The Road Master

I love a good road trip!  In college I would drive back and forth between my university and Man’s.  If I was driving in the afternoon, I packed Cheetos.  If I left in the morning, those little powdered doughnuts fuled my way.  I don’t like to stop unless absolutely necessary.

Now that I have kids it’s a little different.  We pack Gorp for our snack (Peanuts, raisins and m&ms) and fruit.  They have the DVD player going with headsets so I don’t have to hear the whole show.  I have my iPod playing.

When we travel as a family, Man drives and I read.  He also stops.  A lot.  It makes me insane!  If we need to grab a lunch he stops the car at the fast food joint and we eat INSIDE.

“No, no, no!”  I’d tell him.  “Just go through the drive thru.  This is a real time waster.”

He insists that it’s good for the kids to get out and stretch.  They use the restroom at the lunch stop and then we go on.  We probably make it about another hour and a half when Man pulls over again for gas, refreshments and the restroom.  He’ll come out of the gas station armed with huge Gatorades for everyone and snacks.

“Arrgh!  Baby!  This just means we are going to need to stop again for the restroom.  No potty, no drinks, no stretching until we get there!”

Of course, I’m right and one of the boys (usually Bug) will announce that he needs to use the restroom.

“One or two?”  I’ll ask.

“Two…” he’ll say apologetically.

You can set your watch to Bug’s potty breaks.  If it’s number 2 it will take 15 minutes.  Always 15 minutes.

“This is because he’s been packed with snacks, you realize,” I will remind Man.

After about 4 stops on a 6 hour road trip we will finally arrive at our destination.  I will be all worked up because according to mapquest we should have arrived an hour ago.

This week Man is out-of-town and so I got to drive the boys to Albuquerque for the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  As I pulled out of the driveway I called Shalah.

“I’m on my way to pick the boys up from school and then we leave for our trip.  I’m so glad that I’m driving!  No stopping!  I got empty Gatorade bottles in the back seat for the boys to use if they really need to pee.”

“Oh Lord, Lola!  Your poor boys!”

I didn’t actually have Gatorade bottles back there for them but I would really like to implement that idea.  I think it would be a real time saver.  Mapquest estimated my trip would take 6 hours and 45 minutes.

“Pfft.  I think I can do it in 6.  Boys, here’s how Mama does it:  We’ll grab lunch at a drive thru and you’ll eat in the car…”


“….and there is no stopping for potty.  If you have to go really bad we’ll just pull over on the side of the road for you to QUICKLY pee.  Hold everything else until we get there.  Capiche?  Youngest picks first movie and then you take turns.  Let’s do it!”

The drive was perfect.  I set the cruise control to 80 and headed south.  When we reached Raton I had to stop for gas.  I know!  Arrgh!  Since we were stopped I told the kids that everybody had to pee because this was the only stop we were making.

“Can we pick out a snack?” Bug asked.

“No.  You just said your belly hurt from eating all of that Gorp.  That was supposed to last you for the ride back too, you know.”

“Can we get a Gatorade?”  Buddy asked.

I considered this request since once they finished them we would have our very own little porta potties but…

“No.  No food.  No drinks.  Pee, wash your hands and load up.  Go!  Go! Go!”

There was a little spat in the car about whose turn it was to pick a movie but I squashed it by saying I’d unplug it if they couldn’t figure it out.  That was a lie BTW because I had absolutely no intention of driving the last half of the trip with out their hypnosis.  However, my ploy worked.  Suddenly everyone remembered whose turn it was and the bickering stopped.

I had made it to Raton in 3 hours.  My goal was to get to Albuquerque in 6 so it was Go-Time.  I got on the highway and set the cruise control once again to 80.  I really wanted to kick it up a notch but I did not want a ticket or to be reckless.

We arrived in 6 hours and 30 minutes.  One stop people!  One stop!  Granted I was 30 minutes later than I had hoped but I was still happy to have shaved 15 minutes off of the mapquest estimate.  I text Shalah the good news.

“You have a problem Lola.”

“I know.  It’s the stupid 75 mi/hr speed limit.”

“But you’re there safe and sound.”

“Of course.”

“That’s all I care about.”

“I care about how fast I can safely arrive.”

When we arrived in Albuquerque I looked to the East to check out Sandia Mountain.  There was a beautiful rainbow arched above it.  I smiled and imagined it was a welcome banner from Grandma.

The boys and I had a lovely dinner at Chili’s (as lovely as that can be) and then retired back to our suite.  We have an early morning tomorrow so I ordered quick baths and bed.

“Sleep in what you are going to wear tomorrow because we will have to get up at 5 a.m.”

Bug got out of the tub and examined his physique in the mirror.  Turning sideways he rubbed his belly and asked,  “Mom?  Do you think I’m….chubby?”

“I think you’re adorable.”

“Yeah but do you think I’m fat?”

“No Bug.  Stop this nonsense and get your jammies on.”

“Well, if I was a turkey, like a wild turkey, and you were hunting for Thanksgiving, would you want me for your dinner?”

So tender…so juicy…

“Bug, I’m really tired and we have to get up before the sun rises.  Bed.”

After Buddy bathed I too hit the showers.  I checked in the shower to be sure the boys had left me some shampoo.  I saw the hotel bottle.  White.

Aw man.  Did they just use conditioner?

I picked up the bottle to examine it.  The label read: Body Lotion.


“Boys, is this what you used to wash your hair?”

“Yeah,” Buddy said.  “Why do you ask?”

“Because it’s not shampoo you goof balls!  It’s body lotion!”

“So what does that mean?  What will happen to us?” Bug asked with grave concern.

“We are going to have super greasy hair tomorrow!” Buddy blared as he rubbed his hands through his hair.  “Mom, should we go wash it out?”

“Nah.  I’m tired.  We’ll wash it out tomorrow night when you bathe again.”

And that is how it goes when you travel with Buddy and Bug.  Whew!  I’m beat.


About buddyandbug

Man and I moved from Texas to Colorado with Buddy and Bug. This blog is a chronicle of our adventures as we deal with homesickness and adjust to Mountain Living. “If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” ~ Shel Silverstein
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