A Nomadic Existence

July 26, 2010

in How to be a Housewife, Taking the Scenic Route

Growing up in a military family, road trips were as natural to my siblings and I as breathing, eating, and reflexively adding “sir” to the end of any statement.  Every 6mo-2years or so, at the request of the Air Force, we’d pack up the station wagon and road trip it to our next base.  Suitcases, coolers, cats, kids, and parents all got shoved into every spare inch of that old Ford and shipped off to the farthest, hottest possible spot you could imagine.  New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Korea, Virginia?  We moved to and from each and everyone.  In the middle of the summer.  And my mother?  Was pregnant.  Each and every time.  (And she only had 3 kids.  Do the math.  Somethin’ just ain’t right about that…)

So you would think, what with all of the traveling opportunities that the Air Force was providing us on a semi-regular basis, that the last thing we would want to do on our vacation would be a road trip, right?

Hah.  If only.

While I do not actually have vivid memories of all of our earliest road trips, I do have the haziest recollection of spending 2 solid days in the back of a car with my sister as we drove from Florida to Maryland.

God Bless Selective Memories.  Because from what I do remember?  That may have qualified as a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Unfortunately, the military did not offer much in the way of “travel accommodations.”  Meaning, if you were in the continental U.S., you hoofed it.  And hoof it we did.  ALL up and down the East Coast.  Including one, particularly memorable Thanksgiving trip.

We were living in Virginia at the time.  My grandparents, at whose house we would be eating Thanksgiving that particular year?  Were in Connecticut.  And, in theory, that isn’t a bad drive.  Unless you are doing it the day before Thanksgiving.  With the rest of America.  And are letting my father both drive AND navigate.

For my father?  Was convinced that he could outwit ALL the rest of America and avoid the giant traffic jam that is the highway system on that particular day by taking a series of winding, twisting back roads.

And this idea may have worked out well for us.  Except it was THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING.


My sister?  Gets carsick.  Repeatedly.  Reliably.  Carsick.

And I?  Had a sinus infection.  For which my doctor had prescribed me a new medication the day before.  And I?  Took the first dose that morning before our departure.

Incidentally, a fun side effect of that new medication?  Just might include vomiting.  Every hour.  On the hour.  For 12 hours.

Yup.  It was my sister and I, fighting for the front seat and its vomit-reducing supply of fresh air for 12 hours as we perfected the art of yelling at my dad to pull over just in time to open the sliding side door and puke our guts out.

Personally, I christened every state between the Old Dominion and the Constitution State.

The upside?  When we finally arrived, I had plenty of room for Thanksgiving dinner!

{ 1 comment }

The Fickle Nickle July 27, 2010 at 4:50 am

Oh my goodness… I use to get car-sick ALL the time when we traveled. I have a vivid memory of throwing up in my pillow case on the way to Big Bear.

There might not be anything worse than being nauseous on a road trip. Seriously. It's the worst.

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