We are twelve hours to departure for our big road trip and I’m trying to pack. It’s not going so well. I gave up on my idea of a last-minute garage sale to pad our trip fund because last night I just didn’t get as far as I had planned to on my terrible to-do list. Even though we cleaned out 7 closets and had tons of stuff to part with, I just didn’t have it organized near enough. I was a little busy last night having a birthday party for Double Trouble! The twins turned 5! They aren’t toddlers anymore… it’s so weird. The babies aren’t really babies, but that’s a good thing! (As long as they’re still little enough to get in FREE everywhere!)
So this morning I decided to skip the garage sale and hit the to-do list. First I had to clean out the fridge, no one wants to come home to a science experiment brewing. Then I went to Wal-mart. You know how I love Wal-Mart. (I have a whole category of blogs dedicated to the sickening corporation, feel free to read them all in your spare time! And by spare time, I meant by next Tuesday.) We thought we’d save money by having a few picnic lunches along the way. I started out with a relatively short list, but this is what I left with:
I can’t believe I had to load all of that crap into the big ugly van, only to unload it in my house so that I can organize it and reload it into the big ugly van. By next week I am gonna need a vacation by myself! So far eleven people have mentioned to me that I might be absolutely crazy to take 7 kids on a road trip. Do you think that should be telling me something? Oh well, to each his own. I love the crazy chaotic life I have, most of the time.
I’m hoping this trip will leave some lasting memories for my kids, kind of like my parents always tried to do for us. My mom used to load us up with a pile of groceries and take us down to the beach house and we’d live it up for the weekend. But that place is gone now, so I can’t go back there anymore. My dad took us on this one amazing trip to California, and we saw everything from here to Disneyland and back. We’ve never been a family loaded with money, but I was so blessed by both sets of my parents to have been given those memories. Like the time we were on the LA freeway and our ice chest flew off the top of our station wagon! People were driving up to us, honking, some of them held up paper signs that said “You lost your ice chest.” Five little girls kept on chattering “Daddy, Daddy, the ice chest!!” Until finally he said “Hot Damnit I know we lost the ice chest! This doesn’t look like a good place to turn around and go get the damn thing!” Have I mentioned my Daddy and traffic aren’t the best of friends??
His big scary voice shut us up pretty fast, and in no time we decided to forget the ice chest and we went back to putting on our Lee Press-on nails and making faces at people through the back window. You’d think that would be the big dramatic moment of our trip, but no! That wasn’t it. The big drama wasn’t even when my sister tried to push me off the submarine ride and made my purse fall in the water with the mermaids. It wasn’t the fact that my other sister insisted on doing bathroom inspections at every gas station we pulled into. And it wasn’t the fact that too many little squares of chocolate Ex-lax took the fun out of Disneyland for our youngest sister. No, the big drama was when I was left at a rest stop in El Paso. (But you’ll have to click here to read that one, I’m in a hurry today!)
I’m hoping we don’t lose the ice chest or leave any kids behind, but just like I did when I was ten years old, I plan on taking 897 pictures (good thing I won’t be dropping off any rolls of film! Thank you digital!). I hope I will die laughing at least 412 times. I plan on making at least 37 peanut butter jelly sandwiches and I’m all stocked up on Capri Suns and Twizzlers to pass out as we go along, so wish us luck on our maiden voyage. We’ve got the big ugly van tuned up and ready to roll, so here’s hoping we survive 7 days in a van with 11 people. If nothing else, surely I’ll come home with something new to blog about….