Are We Ready For The Road?

During each of the past couple of summers, I’ve taken Grace and Zach on what the kids call our Daddy/Daughter/Son trip, and another one is in the works sometime in the next several weeks.

This year, as it turns out, that trip could be bigger and better than ever — and that’s admittedly a bit worrying.

The first trip, in 2015, came about basically to give Bec a couple of days of quiet around the house. The kids and I wound up heading east on I-90 to the Jellystone Park in Austin for what amounted to two days and one overnight. We left early in the morning on a weekday, got to the park and basically played games and enjoyed the pool all afternoon. We stayed in a small primitive cabin and slept fitfully, as a thunderstorm blew through at one point and work called with technical problems at another. The next day, we played more and had additional pool time before making our way back in the late afternoon. We were all totally wiped out — and, sadly we hadn’t even given Bec 36 hours to relax.

Last year, G, Z and I looked at numerous possibilities and ultimately decided to go to Fargo (of all places) for a couple of days. We stayed in a hotel with a pool and spent plenty of time enjoying that. We went to a Sky Zone, which the young ’uns always love, and played some games at a Chuck

E. Cheese, among other highlights. In other words, we basically went to Sioux Falls, but it was Fargo instead because the kids go to Sioux Falls much more often (and the hotel rooms all seemed less expensive). Perhaps most importantly, the kids wanted a little road trip. We also stayed for two nights this time, which gave Becca an even longer mini-vacation.

Now, as summer 2017 rapidly approaches, we’re looking at an even longer road trip. This year’s adventure could very well take place in upstate New York.

It has been four years since the kids and Bec have been back to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for a visit, and we had thought of going this year before we realized that purchasing four plane tickets and renting a place to stay for several days probably wasn’t practical budget-wise. Plus, with Bec inching closer to completion of her master’s degree, taking a couple of weeks in the midst of that was probably a difficult proposition, too. I had been thinking of taking the kids without Becca, but hadn’t vocalized it … until last week, that is.

The kids, for the last several months, have had their minds set on this year’s Daddy/Daughter/Son trip to be the seemingly unlikely locale of Grand Forks. There’s a hotel I stayed at there (while on a business trip once) that has a water park and some rooms with video gaming systems in them, and both Grace and Zach really want to go — even though I’ve said a few times that we can go swimming here AND play video games in our basement. Now, though, I’ve got my mind more or less set on the New York extravaganza, just because it would be a trip to see my family and it would obviously provide Bec with a lot of quiet time for graduate school work.

Here’s the worrying thing, though, and I imagine it’s obvious. We went to Sioux Falls on Saturday, and I don’t think we were even to Rushmore yet before one of our beloved children complained about something the other one was doing. Normally, during any out-of-town journey, I drive and Bec works (sometimes overtime) to keep Grace and Zach somewhat under control. How that is going to translate into a more-than-1,300 mile jaunt with just one parent is, well, anyone’s guess. Obviously, I can’t have a cocktail or two before I hit the road or while I’m driving. And, it probably isn’t a good idea to, say, knock the kids out with Sudafed or something for the duration.

All in all, I imagine everything will wind up working itself out just fine. There just may need to be another vacation immediately after vacation — at least for the “Daddy” component, anyway.