I don't know about you, but when I'm planning on spending a good 8-9 hours in a car, I first go to the zoo. And so commences another travelogue.
Start the morning at Target for bribes, Costco for fuel, and Starbucks for other fuel. Mason talks non-stop for the next half hour. At one point I look in the rearview mirror and catch Cooper rolling his eyes.
Arrive at the Denver Zoo and embark on one of our least successful zoo trips, ever. Also, if I can say one thing about field trips on St. Patrick's Day: dressing in green is a sure fire way to loose your children. St. Patrick's Day also marked the first time Cooper showed his true male trait to collect everything he owns that is green and wear it all at once. He picked this ensemble, people, not me.
After much pleading from the boys to leave the zoo, we skip out on the field trip lunch and promptly get lost on or around Martin Luther King Blvd (warning: this link leads to a hilarious skit from Chris Rock, but contains language you might not appreciate).
Kids beg for Carl's Jr. By all means, if we're going to get fat on this vacation, we should get crackin'.
Our first pullover; to find Buzz's head.
The children are not speaking to each other, or to me. They are assembling the LEGOs we purchased at Target. I stop for gas and cannot convince them to use the restroom. I even try to scare them into going by saying they will probably have to pee on the side of the road. (I'll come to discover this isn't considered a threat by any self-respecting boy.)
See the first of many scary billboards in Wyoming. This particular one says:
After you die, you will met God.
Well, isn't that nice. Is this the billboard media equivalent to a man wandering the street with underwear on the outside of his pants shouting, "The end is near!"? I'm just saying.
Mason asks when we are gong to get there. Sadly, in 6 hours and a few minutes.
Mason yells, "Mama! You forgot to let us pee on the side of the road!"
Pull of in Rawlins to ensure there is no peeing on side of road. Fall in line behind a truck pulling a trailer that appears to have a folded up dog on the back. That's right, a carcass of something larger than a dog but smaller than a horse, deflated and folded. The head was intact. Only in Wyoming.
Mason asks, again, "How long until grandma's house?"
Should I try to explain how far 286 miles is?
With much vexation Cooper puts the screws to me with, "When are we going to be out of the middle of nowhere?"
We enter the Green River Tunnel just as Cooper bellows, "I hate this!"
"I know," I try to soothe, "Would you feel better if you screamed or something?"
"No!" he demands, "I will only feel better if I get out of the car.
We stop at Little America and despite earlier gripes I have a hard time convincing the boys to get out of the car to use the restroom. They decline ice cream. So I begin to fret -- for the next 2.5 hours -- that something is wrong with them.
I notice the boys are being really sweet to each other. Cooper is actually reviewing Mason's LEGO instruction manual with him and showing him how to put together his project. I reach back to squeeze Coop's calf and tell him I love him because he is a good brother. This spurs Mason to ask, "Why do you love me?"
"Because you are sweet and give lots of kisses," I reply.
His eyes grow wide and he adds, "AND good hugs?"
"Yes," I assure, "And good hugs."
He smiles and coos, "That's why I love you."
Good to know.
Arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
All right... stay tuned this week to read some of my favorite quotes from the trip and our extended return travelogue. Here's a teaser... see photos... it really is THAT boring.