The Trip Begins
The girls and I just returned from a four-day weekend with some great friends. It was time for us to get away and explore something other than my couch or the back porch. We had planned this trip a few months back and Teri, our organizer and deal-seeker, quickly set about searching out a condo that would hold all ten of us with no one having to sleep on the couch or in their car. It’s not an easy task.
At first we were just going for two days, leaving Friday and coming back Sunday. However, most of the places Teri had found rented for a three night minimum and so we wound up stretching our vacation another day. Then I decided since we had to leave Thursday instead of Friday, I wanted to leave as early as possible to make the most of every minute. I mean if we’re paying for a trip I want to squeeze every second out of it. The girls and I had done this when we went on our cruise a few years ago. We were there when boarding began and were the last ones off the ship. I want to explore as much as I can of a new area.
Although the van wasn’t set to pull out until ten Thursday morning, our trip really began the weekend before, or rather, the preparations for the trip began. The girls always like to use a new trip as an excuse for new clothes. I don’t really care about buying clothes because I’d rather spend my money on other things, like scotch and cigars and I can enjoy them on my back porch naked. Of course, the girls buy me clothes, because they are tired of looking at the same three shirts. I don’t even pack my suitcase. Okay that’s not true. I pack my suitcase but it is really my laptop bag and a backpack full of the writing I intend on working on while I’m away or books I want to read. I pack my booze and smokes, as well. If the girls didn’t take care of me, I would be nude on our trip, but that’s fine with me as it would save me the eating out money.
The girls will spend hours in each others’ closets mix and matching outfits and trying on shoes, determining which outfit will be best for going out on the town or just walking around the tourist traps. I just sit on the couch working while all of this is going on as I’ve learned it’s best to just stay out of the way. Inevitably, they will venture out in an outfit asking my opinion, which is always the same. “It looks great.” The truth is I have no fashion sense and if I say does that brown really go with something I get a long lecture on the variations of shade in clothing that makes me wonder why they asked me in the first place. It’s not like they don’t know I am ignorant of color coordination. They are, after all, the ones who lay out my clothes because they are afraid of what I will pick out on my own.
Once they have concluded their fashion show, it is time for me to give the thumbs up on my outfits. They will walk them in and say something like, “This is what you will wear Friday, Saturday morning, Saturday night and on the ride home. What do you think?”
The proper response is “Looks great. Thank you.” I’m sure I could challenge one of the choices if I wanted to, but really why would I bother? I don’t care what I wear as long as I wear something. They could make me look like a clown and I probably wouldn’t notice. My mind is usually off in Neverland and not paying real attention to what is happening around me. It’s the curse of living with a writer and I get the gentle tap quite often bringing me back to the here and now. Of course, it usually takes me a moment to get the cast of characters back in place, but eventually I remember everyone’s name.
Part of the fun of any trip is the planning. The girls will talk for hours and days about what they want to do and see and what they need to buy to be ready. Perhaps this is why I tune out so much, because it always costs me money.
Eventually, we were packed and ready to go. At nine that morning, I loaded the van as they put the finishing touches on outfits with jewelry and everyone was doing their Facebook updates, rubbing it in that we were off on yet another adventure. By 10:17 we were on Interstate 95 and the trip had officially begun. We checked in with Zac who was watching the 8-year old for a couple of days and then texted the other friends joining us that we were on our way. One couple had already beaten us out of the gate. Cruise control was set, music was blaring and my coffee was hot as we laughed and joked the whole way over. The GPS voice, a pushy woman who wants you to turn as soon as she says turn or she will repeat it every ten seconds, was giving me the directions, so I didn’t really have to pay attention to the signs telling me where we needed to go and could watch the billboards for an idea of where to venture next. The trip had begun and we were excited to be on another adventure.
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