We’re back in New England. Give me a minute to express my great joy and excitement.
Okay, I’m done.
Look, it’s not that I’m not loving hanging out with the relatives we haven’t seen in so long—the kids ran off with their cousins, and for several blissful hours we adults sat and enjoyed ourselves while a thundering herd of elephants ran to and fro. Periodically the calm was interrupted by a child complaining about another child—always a sibling complaining about the other sibling, never a child ratting out a cousin, at least—but for the most part, it was bliss.
But the weather, man. I do NOT miss this weather.
The ride up here was surprisingly easy, actually, until the last four hours or so. Prior to that, it was just another endless road trip. I’m the big meanie who only allows the Nintendo DSs to come out on long trips, so despite my having loaded the car with books and games and movies, Monkey spent approximately 98% of the trip playing Lego Star Wars on his DS. And giving us updates on his game.
The updates were awesome, because for 18 hours, really no one was doing ANYTHING other than waiting to find out how much it cost to buy a Yoda character, or what happens when you fight with a ghost, or to hear in painstaking detail exactly how you defeat that one guy that’s virtually undefeatable.
(Lest you wonder about the other 2%: Chickadee corralled him into watching Nacho Libre, which I can only presume from the mighty guffaws issued throughout was a big hit. (No fair. I haven’t even seen it yet.)
Chickadee gave us a peek into the Future of Teenagerdom by putting on a pair of headphones and watching movie after movie, coming up to rejoin the conversation only if someone was laughing loudly and she suddenly feared she was Missing Something Important.
Otto drove the entire time, because apparently allowing someone else to drive when you are Very Manly can cause one’s testicles to shrivel up and fall off. (Like they just did, just now, because I am discussing his man parts on the Internet. Because I am a sensitive wife that way.) And for the most part I didn’t really mind, because being in the passenger seat allowed me to do many of my favorite things, including: 1) napping, and 2) eating snacks.
The snacks thing was possibly the first large hurdle of our marriage, as I bring normal snacks on car trips, such as cereal bars and raisins and homemade cookies and cheese puffs, and Otto brings… circus peanuts.
Circus peanuts are not food. Honestly, just LOOKING at the bag of circus peanuts skeeves me out a little. Yet there they were, sitting in the center console, until Otto pulled a couple out and munched them happily. I took one out of the bag and sniffed it. Maybe they were less disgusting than I remembered…? Hmmmm. They didn’t smell like anything. I took a small bite. BLECH. I gave the rest of it to Chickadee, who was so deeply engrossed in a movie she may have just dropped it on the floor. I don’t know.
(Don’t worry; later she had a veggie burger when we stopped at Burger King. I’m sure that counteracted the circus peanut.)
Anyway, all was well until about halfway through Connecticut, when the rain turned to ice and snow and people LOST THEIR MINDS.
Honestly, I expect drivers in Georgia to freak out when the roads are slick. But HELLO, this is New England. Why don’t these people know how to drive? There were cars in ditches, cars smashed into the guardrail, cars on the median, cars fishtailing along way faster than was safe, and cars crawling along much more slowly than was necessary.
It only confirms what I always suspected: Snow makes people stupid. Thank goodness I got out when I did.
So we crept along for the last leg of the trip, assuring the kids that we’d be there really soon, honest, and all of us car-weary and ready to be done.
And then we arrived, and there was much stretching and merriment, and also a delicious meal that did not come on a tray or in individual paper wrappers. Yay! And then eventually the thundering herd of children went to bed, and then there was blessed stillness and silence, and lo, it was exceedingly good. Especially after wine was added.
Today we are off to visit Otto’s mom and shuffle the kids off to their dad and do other sorts of holiday prep kinds of things, and while I am hoping not to get into the car again, I fear I may have to. But hopefully for not nearly as long as before.
Also, I hoping to get an opportunity to “accidentally” throw away the rest of the circus peanuts. Only because I care.