Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's A Road Trip Without A Little Vomit?

A recent trip up to the mountains had a very inauspicious beginning.  We spent all morning gathering and packing everything we might possibly need.  Then, as we were about to pull out of the driveway, the dog threw up in the back of the van.  Lovely.  I thought we should leave him home, but was overruled.  It was just nerves and excitement, Shaggy assured me.

So after cleaning up, we headed out, dog and all.  Other than a little complaining and some bickering, most of the drive up was uneventful.  Which is good.  Any road trip with four kids that’s uneventful is a HUGE success.  But as we neared the lake which was our destination, the kids started complaining about being hungry.  And even though it WAS lunch time, we tried to convince them to wait until we stopped so we could all eat together at a picnic table.  Mostly, they listened to us.  Except for S who pulled out her trusty PB&J, took one bite, and then proceeded to throw up all over.

We headed to the nearest public restroom so she could change--fortunately, I had packed a full change of clothes for everyone.  Mostly, I had been thinking we might need them in the event anyone fell into the lake.  Wasn’t really thinking of the probability of vomit.  But I suppose I should have been.  Poor S has been in this situation several times before, certainly enough times to officially label her as being prone to carsickness.  Might be wise for us to permanently stash a barf bag by her seat.

Once everything was cleaned up (Shaggy got stuck with the job of cleaning the van--yuck!), we decided to head down the hill to check out the little park we saw.  Though pale, S said she was feeling better and wanted to go for a walk.  Turned out to be one of the BEST parks we’ve been to in a very long time.  It had a really cool spinning wheel in lieu of a merry-go-round and a spinning seat that almost made the rest of us toss our cookies, as well.  It was seriously FAST!

Once we’d had our fill of spinning, swinging, rocking and sliding, we headed next door to the picnic area.  After gobbling down their food, the kids headed off to explore the woods.  Trees to run around and big rocks to climb are always a hit, but this area apparently had the added thrill of being inhabited by a mean ogre who was in search of kids to capture.  Luckily, our whole crew successfully avoided this ugly ogre and his cave. 

Other highlights included finding a toy lizard that the kids named “banana” because it was yellow and brown which reminded them of a rotten banana, R getting arrested by K for poking her, and an animated discussion about weather “bumpy-wumpies” or “twisty-wisties” were more fun to drive over.  Bumpy-wumpy and twisty-wisty are phrases the girls coined when they were quite small to describe different sections of road.  I think they all ended up in agreement that twisty-wisties were more fun, but S did acknowledge that they made her sick.  Something we will have to be more mindful of in the future.

We never did make it to the lake.  But we did end up taking a road less traveled which led us through a snowy wonderland.  Needless to say, this thrilled the kids who wanted to jump out and play in it.  But since Shaggy and I had had enough adventure for one day, we vetoed the idea of stopping.  We just weren’t up to dealing with wet clothes and soggy feet.

On our way down the mountain, S managed to spill her water while we were navigating a twisty-wisty.  She grumpily announced, “When you turned like that, my ice water spilled and now my butt’s cold.”  Which, to her dismay, made everyone laugh.  She eventually joined in, and a good portion of our drive home echoed with many repetitions of “my butt’s cold,” followed with lots more laughter.

Maybe S ought to rethink her affection for twisty-wisties.  They certainly didn’t bring her much good fortune on this particular day.  But I will say that we ended up grateful that she threw up--not because it was such a joy to clean up, but because it led us to a great place that we may never have discovered otherwise.  And just think how we must have brightened the ogre’s day by showing up when we did.  It must get lonely in the winter with no children to chase.

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