Phases of a Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like a road trip with your kids.

The intense anticipation phase:

“How many more days till we leave?”
“Can I start packing? It’s okay, I just won’t use my toothbrush again until then.”
“Listen to the countdown poem I made – Pack a bag, a shovel and pail, the beach trip is coming, only 29 days to set sail!”

The packing phase:

“Exactly how many toys are TOO many for my activity bag? 11? 16? 47? I can still zip the bag shut if I sit on it, so that’s not too many, right? Right?”
“Can I take all of these pillows and 7 blankets? It gets really cold in the car.” “But I NEED this winter hat AND these snow boots. You never know when there might be a freak snowstorm at the beach! In the summer!”

The driving phase:

“It stinks in here. I definitely smell a stink. All right, who tooted? Strike a skunk match!” (In our family, we always have matches in the car for lighting and blowing out. The smoke extinguishes any “unsavory” smells that might be wafting through the vehicle. They have been deemed “skunk matches,” since we always bring them out when we smell a skunk.)
“Look at those clouds! That one looks like an Indian smoke signal!”
“Look at that chicken truck! Oh, poor chickens. They don’t know they’re on the way to meet their doom. They probably think they are going on vacation.”
“Wook at dat twactor! Dat guy, he is workin’ and dwivin’ dat twactor! I see him!”
“The Sea Ray! We saw a sea ray and we aren’t even to the beach yet!” (After passing a broken-down fair ride bound from one county fair to another.)
“What’s a Wawa?” (A chain of convenience stores that we came across in southern Virginia.) “I REALLY have to go to the bathroom, Dad, can I go wee-wee at the Wawa?”

“Wook! A gawage sale! Over dere! We go to dere?”
“Look at all the mist rising up from that pond!”
“Look at all the windmills on that hill!”
“We are going in a tunnel UNDER the WATER. UNDER the WATER, do you hear me?”
“What’s dat? A am-ba-lunce? I hear it! Da fire works! And da fire twucks!”
“What’s the ETA?”

The arrival phase:

“Hey, look, it’s the ocean!”
“Yeah, but I can’t find my shoes!”
“And I cut the bottom of my foot!”
“Well, I knocked my toenail off!”
“I skin! My knee! Wook! My knee! Hurts!”
“Where are my clothes? I can’t find my clothes!”
“Hey, look, it’s a pelican!”

And finally, once we are all settled in and hitting the sand, at LAST…
The triumphant yelling phase:



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