Unexpected Delays of Family Travel

The drive to Tucson should have taken seven hours. It took twice that. The boys passed out shortly after sunset and we let The Muppets soundtrack play through two more times before we replaced it with conversation and the sounds of the open road.

It took over three hours to drive from one side of Los Angeles to the other. The rest of the drive was long and lonely. We stopped for a burger. We stopped and slept in a rest area parking lot. We stopped for gas, sunflower seeds, and coffee. We lost an hour in the middle of nowhere.

The boys woke up shortly before sunrise. They found the symmetry enticing. The sun also rises, and so too, the sons. We arrived at Nana’s house and we let the games begin.

Traveling to visit family over the holidays is exhausting. There is more to do and see than one can fit in an extended weekend without becoming extended themselves. The demands on time are great, because the people you wish to see are great. Most of them. But they have friends and families, too. Nothing gets any easier.

The boys spent time with grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and a great-grandfather that embraced them with a joy that none of us knew he still possessed. They also ate a lot.

Thanksgiving rolled into Black Friday, and Saturday came and went in a blur of quick greetings and endless leftovers. People were hugged accordingly.

Sunday found us sitting on the hood of our car in the middle of Interstate 10. There had been an accident — something horrible 30 miles ahead. The freeway had been closed for hours, but, according to news reports, by the time we stopped it had been open for nearly 90 minutes. It takes a long time for freedom to trickle back. We walked along the asphalt of the interstate and talked to strangers. Children played soccer on the shoulder. Teens skated around parked cars. There was talk of a barbecue a mile down the road. We had already eaten.

There is an odd sense of community meeting your fellow travelers while, literally, on the road. We all had our bags and our baggage. We all had someplace to be and someplace that we were coming from. And we all knew that it was better to be at the end of the line than the cause of it. Everyone was free and easy. Everyone was on their way home or something close to it.

The unpacking of the highway finally reached us and our journey continued without a hitch, but it did have a few more waves. What were once faceless targets of frustration and the occasional curse word were now bonded by shared experience. We traveled as a caravan, going whichever way the road goes.

The drive from Tucson should have taken seven hours, but we weren’t in a hurry. At some point the sun set, and the boys were right behind it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.