It all started last Thursday…you know…the last day of the school year. As I was desperately trying to keep track of students and put things away. I noticed, as I tried to check the time on my phone (having put my clock away already), that Josh had called. Worried that he might have been called in (he was my ride home, after all), I called him back immediately.
He had called to inform me that Muffin had decided that he would rather travel to Canada in the new car rather than by train.
My train-obsessed son had turned his back on trains. Again.
I blame Josh. I really do. For both the changing of the party theme and the change in travel plans.
Muffin had been (honestly) the lone holdout. After upgrading to a much roomier car, both Josh and I felt the tug to take the car. Plus, the car deserved a big road trip…and for us…the drive to Canada was a big road trip.
I could tell, though, that Josh had been working on him to make him change his mind. It wasn’t until the drive home that I found out exactly which persuasion that Josh had used. It started with telling Muffin that he would get to stay in hotels with pools. And that he could put his seat in the car back and relax.
So, Muffin switched sides that easily.
Both Josh and I were slightly uneasy about the train. It is difficult to sleep sitting up on the trains (especially two nights of sleep). There was also the seven-hour layover in Chicago. And the delayed train on the way back in Buffalo (which we were supposed to board just before midnight but it ended up closer to 2 a.m.). And being separated on the train and me sitting by a series of questionable “gentlemen.”
Somehow when we purchased our train tickets we glossed over all of those issues. Of course, at the time we purchased the tickets, we were still driving the leased Prius. And (even now), I think of driving to Canada and I become slightly panicky because I envision hydroplaning in Alabama again. To counteract that, Josh has promised to do a lot of the driving. He has also promised that we will not go through Alabama. Did I mention that I’m not the world’s greatest driver? I drive the way I walk…as a walking disaster. A driving disaster?
As of now, we have returned our tickets. I have switched gears from planning on how to smoosh a whole bunch of stuff into carryon luggage to planning for hotel stays and stops along the way with a recently potty-trained preschooler. And planning to eat at Back Yard Burger for lunch on the way. Probably in Kentucky. I haven’t decided if I want the Black Jack Burger combo or the Chili Cheeseburger combo (basically a cheddar cheeseburger with chili and cole slaw added) or if I want the waffle fries or the seasoned fries. I haven’t eaten at Back Yard Burger since our local franchise closed right before Muffin was born. Guess what else I craved those last few days of my pregnancy (since they literally closed in the weeks before Muffin was born) in addition to Tex-Mex in any and all forms?
I also put my food down and said that we had to stay over in this small town in Ohio that we stayed in before. Keep in mind that I couldn’t remember the name of the town (which “Big C” city it was closest to), the name of the hotel, or the name of the very memorable restaurant (I remembered that Josh had ordered a calzone that Muffin had eaten a lot of and that I had ordered one of the most delicious restaurant lasagnas that I had ever consumed). In fact, on Thursday, I thought I had “found” the restaurant and kept calling a number for the “restaurant” with a constant busy signal FOR HOURS to ask if they were across the street from a hotel. Until Josh recommended looking at some of our old travel pictures on Picasa in hopes that we would find some clues. In one of Josh at said restaurant, there is a certificate hanging on the wall in the background. I literally Googled the name, realized that I was completely wrong in the location in Ohio (because both Josh and I instantly recognized the name of the city), and I called the number of the (actual) restaurant. I asked the very nice young man (who probably didn’t deserve my call because I’m sure he thought I was either drunk or an escapee of an insane asylum) whether the restaurant was across from a hotel. He confirmed it and said the name of the hotel. Woot! Courtesy of Google, I had become a private investigator, or at least an investigative reporter.
The list has changed somewhat. We will be bringing more food and beverage items with us. The car kit preparations of the blog entry a few weeks ago now have a definite due date. In other words, that car has to be fully prepped before we leave for Ontario. I’m trying to talk Josh into the necessity of bringing my slow cooker. After Tuesday’s supper, he may be almost convinced.
The route is on lock, and Muffin has discovered a new love: “driving” on the street view of Google Earth. He started “driving” the route back from Canada which I think would actually take longer than the actual driving of the trip (since it seems to be moving at about 10 miles per hour).
Rather than the blown up zippy bags as pillows on the train, we will be bringing our own pillows (which, again, may have been part of the impetus for Josh to really not travel by train…he’s never been fully in favor of the zippy bag pillows).
As we get closer to travel time (Muffin thought we were supposed to start packing last night), I will be planning it all out in more We Plan Wednesday posts.
What are your rules of the road?