Two weeks ago my husband and I plopped ourselves in the back seat of our son’s car. Road Trip! We were heading to the east coast, a two day drive. We were greeted with, “Are you ready? Let’s go!”, spoken by our lovely two year old grand daughter, Lucy. She was so excited. Of course she was not fully aware of what exactly we were doing, but the excitement of Papa and Mammy coming too was delightful.
We left at night so she would sleep. It worked well. As daylight dawned this is what I saw sitting next to me:
She will get even when she hits about thirteen.
After cleaning up the throw up in the car – contained in her car seat, thank goodness, we were on our way for day two of driving.
I have to say this child was a trooper. She was excellent in the car and she loved Cracker Barrel –
My husband and I usually go to the east coast about once a year to visit our son and family. We were just there in October, but when our youngest son suggested we come along with him and his wife and daughter we couldn’t resist.
This particular area of the eastern seaboard is where we spent over twenty years. That is the longest we have lived as a family. I was born and raised in New Jersey and the Jersey shore is familiar to me. I love it. Living there, however, was harder than visiting. It is a tourist county all summer long for Philadelphia, New York, Quebec, etc. I loved being a tourist and this was the first time my son’s wife was there to see where her husband grew up and to meet the rest of the immediate family. Same with Lucy.
But on a particular day walking “The Promenade” along the beach (it’s equivalent to a boardwalk but paved, no boards – they washed away years ago in a storm and replaced with pavement) I broke down when my son asked if I was enjoying myself. Truth was – I was enjoying myself. So much that I didn’t want to go home to the mid-west. I’m old enough to know this was a passing emotional moment. I knew the difference in being a tourist and a local. It’s just that I miss the familiar so much sometimes. And the most part of that is my family there.
I’ve only been in the mid west a little over four years (see my blog entitled Cate, Plain and Tall). I really do like it here and as in any form of culture shock I am finding my new familiars. Let’s face it, there is no beach or ocean here or really good pizza. So I am adjusting. I have new loves.
So after that little meltdown I moved forward. The time with our family was fantastic and aw old friends as well. Then came the day to pile back into the backseat of the car……… with little miss Lu. She is one of the loves of my life and can do practically no wrong……. but waking up in a moving vehicle and seeing large blue eyes staring at your face can be quite unnerving. Shiver. She was delightful and I forgive her for throwing various items into my face from time to time. No blood, I’m OK.
When we would settle into a hotel on the halfway points she would pace while us adults fell asleep. It was lovely to find her in between Papa and I sound asleep.
Such sweetness to being a grand parent. Lucy fell in love with her much older boy cousins and her aunt and uncle. Such memories to treasure.
I would jump back in the car in a heart beat to travel again with these kids – well, give me a week to stretch out.
Here are a few pics to bore – I mean share with you 😉
Her is her first beach experience – not liking
the sand in her toes.
On right – it got a little better.
Oh, and here is where I got stuck on the beach. Yes, stuck. I couldn’t get the stroller through the deep sand and over the sand dune. I couldn’t carry her – that would have been much like carrying a large tree in deep snow and I’m way to old for that! I actually called her dad to carry her over the dune and then walked her home the two blocks! And for the record, he did agree how hard it was!
And finally, on the last day, success! The sand was good.
Enjoy! Make memories!