My children are going to be home any minute. Their suitcases are packed and waiting expectantly next to the front door. The children walked to school today thinking it was just any other day. Tonight they’ll be sleeping in another state.
I decided there are too few really great surprises in life so the old man and I are taking the brood on a destination unknown vacation. As you may recall, I’m on a jihad to take my kids to all 50 states as quickly as possible. I’m sure another goal will occur to me once that milestone has been achieved. I started this obsession in mid-2011 and have taken them to 42 states since then. Until now, all travel has been via car, where the Offspring perfected the art of spit grenades as amusement on long drive days. We don’t have many road trips left, as the remainder states lend themselves better to airport transport. Neither my children nor their coveted baby blankets have seen the following states: Nebraska, Louisiana, North Dakota, California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska. As you may agree, we’ve left many exciting states for last. My mother said something once that stuck with me: “There isn’t anyplace I wouldn’t want to visit at least once.” I couldn’t agree more. You can’t have a valid opinion about a place you only know by reputation. Tonight the count goes down to 7 states left unvisited by the Children McCoy.
Surprise Surprise Vacation
I wrote the preceding paragraph right before friend Viki showed up in her Adventure Hat to chauffeur Family McCoy on the first leg of our next state. Pre-teen Rowan, completely annoyed at the prospect of “yet another epic car ride”, sent a text complaining that “my f–cking mother won’t tell us where the hell we’re going!” Ahhh, pre-teen angst can be so colorful, and so verifiable. I’m glad my parents never had the opportunity to read my real teen thoughts memorialized in digital form because I’m pretty sure I would have been grounded for the entirety of my pubescence. Rowan declared that “This is going to be the worst vacation ever!” Blair righted herself after initial grumpiness (but not after opportunistically beaning me in the face with her fist) when she realized Viki was dropping us at the airport instead of driving us for 12 hours. Devlin was immediately captivated by the adventure, no matter if we had taken him to the dry cleaners. So, all in all, about what I expected. After convincing the kids we took them out of school to fly to Fargo, ND, we finally came clean and announced our adventure would unfold in San Francisco, CA.
“And what do they have in San Francisco?” I asked the children on our layover in Dallas.
“Gay people!” responded an exuberant Blair.
Yes, Blair. Gay people. And we get to see them all in their natural habitat!