Right now, outside my window, the sky god is shaking flakes on my yard. It’s not a real snowstorm, just one of those fluttery dustings meant to remind me that the glimpse of positively balmy 50 degree temperatures we enjoyed last week was just a cruel tease and yes, it is still winter. Normally, I would feel oppressed by this weather and get all sad and sluggish because that’s what reptiles like me do. But today, I thumb my nose at the sky god and his dandruff problems because we. are. going. to. Arizona!
Arizona – where the year-round sandal-wearers dwell. Arizona – where both my Maid of Honor and Ken’s Best Man live – though not in the same town. Arizona – where the only thing the sky god sends down is carcinogenic ultraviolet radiation. Ah. I can’t wait.
And neither can my kids. Note to self: In the future, do not announce to Gabie that we are going on a trip until we have actually loaded him into the car and driven away from the house.
Every day for the past 2 weeks, Gabie has asked for a trip departure update. “Is it tomorrow? Is it the day after the day after tomorrow? Can we start packing yet? I’m taking all of my animals because they’ve never been to Arizona. Can I take my penguins? My penguins will like Arizona because they don’t really like the cold anymore. Can I take all my fruit to show Tara? I’d better get packing. How many days left?”
On our last trip, I finally relented and let him pack his own suitcase far in advance. This gave me plenty of time to send it through the Parental Customs Inspection. Hmm, let’s see here: no socks, no pants, no underwear, but he has packed a pair of pajamas, 20 shirts, Panda, Panda’s entire wardrobe including raincoat and hat, 3 sets of scriptures, a bagel, and a stack of coupons. What more could you need for a 10 day trip? Seriously, you never know when you’re going to want that 50 cent discount on a jar of soy sauce.
I can’t really blame Gabie. Half the fun of trips is in the planning. I like to research things to do (museums, parks, natural wonders) and gather up supplies in advance. One of my favorite pre-trip rituals is loading up at the library with books and music CDs and books on tape to listen to on the drive. Yesterday, I went to the library and took along a list from Michelle of great movie soundtracks to check out. I can’t wait to hear the Rachel Portman ones and the boys can’t wait to hear the Danny Elfman ones. Ken has the new Norah Jones CD and Gabie insisted we check out every Sesame Street collection the library owned. Now if baby Nora will just sleep in the car for 10 hours straight, we’ll be all set.
There’s probably a reason why I should not write about family departures on my blog. After all, someone could read this, figure out where I live and break into my house while we’re gone. So let me just warn any potential thieves that we’ve taken precautions. We’ve got amorous cats posted at every door. Besides, it really won’t be worth your trouble to break into our house since our most valuable possessions will be in the van with us. Listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sesame Street.