Growing up, there was one movie that the entire family always watched, whenever it was on. It was a family autobiography of sorts - National Lampoon's Vacation. My dad was Clark W. Griswold (His dog is actually named Clark.) My parents told me that some day my brothers and I would look back fondly on our three week trip out west. Aaahh yes, one pop-up camper, one sister, two brothers, a talking PeeWee Herman doll, huge wads of Bazooka bubble gum, and Ryan "drying out his mouth" (AKA drooling on my head,) and countless stops at places like "The Corn Palace," Wall Drugs, and "The House of Mud." I didn't understand then what possessed my parents to take us on what has lovingly been nicknamed "The Hell Trip." Now as a parent, as I realize it is just one of the small joys of having children (right up there with embarrassing them with your clothing and singing really loud to the music you like on the iPod.) Tim is even more excited to take our children on road trips than I am. This could be because I still get bored and car sick like when I was a kid. But not Tim, he's armed with his atlas, sports talk shows on AM radio, and a cup of lukewarm gas station coffee. We've made the trip from Illinois to Gulf Shores, Alabama the last two years over Easter. We weren't going to brave it this year because of Scout being so young. However, we changed our minds after a week of being cooped up over Christmas Break, and the kids announcing by seven in the morning that they were bored (never mind the heaps of new Xmas toys.) So in true family man fashion, my brother Rory has agreed to be Goose, the wingman to Tim's Maverick. One Suburban, one Acura, two dads, four kids, 14 hours of driving, countless potty stops. Doesn't seem to add up?? That's because there will be two moms (Paula and I) and two babies (Brody and Scout) on one peaceful flight down south tomorrow. The boys and big kids are on the road, and I must admit I'm a bit giddy as I clean the very quiet house with one sleeping baby nearby, knowing that what I pick up now will actually stay picked up longer than 5 minutes. If any two guys can handle the challenge, though, its Tim and Rory. And its good for the kids to get to do something so fun with their dad, after all he lets them get all the treats I never let them have! So, Tim and Ror, may the force be with you, and NO, girls cannot pee standing up like boys - just find a clean bathroom!!!!
Here are a couple pictures of Finley, who was such a good girl and big helper that she got to have her toenails painted before we left for the beach! She was so proud!