I'm leaving tomorrow on a road trip. I'm going with my 4th grade teacher Shirley Snapp. She is retired, single and has no children so her schedule is much easier to work with than other friends in similar mommy boats like me. Plus, she is a hoot. Her laugh is loudly uninhibited and completely contagious. Last year I convinced her to accompany me to Portland, Oregon to visit my brother and we had a ball. I'm not sure when I've laughed that hard. This year, I convinced her into another trip but I allowed her to choose the location. Tomorrow she's picking me up and we're driving to New Hampshire, Vermont and possibly Maine. She wants no itinerary, no hotel reservations just her and I on the open road ready to pull over and check out anything that interests us. Shirley loves the off-the-beaten path points of interest. Last year, she made my brother pull over to see the second tallest cypress tree in the world. Not the first, but the second.
As much as the no intinerary thing goes against how I usually plan trips, it is so freeing. I'm not anxious about flights (I hate flying all of a sudden) or packing light or having all the right confirmation numbers (that I usually keep in a folder with area information). This time I only have an atlas and a few points of interest that friends from the area have recommended. How wonderful! I did have to get new underwear though. I'm not sure why, but when I go away on a trip I have to have new underwear. I don't do that when I go away with my family on Spring Break or to the beach in the summer, just when I go away on my own. Take that one to Freud or Oprah.
I also had to buy new pink flamingo pajamas. Shirley LOATHES flamingoes and the color pink. Last year (while I was buying new underwear for the Portland trip) I stumbled upon a pair of flamingo PJs that I couldn't resist. Our first night in Oregon I strutted out of the bathroom flamingo-clad to a very shocked Shirley. Her reaction was priceless. For all the same reasons you wouldn't wear the same dress to the ball two years in a row, I was forced to buy new very pink, very flamingo jammies. I can't wait to see Shirley's reaction this year--the large flamingo's eye on the shirt is a black sequin!
When I get back I hope to have loads of stories of wonderful seafood meals, interesting sights and tons of pictures to prove it. I've heard there is the world's largest jug of syrup somewhere in Vermont. Hmmmm…that may be worthy of a pull over.