What I learned on my summer vacation

I’m just back from a mega Kyi family road trip. We went from Vancouver to Edmonton to Calgary and back to Vancouver, with a wedding and and a Burmese brew-ha-ha in between. Whew!

It was actually tons of fun. We haven’t done a major drive for about four years, ever since one particularly memorable trip with a whining toddler, a grumpy husband, a sudden rainstorm, and a missing condo key.

Nowadays, we seem better able to cope with challenges. And I learned/remembered all sorts of things along the road. Here’s a random sample:

* There are diners in small towns with (a) hilarious names, like The Smokin’ Grizzly or The Glitter Nugget and (b) wonderful servers who call everyone “hun” and “sweetheart.” Also, when you go to a restaurant that isn’t on the side of the highway, then everyone else in the place knows one another and they go from table to table saying, “hey, stranger,” to people they saw on the street five minutes before.

* On a related note, people in very small towns often seem to have more than one job. We stopped at one ice cream stand that offered key cutting, with an excavator for rent in the backyard.

* When you’re six, all tall relatives look alike. I had to stop telling my son to say thank you to specific aunties, and start saying things like, “Say thank you to Aunt Marge, who’s wearing the purple sweater and standing to the left of Grandpa.”

* When you’ve just driven to Drumheller and back and your child stops talking about dinosaurs and starts crying inconsolably for no apparent reason, you should pull over. Otherwise, you will end up in a hotel parking lot cleaning the inside of your car with a bowl of water and a facecloth.

* When you have to go to the bathroom upon leaving Calgary, and you mention it to your husband upon passing Banff, you should not assume that he will actually be willing to stop the car and thus deviate from his decided upon driving time. You should be prepared to cross your legs and think of deserts and moon landings until at least Golden.

Hmmm… maybe if I’d cried inconsolably…