Spike, a little maltipoo, (not much malti and more poo) that was rescued and delivered to us from Wyoming. He spends most of his time being cross-dressed by my daughter. He is a good sport about it. He's a licker and will dance on his hind legs to get close to some lickable hand.
Snowy, another pound rescue. She's a spitz mix. She can perfectly imitate a baby seal about to be clubbed. This dog is the one we will always want to clone in later years. She's like Nana from Peter Pan. She can be without a leash and stays with the kids in the yard. She insists on laying on the floor next to any sleeping member of the family. She's wonderful.
But, alas, they must stay with the pet sitter. Back to the van. Packed for my four separate trips. Our plan --fueled by our excitement- is to drive straight through. After our last trip’s nightmare, this plan gives me the tremors. (Remember the handicapped gentleman who was going to smoke cigarettes with every hole he had, and a few of my own?!) But the Anastasias are stubborn. Our ETA at my parent’s house is around 7-8pm that evening .
We're settling in, I'm playing the early morning game with the defroster, where you're talking happy talk with your husband and kids and then BAM The inside of your vehicle fogs up like David Copperfield is in your third row seat making the Statue of Liberty disappear .
Me to Mr. the King ~ ”All fans on high Captain, temperature set at the magical mid-way point between the hot triangle and the cold triangle”
Do the Mickey salute to inspire confidence.
And then just when you think you won’t win and the fog will overtake you and force you off the road like one of the movies they show in the 50’s sci fi drive in Theatre. You win, the fog abates. But stay alert, it could attack at any moment between 3:30 am and 5:30 am.
In between my foggy battles, I've a game plan for the excited kids. Tinkerbell Gifts. You see Tinkerbell delivers green wrapped presents to the kids along the way. The first gift goes like this
Me ~ ”Hey kids, do you smell something?”
Kids ~”Yeah it’s like flowers or vanilla”
Me~ “I remember that smell from when I was a kid driving to Florida with Grandma and Grandpa, it was a Tinkerbell fart. Every time I smelled it I would look around the car to see if she left a surprise”
Kids~ Staring at me with wide eyes and eyebrows up
Me~ “A good surprise! Not related to the farting”
Kids ~ Frantic searching and locating of a Disney themed travel present. Both, without prompting, “Thank you Tinkerbell”!!
As the day gets brighter they start the game of: “ I SAW her!!”
Birds, sparkling parts of pavement and little holes in clouds where sun peaked through became magic following us down I-95. I do believe BC was on to me, but played along for his sister.
The kids. I'm crazy about my kids. My son's going to be 10 this year. He's pure goodness and such a gentleman. He loves cars, planes and trains . He's such an easy child to be around. His patience with GC is legendary.
My daughter. Big, Blinky green eyes. She's feisty with a great sense of humor and she adores animals. Animals also adore her, no matter what she does to them .
I like Magic in this house. I'm grateful that the kids and Mr. A put up with it. Christmas time sees elaborate ridiculousness, including but not limited to, reindeer poop out on the deck on Christmas eve.
(It was such fun when I walked over and popped a piece in my mouth declaring it delicious, the taste reminds me of melted Hershey kisses.)
Back in our Van, we're making “good time." That’s what everyone says right? When visitors arrive and you inquire when they left, then your standard reply is, “Oh, you made good time."
What does that mean? I only knew two men who actually “made good time” in the sense that a trip took less time than it should. Both drove like maniacs, the type of car that flies by you and you say things like, “Rather have that fool in front of me than behind me” or “He’s got a date with a telephone pole and can’t be late” etc.
So really, we never want to “Make good time." We stop for breakfast in McDonald’s. Turns out the lower half of I-95 only has one official rest stop per state. Us travelers are expected to have steel-walled bladders for that system to work out. Otherwise you do the cheating rest stop. In McDonald’s. You slip in the side door, do your ditty, and sneak back out to the van without buying anything in the store. I feel guilty about that. Mr. A says he eats at McDonald’s plenty of times without using the restroom so he and McDonald’s are pretty much even. This particular McDonald’s got the full Monty, pee and some of my money.
Now, where I'm from they've banned smokers from exhibiting anything that looks like smoking in public. So I was shocked to see smoking in restaurants. This McDonald’s had many signs and rules about smoking which made me laugh. The first one said “No Smoking in Line.” The “Smoking section” was about 2 steps from this sign. In another 2 steps you were in the Magical “No smoking” section. All the sections and rules were taking place in an open space just a little bigger than my kitchen. It was laid out such that if you were, perchance, a smoker, you'd have to smoke about four separate cigarettes to travel amongst the signage with out breaking any rules.
The food was sub-par. And you have to work really hard to make McDonald’s food any worse than it already is. But the Piece de ‘resistance was a particular art print on the wall. As if the sad, 70’s decor, the multi-cigaretted smokers and the greasy food weren’t enough, there on the wall to enhance the mood was a picture of Ronald the creepy clown. Now he's scary when he's happy. (I'm not a fan of clowns). This Ronald was depicted with his head tilted in agony with one single tear sliding down his cheek (He was even done up in Artistic Black and White.) It was enough to give me nightmares for a month. Ever see the sweet, heartbreaking picture with a dejected Mickey Mouse with one single tear? Gosh that's effective. I don’t even care what Mickey’s crying about I'm going to cry too. I just want to scoop that mouse up and cover him with glitter and chocolate until he smiles again.
But Crying Ronald is all wrong. Really any Ronald is all wrong but crying black and white Ronald in the smoking/no smoking section is well…just creeptastic
I brushed away the horror show and pictured myself sucking down fabulous orange juice in the Florida Welcome Center and we resumed “Making good time.”
Up Next: We arrive at Grandma and Grandpa’s place. Do retirement parks have Jail?