Monday, July 27, 2009

Watch out world, here I come!

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!


  1. Have a great vacation, Jenna!


  2. Ah, I remember my first vacation solo. It wasn't that long ago, actually. I also dreaded the idea of missing my connecting flight.

    Have a great time with Jude, and don't do anything we wouldn't do!

  3. I laugh that I finally went on my dream honeymoon...only without the husband and with the kids, lol:)

    My hubby's prime working time is in the summer, so the kids and I take a few trips with the grandparents. As a kid, we regularly went to Gatlinburgh, Colorado, or Florida, but now with my kids we're lucky to visit an amusement park or even go to the county fair as a family.

    But thanks to the grandparents, my kids have visited Colorado; Disney World; Vancouver, BC; Ottowa (I think Ontario?? Quebeck province??); Yellowstone; and Cody, Wy.

    But my favorite 'vacation' is when the kids go to Grandma's for a week and hubby is at work all day. Ahhhh bliss!

  4. Hey Jenna!

    Hubby and I will be leaving in about an hour for the drive to get you. It's going to take us about 3.5 hours to get to the airport, maybe a tad longer.

    Oh yes, yes, I'm so glad you've remembered all your sweaters and long johns (you did bring them, right, the fancy red ones with the trap door in the rear. Hubby is so looking forward to see you model them). The weather's been...uh... well a tad warm of late. You're going to cook. It's supposed to reach 33 - 35 C. this week, or thereabouts. (That's 96 - 100 F. for you foreign folk) so I'm sure the tuque and muffler will come in handy.

    Can't wait to see you, GF!

    We might share some of our exploits with you people... maybe. LOL


  5. Hey Jenna

    Oh, I'm so jealous you and Jude get to meet. I'm still stuck in Toronto, but had a great laugh over the frozen north... yup, and I have a husky/malamute to prove we need them to get to the airport.

    Speaking of airports, man you must be flying into Vic. At least it's a nice drive. Hope you two have a great visit and enjoy that sun for me. We've got thunderstorms every day here and we're wrapped in a humid blanket...gotta love Toronto.

  6. Hey, Jenna,

    I'm sure you'll check in to the blog while you and Jude are hobnobbing. Is this the first time you've met in the flesh? After all those books together?

    I too had to chuckle about your "frozen north" comments!

    I remember family car trips. There were only three of us kids but it still got crowded in the back seat. My brother and I were always fighting. My poor mom! But still, I've got great memories - stopping at a motel with a swimming pool was the height of excitement!

    Have a fabulous time on your vacation!


  7. Hey everyone,

    I've finally recovered from my day of traveling enough to answer my blog comments. Yes, I'm having a wonderful time and yes, this is the first time Jude and I have ever met.

    Strangely, she's exactly like I expected her to be. And the leather, oh my. What I could tell you about leather! But I promised not to.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Hugs, Jenna

  8. Jenna, I think you are teasing us Canadians about our weather. I am a Torontonian, so I got a chuckle.

    It's been strange though of late. "One of the worst July's on record".

    It's not too bad at the moment, so I
    hope your trip!


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