Thursday, January 15, 2009

On and on and on the road

It occurred to me by day three of our infinite road trip from California to Oaxaca, Mexico, that I had never done anything like this before with my children or even with Steve. Our longest car trips had been a couple days to Portland or Seattle and then back to Oakland. I watched them sleeping in their hotel beds and wondered what on earth I had been thinking to not only agree to this road trip, but to actually be the person who thought it up, convinced others, and planned it. No one to blame but myself.

I learned things about Steve that before, I had only suspected: When in doubt, he drives fast, perhaps to flee a situation. He's not the car-singing, car-game type. He forgets to check the price of that three-dollar bottle of water at the supermart. He not only hates papaya, but he believes the person who deigned to serve it to him did so with malice. Steve was also full of pleasant surprises, thankfully, like when he jammed his booty into the back seat as I screamed along at 80 mph, so he could set up the laptop and catch a little “Scooby Doo” with the kids. Or how, when we would run out of cash, he would magically pull a $20 out of his pocket. He also guarded our possessions with his life, hauling a guitar, mandolin, two laptops, mountains of stuffed animals, clothes, and Hanukkah presents into room after room and out again.

Day 1 was the ride to Los Angeles, where we were full of hope, anticipation, clean laundry and visions of Disneyland dancing in our heads. We arrived at the evil Hyatt Regency Orange, my Priceline “bargain” which is lovely but is staffed by people as mean as I remember them being six years ago when Jenny and I were there. I think the beautiful suite, bargain price, and free shuttle to D-land made up for the visible sneer on the receptionist's face when she saw I was a “third party payer”, i.e. Priceline customer. But, let's face it, I was going to have a great time no matter how disappointed she was with me, so it was time to move on.

Meggie met us at the hotel, greeting me with, “Oh my god, they are so rude here!” Then we set off to buy tix for the next day and to admire the rocking Tokidoki selection of items at the Vault store (I was doubly pleased because I just got an assignment to write about Tokidoki for a fashion magazine). We also toured the Rainforest Cafe like goggle-eyed babes in the woods, oohing and aahing over their beautiful assortment of plastic animals.

We hit D-land at 8am the next day, maps and intricately-drawn plans in hand about how to run to the first ride and how to itinerize the rest of the day so we broke what I like to call The 20-Ride Barrier. I do not call a trip to the D. successful unless we get in 20 rides, ten of which should be before lunch. With little kids, it was more challenging, but luckily there is the Fast Pass system where you get an appointment to wait in a shorter line, so I made my personal goal easily. Max hung with the scene for 15 hours straight, until I begged for mercy. It was 11pm, misting, cold, and Space Mountain was still advertising a wait of 75 minutes, so we hit the gift shop to score Geni a Peter Pan action figure set and then hobbled to the hotel shuttle stop where Max huddled shivering on a concrete bench and considered crying but then decided to reminisce about Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, one of my favorite rides as well. I mean, you go to hell, with a shimmering devil and all.

Tomorrow: Forcing my kids to eat dinner at the Circle K mini mart in Phoenix.


Clara said...

A road trip to Disneyland! Circle K! You are bringing vivid memories back to life. Tell me, did you take pictures while driving?

Serena said...

I totally thought of you, of course, Clarita! Remember when you had that little cactus shipped to you because you longed for the Tucson landscape?