Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York, or Rome, but...

I don't even know what town we're in. I know it's not Gary, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; or Taylors, Indiana. I only know it's not because those are the only Indiana towns I can think of, and it's not any of them. Actually, I'm only confident that one of those is even a real town. One of them might be just a song, and the other one might be misspelled (misspelt?).

It's the town where there's only a Motel 6, a McDonald's, a Kountry Kitchen, and a Thriftway grocery store. Do you know the one?

Nah, me neither.

But it's somewhere just over the border from Kentucky. That in and of itself is an accomplishment, as our goal was to reach Louisville (not LEWIS-ville nor even LOU-WEE-ville but LOWELL-ville thankyaverymuch) before we stopped for the night. But we reached Louisville and then just kept right on going until we hit...wherever we are. Let's just call it Vagueville.

The drive was pretty...lots of mountains and rolling hills and good ole farmland and flowers and rivers and mining towns and distilleries and even a dead mountain lion in the middle of the highway.

I know. That's so cool.

We left the house satisfyingly clean (that is, don't inspect the baseboards or open ANY closed doors, but you may admire the vacuum pattern in the sitting room) and the homebound animals in capable hands.

The children were far better than we anticipated. We listened to a really great dramatic recording (which surprised me...I'm usually not one for dramatic retellings -- just ask any tattler in our house) of The Magician's Nephew, part of the entire Narnia series that Ethan picked up thrifting.

Then came the part I've been dreading for days (maybe even weeks?). The hotel. You know, the hotel used to be my favorite part of traveling. Now it's my least. Eight children, two adults, and a dog is overwhelming. Of course we're not naive enough to announce we're eight children, two adults, and a dog; but even still, we usually have to get two hotel rooms. So tonight I'm sharing a room with two 16-mos. olds and three other girls, and Ethan has three of the boys and the dog. My room is a very "sensitive" room, as in don't-you-dare-step-on-that-grocery-bag-on-your-way-to-the-potty-or-the-babies-will-start-screaming-again. (So guess which room has the door that CREEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKS every time you open it?)

Not that I'm complaining, mind you (which, of course, is what you say when you are, in fact, complaining).  The first set of rooms they gave us after Ethan said we needed two beds in each room was a set with one queen in each. Um, no. Let me cart the kids-n-dog back outside while you explain that we need two beds in each room, FOR REAL.

But things are calmer now. Everyone's bathed and almost dry after sharing four towels amongst eight children, and the half-hour of all-out-ear-shattering-screaming from a certain toddler who takes not-so-kindly to a play pen in a hotel room has subsided.

I love road trips.

I do, really.

I hate hotels, but I love road trips.

(And, apparently-from-the-looks-of-this-post, also dashes.)


  1. Guess what? Your kids will probably remember loving the hotels. For the longest time our kids thought that's what made a good vacation.

  2. Yes, Virginia, there is a Gary, Indiana. It's north, near the border. We used to go through it (or at least near it) all the time, going to Wheaton for school.

    There's also a Muncie, Indiana, which is where my sister-in-law lives with her family. It's also the home of Ball State University. See, now you know another city!

    As for hotel nightmares... We had a little room just inside the emergency exit at the Holiday Inn Patriot in Williamsburg one year. We were attending Marscon, this little science fiction convention which takes place in mid-January, so Titus must have been about eight months old at the time. Young enough we thought we'd get away with attending a convention, anyhow.

    Anyhow, it turned out that the "emergency exit" was more one terminus of a thoroughfare between two parts of the building--the part where the convention actually was, and the part where everybody actually slept, that is--and, furthermore, the preferred resort of those who wanted to, say, smoke a cigarette or walk their dog. (See, you aren't the only one!) Each time someone opened that horrible door, not only was it noisy, but this really cold draft would sweep through our room, rousing everybody in it. And you wouldn't believe the late hours some people were walking their dogs, or catching a smoke, or maybe heading back from the convention proper (at which everything had officially closed for the day much earlier), or whatever they were up to.

    Nowadays, we'd probably be smart (or demanding) enough to get our room changed, with the explanation that NOBODY wanted our eight-month-old bawling at all hours. Ah, well. It could be worse. He could have been twins. :p


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