By Jenna Byrnes
When I was a kid, vacations consisted of piling into the car and driving wherever my dad wanted to take us. He'd crack his window about an inch so the cigarette smoke could escape, and drive until my mom made him stop for a bathroom break. There were four of us kids, two would curl up at either corner of the backseat, and two would lie on the floorboards, using that hump for a pillow. (Gawd that sounds awful now! Do backseat floors still have that hump?) I even remember climbing into the rear window one time to get more room to stretch out. Those were the days when we didn't need seat belts- ah, the good old days!
I'm not knocking my dad, he took us on some great trips. By the time I was a teenager I'd visited every state west of the Mississippi River and Mexico. We went to Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, the Ozarks, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, up the coast of California including San Diego and SeaWorld, L.A. (Disneyland, NBC and Universal Studios) and San Francisco (I can still smell Fisherman's Wharf). There were tons of other destinations and so many sights I can hardly remember them all.
I'm sure dragging around four kids was no picnic for my parents, and I give them credit for taking us as many places as they did. When we got old enough to stay home alone, my parents began taking trips as a couple. Cruises, and flights to far-away, exotic destinations like Rome and Spain. I envy that now, but at the time I was happy to stay home with the keys to the car. *G*
My husband and I haven't done as well taking our kids places, but they've seen a few sites. We're not big travelers, sticking pretty close to home most of the time.
Which is why my vacation this week has me so excited. At some point last winter, I decided I wanted to take a trip. Not just any trip--I wanted to go visit my friend and writing partner Jude Mason. We batted the idea around until the details fell into place. I invited my husband to go along, but he politely declined, something about hens cackling or whatever.
Through the magic of Blogger and pre-scheduled posts, while you're reading this I'm jetting through the sky some 1800 miles to the frozen north. (Canada is frozen, right? I packed all my sweaters and long undies...) I'll be stopping off in Minneapolis and Seattle, and eventually arriving in a foreign land. I'm really looking forward to my first solo vacation. Keep your toes crossed for me that I don't get lost or miss a connection. That totally sounds like something I'd do.
See you in a week!