Road Trip

February 18, 2010

Traveling North last weekend was a great and wonderful adventure for us. We’ve been on many trips together, some with John’s children when they were younger, but for the most part it’s just been the two of us. We’ve developed a sort of a rhythm to traveling together. Up early, out on the road, usually without much of a plan. We stop when we find something interesting, eat when we are hungry, and are in bed pre-midnight, adjusting as needed. Footloose and fancy free. This was our first trip in many years with a toddler.

We made reservations a month ago at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan, for four. And a half. We conceded to bringing Asher’s parents along for the ride. Just kidding. There’s no way I would have even attempted this without his parents. It would have been like traveling to a foreign land. Without a translator.

Thanks to a good friend, who has a son, who works for a car rental agency, we got a tremendous deal on a vehicle that would hold luggage, a pack and play, a stroller, food, four adults, and a car seat. And several bottles of wine on the return trip. John was in road warrior heaven. He began his period of mourning the minute we returned the auto Monday night.

It had eight cylinders, four wheel drive, and all kinds of bells and whistles that I was not the least bit interested in. It made a big roar when he stepped on the gas. He did, too. Even Asher couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. It’s a man thing.

The indoor water park was outstanding. So outstanding that I didn’t stop to take any pictures. Fail, as Sarah would say. By time I realized I didn’t have any, it was five minutes to closing on the last night. But the pictures I have in my mind will last a lifetime. His trunks were bright blue and orange, and he wore a navy latex short-sleeved shirt. The lodge provided a bright yellow life jacket with an inflated collar, and a handy little black loop on the back that was just perfect for tethering a toddler. His smile was contagious, yummy, and forever. He never stopped, from the first time his little feet hit the water soaked floor, until we lifted him up for the last time to head back to the room. Each of us took turns following him from the toddler pool, to the fort – complete with all kinds of water filled fun, to the adult pool, back to the fort, then to the toddler pool, then to the fort…get the idea?

He spent most of his time in the room trying to get out the door to get back to the park. No kidding. We had to use the bolt, and when he figured that out, we used the latch, which allowed enough of an opening to make the longing even worse. Not to mention pinched fingers. We were pretty lucky to come away unscathed.

I would like to say that after considerable prodding, on the last evening I did go down one of the water slides in a double inner tube with John. Twice. Sarah said she could hear us screaming all the way down. Both times. I loved it. Naturally, he hit the slides as soon as we got there. That’s one of the things I love about him.

As for traveling with a toddler, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It took some adjustment, on his part as well as ours, but he was a trooper. As for John and I, a wise old soul named Jane once told me when I struggled with my first child, “The best parent is one that has been there before.” After all these years, it’s perfectly clear. We understand all of the bumps and grinds that are a toddler. We’ve been there before, and love going there again.

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3 Responses to “Road Trip”

  1. Molly Says:

    Your trip sounds fabulous, and of course your grandson is an outstanding little guy. I am glad that he lives nearby so that you can experience these wonderful times.

    I saw John’s note on Facebook about this entry. When I arrived, I find that I have missed a number of your treasured thoughts. Welcome back to blogging from an erstwhile blogger.

  2. dilling Says:

    that suburban photo makes me so cold…but that last one warms me right up again.

  3. debi Says:

    Oh Lordy, That little guy is growing so fast. He is still adorable. Those eyes are gonna break many a heart I can see it now.


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