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Song Lyric of the Day:

Homegrown alligator, see you later / Gotta hit the road, gotta hit the road / The sun it changed in the atmosphere / Architecture unfamiliar / I can get used to this

George Ezra / “Shotgun

I haven’t traveled a lot the last few years. And you can guess how little I traveled in 2020. My last major trips were New Zealand and Toronto, Ontario, in 2014, Disney World in January 2018, and Toronto again in September 2019. Other than that, over the last few years we’ve visited my sister’s family in Huntsville, Alabama, and traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to visit close friends, and taken two trips to the beach. These days I fantasize about traveling, because OH MY GOD WE CAN’T GO ANYWHERE DURING THIS PANDEMIC. I’d love to plan a vacation for the family for sometime this year, but things are still so uncertain there’s really no point in planning anything.

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot overall in my life, though. Way back in (year redacted), when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school, my mom scrimped and saved to send me on a French-class trip to Europe. Over the course of 16 days, we visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and England, in that order. I dream of being able to send Coraline and Sebastian on a trip like that someday, and I’m forever grateful to my mom for working so hard to make sure I could go. I was able to repay her in kind, to a degree, when my sister and I won a contest just by answering trivia questions over the phone related to our VHS rental of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. We received a letter saying we’d won a prize and included paperwork to sign and return, so I was thrilled at the thought of winning a T-shirt or — a kid could dream — our very own VHS copy of the movie. (Yes, I’m old.) The next letter we received, however, informed us that we’d won a 7-day, 6-night trip for two to Paris, France. I remember reading it out loud and my mom screaming so loud I thought she’d just killed my dog, Spot, by way of a heart attack. Being that my sister and I were both minors, I couldn’t chaperone my sister around (sorry again, Sam!), but our mom could chaperone me around. The trip was a whirlwind (which my sister still hasn’t forgiven me for; did I mention I’m sorry?), which included us visiting Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Catacombs, and me vomiting on the Eiffel Tower. I’m not afraid of heights, so I think something I ate hit at a very unfortunate time. Again, my apologies to Paris.

Growing up, my family and I would visit relatives in New York City, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Puerto Rico; that last one was very infrequent since flights cost a fortune we couldn’t afford. When we got married, Rich and I took a 7-day honeymoon cruise throughout the Caribbean, including a day trip to Aruba that started out with a horrible beach, but ended with us at a much nicer one. He and I enjoyed a trip to Uruguay with a couple of close friends a few years later, and we made a few visits to New York City over the years, too.

When Coraline was almost one, we took her to visit family in Iowa. A few years ago, we traveled to Denver, Colorado, for her godmother’s wedding. Since Sebastian was born, our only trips as a family of four have been to Columbus and Huntsville.

The itch to travel isn’t due to a fear of missing out, though (I loathe the acronym FOMO), but, frankly, boredom. I work and spend time with my family, which is all well and good, but a change of scenery would be nice, especially these days. We enjoyed a taste of it with our trip to Disney World in 2018, although we did leave Sebastian with my sister and her family that week, because he doesn’t travel well and does horribly once off schedule; he still does, actually. The joke was on us, though, since a huge cold front hit while we were there, so we were grateful he was back in Alabama and not being dragged around in cold weather or holed up in a hotel room. (I was layered in four tops and two pairs of pants every day except our last day there.)

My trip to Toronto in 2019 was the first time Rich was alone with both kids. Ever. He had to travel internationally when Sebastian was a few weeks old, so by now Coraline, Sebastian, and I have it down pat when Rich is away, whether it’s for two days or two weeks. I admit, though, when I thought of Rich being left in charge, I thought of the house at the end of Poltergeist — you know, when it self-destructs. Problems with my control-freak tendencies, I know, although Coraline was excited at the thought of helping to run the house in my absence. Seriously — that kid knows everything about what goes on in the house. And of course, Rich handled everything splendidly while I was away. Although Sebastian has ordered me to never leave them again. Fingers crossed we’ll get to go on an adventure together someday in the near future.


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