to spare on either side because this would be a much different essay if I couldn’t. Forbidden to use electronic devices – sometimes for the duration – but when allowed, always conscious of the neighbors who literally breath down your neck. No snacks. No chai’s. Not unless you want to go through the hassle of hunting the stuff down in the terminal and schlepping it aboard with the carry-on (which you will be lucky to find a place to stow since every other person on board will have the two carry-on’s and will likely take the berth over your seat before you even have a chance to board. And I haven’t mentioned yet the special looks of loathing that are reserved for those of us who travel with children because everyone all assumes that you are a hell-spawn breeder the minute they realize that your child will be sitting too near them. Four extra days of travel in peace and comfyness or getting there quickly and uncomfortably. It’s getting harder and harder to go with the latter. Maybe that is why I am not packed yet?