Sunday, January 07, 2007

Home again

It was 1:30 a.m. when I backed the minivan into the driveway of our darkened home. Two days and 2,400.1 kilometers after bidding goodbye to Florida, we finally made it back. As I have after every long trip we've taken since we became parents, I quietly put my hand on the side of our car and gave a quick thanks that we made it uneventfully.

Well, we were chased by tornado and thunderstorm warnings out of Atlanta. And we spent a harrowing time on the I-75 in the middle of rains so intense that we could barely see the four-way flashers of the vehicle just ahead of us. And those rains dogged us continuously all the way to the border, at which point the gender-neutral weather-generating person saw fit to throw thick fog into the mix. But we picked our way through 30 hours of driving and safely delivered the little folks to their comfy beds.

We tucked them in as they doubtlessly still dreamed of sun, surf, sand, and spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My wife and I spoke often over these past couple of weeks about The Experience, and what they would remember and why. Our parents had done the same for us when we were kids, and our own memories of childhood vacations to faraway places loomed large in our minds as we tried to navigate our own family adventure.

At one point en route, I sat in a parking lot and updated my driver's log (I often keep tabs of where we stop, where, how far we've gone...I'm somewhat manic that way.) The engine was off, but I had the accessory power on because I was checking mileage. The defroster was on, and my wife said it smelled like the ocean. Here we were in deepest Ohio, and we could still smell the sea.

I wondered how long the smell would last. I wondered if I could save it somehow. One can always wish, right?

Logistical note: I took the camera and brought home enough pictures to seriously merit a new laptop with a larger hard drive. I'll start posting notes from the road and related images in the days to come. I hope you'll come along on the adventure with me.

In the meantime, I hope you'll understand why I don't post vacation entries in real-time. Because I write under my own name, I have issues with folks knowing when we're away from home. I like returning to an unburgled house, and the paranoid-geek that I am figures that thieves are just as likely to read blogs and put 2 and 2 together. That's the world we live in, I guess.

Your turn: Vacations from your childhood. Please discuss.


kenju said...

I don't blame you for being careful about posting in real time, Carmi, and you are smart to do that. My favorite vacation was at the age of 16, when I visited Canada/Niagara Falls and saw the ocean for the very first time. I really ought to post about it on my blog, because it would take too long to tell about it here. I am glad that you are all back home safely, and I hope that you and our family had a good time while you were in the US.

Michele sent me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the tornado. If I had known you were in town, I would have gotten into the Miata and guided you safely to the Tennessee border.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that it's the childhood drives from Jersey to Florida that made it so easy for me to fall asleep in the car. . . especially when I started to learn how to drive.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a safe trip! My favorite part of long road trip vacations with my family when I was little was falling asleep in the backseat and then magically being at our destination when I woke up.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you enjoyed your vacation.

There is a lot to be said for just savoring the family moments sometimes too...without the need to document every second. We had a house fire several years back and we lost all of our home took awhile for me to actually pick up a camera again. But it was a wonderful expereince in being "in" the moment not "at" the moment.

I look forward to your upcoming posts.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I think you are very smart to be careful Carmi...these days---sad to say---we all have to be...especially as you do write under your own name.
It is interesting to wonder what your kids will remember about this special vacation...I can'y wait to see some of these pictures because your view of Florida will be very unique and special, too!

David Edward said...

so glad you made it safely to your home. Florida is a good vacation destination, but No WAY you could make me live there. ( no mountains!)
Looking forward to some pics from the trip ( gas pumps, oil spots, hotel keys, and dinnerware, all in close up, I am sure )

Anonymous said...

I understand about not posting vacation stuff until after it is over.

Glad y'all made home and the smell of the ocean will have to remain in your memories.

Humm maybe try a small cloth that would absorbe the smell and put it in a glass bottle for little wiffs every now and then just to have a mini mind vacation.

Isn't it good to be back in your own bed?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh the good ole roadtrip. Yep, just did that...part alone, part with my three year old. To Disney World.

Fun times. lol

It's national de-lurking week. Even though I don't lurk here, I comment, you get a comment!

Anonymous said...

what a fun and adventurous trip it seems. Gald to hear you are back home safely.

Yes, I loved vacationing at my aunt's and going to different places especially the beach.