Though I may have prematurely (last night) declared a “Pajama Day” today, both Daughter and I slept in a little bit longer since we weren’t staring another Road Warrior-inspired drive in the face. Instead, it was a day to unload, unpack, and attempt to organize, and not necessarily in that order.
For my part, I cleared out of the truck the remaining detritus from the trip as best I could. How many Starbucks Splash Sticks can one console hold? Daughter doesn’t realize it yet, but these things are going to keep reappearing for months. The sticks are everywhere, but I trust when my truck returns home sometime in May, Daughter promised me it will be immaculate – maybe I imagined that last part.
I also had a growing sense this morning that my buddy, Zak, and his Ghost Adventures crew would not be interested in their first-ever lockdown inside a pickup truck cab, since all the mysteriously missing items from the past few days have very magically reappeared.
To wit, I now have a very complete and functional Bluetooth earpiece and, by my count, the fifth Festivus Miracle of the year occurred when I also discovered the microscopic pin that holds my watchband together. It just goes to show that you should never, ever skip the traditional Airing of Grievances during December. Makes all the difference in the world.
And since part of my goal was to remove the essential “me” elements from the vehicle, I grabbed two sleeves of golf balls (what are these doing here, and when was the last time I actually played?), a nice ink pen, and two sunvisor CD holders. Yes, the CDs were hidden under the passenger seat, but why risk Daughter’s reputation if one of her friends discovers that “ABBA Gold” disk or the “Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits” (who’s Steve Miller?). There are also some “weird” mix compilations my Son made several years ago when he figured out how to use a CD burner. I don’t even know what those contain.
Clearly all of this is not a problem for me, but I could see Daughter becoming socially scarred very easily should any of these be discovered by the wrong people.
Let’s not even begin to compare iPod playlists. Even more embarrassment. Trust me.
So Daughter gave me a big thank you hug this morning for sharing the trip with her, but I told her I was a bit surprised that she indicated on the blog it was over yesterday. Well, for her, maybe it was, but for me, I’m flying home in the morning, so the saga continues – at least in my mind.
I thought it might be useful to wind up the road portion of the diary with my Top Ten Road Trip with Daughter Lessons Learned:
10) There is no such thing as an early start – unless “early” means sometime after 10:00 a.m.
9) Piling up crap in the back seat, which completely blocks rear view mirror visibility, is permissible if you have side mirrors and a semi-conscious passenger.
8) A FaceTent ™ is a handy travel accessory, but its use should be avoided by the driver while driving, if at all possible.
7) It is possible to become lost, even though you are simultaneously referencing an iPhone, Tom-Tom, and AAA TripTik. In these cases, it is helpful to say in a loud voice to your Navigator (Daughter), “I know you don’t know what to do. That’s not helpful and, no, I can’t look at your iPhone right now.”
6) No matter how bad or long the previous day was, a foo-foo cup of coffee first thing recalibrates everyone into imagining the day ahead will be better than before, even though you know it won’t.
5) Always, always believe the AAA Travel Planning Lady when she says, “I’ve looked at the ten-day forecast, and you won’t have any problems at all with weather along the way.”
4) Hearing impairment radically cuts down on road noise, meaningful conversational interaction, and the ability to hear anything at all emanating from an iPhone. It also dramatically increases Daughter annoyance.
3) Though considered an ancient communication device by some, a BlackBerry can be used in emergencies to signal search aircraft by reflecting the sun. Along the same lines, it is also useful for randomly blinding the driver (“No, I’m not high-fiving you. You’re doing it again, Dad.”).
2) The Human Bladder is the most important yet least understood tool in the Driver’s Arsenal.
1) Remember to bring a Truck Driver Voodoo Doll (trademark). Though not recommended, it is possible to stick pins, text, email, talk on the phone, and drink coffee simultaneously while driving. But do not try this at home – only in moving vehicles.