Well, t’is the awesomest season of all!
It’s vacation season.
This year we are going to Gettysburg PA. It should be a great time, but while we are planning and packing our voyage I have to contemplate on how complicated vacations are now that we have a little one to consider.
You know, I thought the same thing once I moved in with my wife before we got married. I was the type of guy that could throw a few clothes in a bag and just take off. I needed no plan or destination. A few times I ended up in Virginia Beach or maybe the Adirondack mountains. It suited me just fine. Nobody knew where I was or how to get a hold me because I didn’t know for sure where I was going myself. I always thought those were the best sort of vacations.
Then, once I started living with my wife, I couldn’t do that anymore. Apparently, her idea of a good time isn’t driving for hours on end and then either sleeping outside or in a skeevy hotel. She also wasn’t prepared to wash her clothes in a rest stop sink and hang them on the antenna of a car to dry as we headed out down the road.
That's when I realized that everything always gets trickier when there are more people than yourself to take into consideration.
Now, it is getting even trickier. There are the three of us now. It seems like it shouldn't be all that bad to pack for only three people, but for some reason we need to pack as if we are getting prepared for the apocalypse. Let’s see. We have an extra-large suit case full of clothing. We also need to pack plenty of snacks, toys for the little one, a complete back pack full of hygienic supplies, all my medicines, a huge stroller, cleaning wipes, and all sorts of other little things that we are probably never going to need. What would we have done without the minivan I bought last fall?
I guess we wouldn’t be able to go on vacation because we wouldn’t be able to put all our crap in anything else except for maybe an SUV, which is really nothing but a minivan anyway.
Don’t get me wrong here. It isn’t like I am annoyed at all this over packing we do. I think it is as necessary as my wife does. Well, maybe not quite as necessary. I’d be ok with only having one outfit packed per person for each day instead of having at least three packed for every day we are going to be away. Other than that, we do need all this other stuff.
It is amazing how much stuff toddlers require. We almost went as far as to purchase a portable dvd player so the little man would be entertained on the ride down. Then we thought better of it. After all, we survived without being entertained by movies constantly when we were kids. I think he can take it too.
Yeah...I’d like to blame everything we end up packing for our trip on my kid much like I blame my flatulence on my dogs, but I can’t really. A lot of the crap we have to bring along with us is because I’m old. I’m 30 now! I can’t afford to be as carefree as I once was. I have to bring three or four canes with me so I can be prepared for almost any walking surface. I have one for all terrain hiking, one for stores, one for walking on pavement, and one as an extra in case I feel like walking on really rocky surfaces or if I happen to break one of the others. I, of course, also need to bring all my meds, and I seem to mind wearing stinky clothes more than I did when I was 18 or 19. I also don’t expect that I would enjoy sleeping in my van as much as I enjoyed sleeping in the bed of my truck back then either, so planning is almost a necessity now. Gone are my carefree days of picking up and going, and to that I say good riddance.
Call me crazy, but there just might be something to all this planning and packing that my wife seems to enjoy so much. Sure, it isn’t as exciting or as spontaneous as trips were when I was by myself and just went on a whim, but they are a lot more fun now that I have people to experience them with.
So yeah, things are more complicated when more than one person is involved, but it is also true that going on a trip is complicated by age as well. For some reason, my priorities have changed. I care more about being comfortable and clean.