12 November 2007
Earning my space in the hereafter

I flew into Washington-Dulles, not only because it was the cheapest ticket to the east coast I could find (outside of flying into NYC, which was the same price, but who in their right mind would want to fly into and then drive out of NYC? Seriously, is anyone out there that nuts?), but because it is central to a part of my family I never really got to see as much as I would have liked (at least in retrospect) when I lived way down south in the land of cotton and tobacco. By the time we’d retrieved our luggage, caught the shuttle to the rental car shack, and hoped into our new white car, Monkey and I hit rush hour on The Belt-way. Oh buddy! I used to really like Tom Clancy, and given as how I used to work in MI back in my army days (meaning I basically made and drank really strong coffee all day long) some of his books really rang true to me. That man must have friends in spooky places, really. But driving around Washington, like Jack Ryan (who was best played by Harrison Ford, don’t care whatcha think) does in so many of his books, I began to realize just what a fantasy Mr. Clancy had dreamed up for me. Nothing moves. Mr. Ryan, gorgeous as he was, would never have been stupid enough to take The Belt-way because NOTHING MOVES. Our entire world would have fallen apart in the time it takes to get from one exit to another, and Jesus, with a three-year-old in the back, not even Jack Ryan could have handled that.

Note: Never take The Belt-way again. Nevah!

By the time we made it to Baltimore, considering the flight, the lack of sleep the night before, and the fun Fun FUN! of re-learning how to drive an automatic in rush hour in Washington, I was exhausted. So the darling ladies with whom we were staying the night fed me yummy crab and scallops and scrimps and fishies and sent us off to bed.

The next morning we continued north a bit to my godparents’ home where we visited, and ate—more crab! I likes me some crab, yumm. After lunch, when Monkey-1 was starting to look a bit tired, I whisked him back in the car and we started the Long Drive South. A yawning baby promises a smooth trip, right?

Dude, I’ve never been so wrong in my entire life.

We stopped every half hour to 45 minutes. Monkey-1 had to pee. Not only did he have to pee, he had the worst case of the liquid poops he’s ever had. So we kind of had to. Stop. At every Rest Stop. And this is the US, where rest stops are plentiful. PLENTIFUL. And with automatic toilets that flush all by themselves. Magic Toilets, if you will. Which didn’t help matters. Because now, not only did he want to poo all the time, he’d also crowned himself Official Magic Toilet Inspector. By the time we’d reached Richmond, I’d had it. ENOUGH of the toilets already! So I put a pull-up on him and commanded him to sleep, to dream of Magic Toilets if he wanted, but to sleep. And so he did.

Ah, peace. From the Virginia/North Cacalaki line the only sounds coming from the back seat were beautiful baby snores. It was lovely, and we started making decent time—good, considering The Belt-way, not to mention the inspection of the Fuckin’ Magic Toilets, had put us about three hours behind. I found a half-way decent rock station on the radio, settled in with a group of truckers going a wee bit over the limit, and just rode with traffic. I love me some I-85 in the evening.


“…zzzzzzzz…urp…zzzzzzzz”, from the back.

“Did you say something, sweetness?”





Yep, Monkey-1 spewed, all over the back seat, down the back of the passenger seat, all over the door, all over his body, his car seat, the floor, everywhere in fact. And he slept through it. Which was the scariest bit of it all, because, my God, has he just choked to death or what and Jesus, where’s the exit?

So we lost another hour. And the rest of the Long Drive South was spent with the window opened enough to let in enough air to allow me to breathe something other than stomach acid fumes, yet closed enough to keep out the cold which I was totally not expecting. Gah!

But we made it. Finally. A trip that should have taken us just over 7 hours took closer to 11 ½. My brother’s house has never looked so welcoming.

And then, after my Bro pushed me out of the way to get to his nephew and God-son, and settled him comfortably into a comfy bed, and everyone got at least five minutes of sleep, the Real Fun began.

posted by Doc at 10:41 | Permalink |


  • At 12:12, Blogger Antipodeesse

    I love me some magic toilets too. Monkey 1 and I will have lots to talk about.

    And I love me these regular, daily blog posts by Doc!

  • At 14:45, Blogger Kimmie

    I haven't heard someone call NC North Cacalacki in a very long time! Thanks for the memory jog! Believe me, I can understand the car sickness. Both of my girls get car/motion sickness if they are in the car for more than 1 1/2 hours straight. Therefore, any car/plane/ship trip we do, they are drugged with the motion sickness medicine Bonine. It works wonders plus they sleep the whole time! And isn't it funny that they both get it? Glad to have you back online blogging. Keep up the posts; you have a captivated audience waiting!

    Kim T.

    PS-The previous post had me in tears by the way!

  • At 18:33, Blogger Poppy Fields

    My girls are deathly afraid of those 'toilets in america that flush all by themselves"...

  • At 20:22, Blogger Linda

    Since you had to make all of those potty stops, I'm betting your son had a stomach flu of some sort. I got car sick all of my life but now, for some reason, I can now read in a car as long as I am in the front seat. Car sickness and sea sickness-what a horrible thing.

  • At 14:51, Blogger The Late Bloomer

    I'm FROM Baltimore, and I always eat something crabby when I go home! If it's summertime, I even go hard and heavy and eat steamed crabs around a picnic table, with mallet, sharp knives and beer... Nothing like Chesapeake Bay steamed crabs! But when it's wintertime, as it will be on my visit this year, I settle for crab cakes -- as long as they're full of lumps! Lumps of crab meat, that is.

    That mess in the car sounds horrible -- poor you! You definitely deserve a medal... or two!

  • At 20:59, Blogger Nicole


  • At 01:12, Blogger Deb

    That's traveling with only 1 kid? I have yet to travel with my little one. Do you think you will ever visit again with all 3?