Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Travelogue and other insights

  1. Do not trust your husband with any important jobs. This is the reason I have no pictures of my vacation. Mr. L-S was in charge of charging TWO sets of batteries for the digital camera, loading one set into the camera, stowing the spare set in teh camera case, and brining the camera on vacation. Let's just say thank heaven for Walgreen's and Kodak disposable cameras, but I think I would have, could have, and should have taken a whole lot more than 27 photos.
  2. Kids don't care. Notice...Chuckles, did you see the Grand Canyon? Answer: "Yesh! Hewikoptore." He was much MUCH much more excited to see the helicoptors flying through the canyon like mosquitoes than he was to see the canyon itself. Oh, and the fact that we took a shuttle bus to the various overlooks was enough to enthrall the kid for days.
  3. When the lady at the mini-mart (and by mini-mart I mean house that has a sign that says they sell soda and chips out of the front) asks you if you're sure you want to see the Grand Canyon today...with a baby, perhaps you should question your decisions. The day we went it was 25 deg-F at Grand Canyon, AZ. The road to the West Rim is dirt. Actually, calling the road dirt is a tad mean to dirt. The road is sand, mixed with dirt, mixed with rocks, with a boulder or two thrown in for good measure with a grade that made me reach for the non-existent grab handle in the rental car no fewer than 5 times, the road which put Chuckles right to sleep (and made me realize we installed the car seat incorrectly because it jostled about - oh the jostling), the road which potentially voided our rental car contract, which the nice lady at the store told us is bound to wash out as it was raining (and look out for loose rocks, falling debris, and wild cows...I kid you not). We went 14 miles on this road in 75 minutes. Now, I'm no math major, but that works out to an average speed of 11.2 miles per hour. So, yessir, we were cooking. Oh, and make sure your tank is full because I hadn't seen a fueling station for 100 miles.
  4. Pack a lunch when going on such trips because there are no streets crossing the major highway and certainly there are no McDonald's.
  5. Part 2 of do not trust your husband with any im-portant jobs. Mr. L-S was in chaarge of our itineraries, IDs, tickets, and Chuckles's birth certificate. I could not figure out why we kept getting grilled by securty and the airlines about the boy until I realized he never handed over the birth certificate. He says, "Don't do anything unless they ask or they'll think you're suspicious." Well, effer, you handed over our driver's licenses without being asked, this is his ID. They think we are kidnapping this blond-haired, blue-eyed child and smuggling him into Mexico. Show the birth certificate that says we are his parents.
  6. My niece is a doll. She referred to Chuckles as "baby" and Mr. L-S, her uncle, as "new guy". I was not called anything. Such is the life of a mother. She liked "baby" ok, but not when he was chasing her with a pink doll stroller.
  7. Even with a 30-pound diaper bag in tow, I still did not have enough actual diapers for an all-day trip.
  8. Even with a pokey husband and a toddler in tow, I am still able to hit three or four travel destinations in one day (Hoover Dam, Joshua Tree National Forest (which makes me think of U2), Grand Canyon, and Willow Beach on the Colorado River (which is beautiful and if you ever go to Hoover Dam, stay on 93 for about 7 miles into Arizona and go here)).
  9. Always but your toddler a seat even if you could bring them as a lap child. Having a car seat and an extra plane seat was just about worth the $300 we spent on it.
  10. If you must take that godforesaken road to the Grand Canyon, do it in a rental car so as not to ruin your own car.
  11. I had never seen poverty like that before. People just squat in the desert with a camping trailer and start adding corrugated sheet steel and plywood additions to it. And the garbage in teh yards! Man, if we get a pop can or a wrapper in teh bushes, I'm out there picking it up, but again, we have curbside garbage pick up, and I imagine they don't (what with the no curbs and the nothing for miles and miles). I'm not even sure once we got into the desert that the people have electricity. I didn't see any wires. I think they use generators to make the power. It's a very different life, that's for sure.
  12. If you are taking two toddlers to JC Penney to get their pictures taken together, bring three adults - two to hold and one to sing four verses of "If You're Happy and You KNow It". The verses are: clap your hands, stomp your feet, shout hurray, and do all three (which I find quite challenging...but heck, I'm blonde).
  13. I took Chuckles to the dentist today. I'm pretty sure he stitched his mouth shut the second we got to the office, but Dr. Faye did really well. She's so young and pretty and energetic. Chuckles's teeth are fine and we are to bring him with us so he can watch us get our teeth cleaned.
  14. I will never travel without a crib again. My sister bumped my niece out of her crib and gave it to Chuckles and he slept through the night in a strange crib in a strange house. I will never travel without a crib again. Period. End of discussion. I may need to buy a travel trailer, but the crib is coming with us.

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