Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hell on Wheels

Recently we took our annual 700-mile, life-sucking, everlasting car trip to visit family Up North. We stayed in a hotel two nights at my insistence—once on the way up and again on the way back. If my husband was still the boss of me, we’d drive the 12-hour trip in one go, with infrequent pit stops for fast food and to stumble, stiff-legged and blinking, to nasty rest area toilets as necessary. We stop overnight now, because I have learned the hard way that after eight hours in the car, one of us is going to be exceedingly not happy.

For years John ably filled that role while I hunched my shoulders and plugged my ears to the cursing and huffing emanating from the driver’s seat. We’d swerve and slam through heavy traffic, brakes and gas pedal stomped abundantly, all the other cars manned by, ahem, orifices of the anal kind. Eventually I got older and meaner, and quit tolerating his behind-the-wheel transformation from The Quiet Man into The Hulk. Now he tries to keep it in check (“You won’t like me when I’m angry,”) because he knows if he doesn’t he’s going to hear about it from The Hulkess. You’re welcome.

Lately, though, the exceedingly not happy person in the car is me.

No, I don’t cuss and swerve and huff and puff. I squirm. And writhe. And try in vain to find some position that doesn’t hurt my behind. You’d think with all this padding I’d have the most comfortable seat in the car, but that’s what you’d get for doing your own thinking. Something happens after eight-plus hours on those leather seats and I cannot sit there one minute longer. My bottom hurts and the arm rests make my hands fall slap asleep. If only my behind would do the same.

How about you? Do you love the open road, embrace long trips with much enthusiasm and a bag full of snacks? Or rest in the comfort of your La-Z-Boy and never leave home?


  1. My favorite vacation ever (okay, aside from trips to St. John, which involve, of course, airline flights) was our cross-country trip to California. We drove an average of 9 - 10 hours per day. We spent travel nights in Memphis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Vegas, and lots of other fun places, and spent 6 nights in San Francisco and 5 in Napa Valley. I love road trips!

  2. You are asking the wrong person. We bought an RV to BE the open road. One with back roads, little known (except from the list of best BBQ in the South) places to eat, and Mom & Pop RV parks that are clean, quiet, and a step back in to the 60s. We drive only six hours a day, stopping at anything resembling an interesting few hours - the Spam Museum, National Cowgirl Museum, and the Rangerette Museum. The last one got us in trouble because we fell in love with the area which resembled North Georgia but was located in Texas some 3+ hours from my parents. But that is another story for another day....