The Travel Bug Bit: Are We There Yet?

Aug 12 2011

The travel bug bit, and I was helpless to resist.

I’m such a victim.

But, really, I couldn’t be more glad to be at the mercy of this particular bug.  (Unlike the last bug that bit someone at our house.  Stupid bug.)

I’m a willing donor.  A glutton for punishment.  A hit-me-with-your-best-shot-just-let-me-go-on-vacation mother of five.

We leave Sunday for a ten day trip that will see us in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and… our ultimate destination via the lovely Disney Wonder cruise ship… ALASKA!

Five kids.  Ten days.  Infinite excitement.

Mostly MY excitement.

Oh, sure.  The kids are excited, too.  They’ve been counting down the number of sleeps for literally hundreds of days now.  We booked this vacation four years ago, the absolute only way we’ve figured out how to make vacations like this possible; monthly payments for four years.

Is it worth it?

Let’s not ask Greg.  Agreed?

Then YES, IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT!

I’ll be the first to admit that there’s something wrong with me.  I blame my parents for moving me to Southeast Asia as a formative child.  The travel bug bit then, and it comes back every few months and bites and bites and bites again.

The bug drains away my resistance.  It infuses me with warm, fuzzy memories of blissful travel.  It erases the stares and glares we’ve received from fellow airplane passengers when we’ve traveled with kids aged 8, 7, 5, 4 months and 4 months.  (What?  You mean you wouldn’t want to sit next to us on a plane?)

Well, this time we’re eschewing air travel in favor saving a veritable buttload of money.  FYI, a buttload is an actual measurement.  It equals the amount one butt can hold, and, based on the number of diaper blow-outs I’ve changed, apparently exceeds the amount one diaper can hold.  So, a lot.  We’re saving a lot.

We’re leaving Sunday to drive from our home in beautiful Oregon, through beautiful Washington state, and to beautiful British Columbia.  There, after 2 short (Hear that, kids?  I said SHORT.  There will be NO POTTY BREAKS.) days of car travel, we will board our cruise ship.

There will be no fussing.  There will be no whining.  There will be no “I’m hungrys” two minutes after we eat a meal, and there will be no “I have to go pottys” five minutes after we leave the gas station.  (Got that, Greg?)

Idyllic, people.  We’re going for idyllic.

There will be no “How loooonnnnggg, Mom?  How much more tiiiimmmeee ’til we’re there?” questions.  And, if any child ‘o mine dares to break this rule, I will answer ruthlessly in time-tested tradition.  I will say confidently, “Ten minutes.  We’ll be there in ten minutes.”  No matter how far away we are, that is the answer they shall receive.

Of course, the older children will ruin it for the youngers.  They will say, “Mom’s kidding.  It’s not 10 minutes.  It’s 5 hours and 43 minutes.”

And the youngers will say, “You LIIIIIIIED!”  And I will say, “What do you mean?  We’ll be there in 10 minutes.”  And then I’ll feel guilty and tell the truth because I suck at this game, even though it’s funnier than heck.

At which point, the littles will switch tactics.  They will ask it.  That most dreaded question.  “Are we there yet?!”

And I will answer the way my father answered my brother and me on every single road trip we ever took.

At 45 miles per hour, which is all our blue and white VW bus could manage chugging up Interstate 5 in the snow-covered Siskiyou Pass in Oregon on a three-state trip to see our grandparents, my brother would edge his little finger across the seat line in order to violate the My Side/Your Side seat rules.  I would shriek, which is the only appropriate response.  My parents would shush me as though the shrieking was my fault, and I would kindly, and only for the 500th time, ask,

“Are we there yet?!”

And my loving father repeatedly and with conviction would reply with the same answer – no matter where we were – each and every time.

“Yes.  We’re there.  Get out.”

Road trip, here we come!

I just can’t wait.

P.S.  Are we there yet?