My family has been on lots and lots of vacations. We are blessed. We’ve been to many places – though not too many places outside of the United States other than the islands.
What stands out most in my mind – for better or worse – and is funny and ironic to me – are the fights I often seem to have with Chris on vacation. We have some knockdown, drag you to the ground (not literally), throwing things (literally), and screaming fights. Epic.
We took the family on a RV vacation from New Jersey to the Grand Canyon. This is the vacation I call “A Drive By Shooting Vacation” because essentially, we all had better catch the sights quickly from the car because that damn Chris was not about to stop for us to look at much….the plan was to drive across country via the northern route stopping in various states, seeing National Landmarks with a 5 day stay in the Grand Canyon and then to travel home across country via the southern route. We had a big RV….the kind where a person can drive and the front seat passenger can get up and use the bathroom, make coffee, etc. The three boys loved it. It was a two week vacation. First of all, Chris’s brother Pete was taking the trip with us …. Following/leading/alternating in his own RV. What a disaster than in and of itself was because Chris is always bickering with his brother although I get along with him and his wife just great. We were fine at the first stop in Wisconsin….Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground – great fun with candy bingo, volleyball in the lake, riding bikes around the campground, s’mores at night – a great beginning to our trip. Our next stop was the Dakota’s and Mount Rushmore. We arrived at Mount Rushmore on the 4th of July….the first 4th of July after 9/11. There was a long line to get into the National Park/Monument. What’s more…there were armed military men in the bushes outside the park. As we inched toward the entry gate an officer came to our RV and told us he would have to board our RV with a police dog to check for bombs. Ok….fine. Then they went underneath the RV with a mirror to check for other terrorist items. We were cleared but still on line. We could see the face of Mount Rushmore over the trees. After ½ hour of waiting on line, Chris got annoyed. He said to us all….there it is, look up, you’ve seen it, we’re leaving. And we left. I do not know what the hurry was. We were on vacation but karma is a bitch because we left and we left his brother Pete who stayed on line. We promptly got lost, made a wrong turn and lost 4 hours in the wrong direction. We headed to Yellowstone.
Yellowstone is a huge and wonderful National State Park. We were there for ½ a day. I do not know what the rush was and it was starting to really get on my nerves. As we drove from Yellowstone – where I wanted to linger longer and enjoy the Grizzly Bears – we passed the wonderful Grand Tetons. I was in awe. No, no, no! No stopping – keep driving that damn RV! Karma is a bitch! As we left fantastic Tetons in our dust en route to the Grand Canyon, we got lost in Utah – in a small, remote, rural Mormon town. Just great Chris. Good job saving time. Now this is something I really wanted to see – NOT!!!! The roads were narrow and winding for our huge RV and there was not a store or gas station or ANYTHING of any kind establishment anywhere. We drove on and on and on and ended up finding a campground to bed down in Idaho. Then we had our big fight. I sent the boys to the campground store to have ice cream floats. I yelled at Chris – what is the rush!!!! You are taking away all the fun from this trip! Somehow, as usual, Chris made it about money. Somehow, this non-stop driving came down to money. I was flabbergasted. I took off my diamond rings and threw them at him. Here! Here you go you mercenary motherfucker – all you care about is money – take these …. The rings … worth over 60K … went flying … lost in the RV tiny spaces. I’m leaving I told Chris …I’m out of here! You drive home, you make the rest of the trip – how the fuck do I get a plane out of this place? Chris was scrambling on the floor looking for the rings. Yes, he found them. Yes, I stayed. Yes, we made up.
We drove the next day to the Grand Canyon and were all suitably awe-struck by the magnificence of the Canyon. We finally settled down and camped in the Grand Canyon itself for 5 wonderful days.
The drive home was uneventful.