It's Valentines Day, so you know what I'm thinking about....yeah, chocolate! After my sweet tooth is taken care of though, I'll be thinking about my wonderful wife. I write a lot on here about the traveling with my kids, but not very much about traveling with my wife. It makes sense I guess since the blog is called More Kids Than Suitcases not More Wives Than Suitcases (and somebody in Utah just registered a new blog name), but today in honor of Valentines Day, I want to look at what's different when Lori and I leave the kids at home and travel on our own.
I have to be in half the pictures - Neither Lori nor I like being in pictures. That's why we had kids, so we'd have somebody to stand in front of the things that we want to take pictures of. When our kids aren't with us, we have to improvise. We've tried using random kids in our pictures, but people get all uptight when you start trying to correctly pose their children in front of snorting bulls or near cliff edges. It's amazing how many people don't teach their children the rules of posing for pictures. What did they have these kids for anyways?
We stop a lot more - In specific, we stop anytime Lori sees the words "Sale", "50% off", or "Final Clearance!" She doesn't give me a lot of notice for these stops either. Traveling in the fast lane at 100 MPH doesn't excuse me from taking that exit seven lanes over because she's spotted a Ross store. The only time I don't have to slow down is when a sign with the word "Liquidation" appears outside an outlet mall. Lori's leaping out of the car at that point anyways, so I can just continue on and circle back around to find a parking space.
I'm not getting my Bacon Double Cheeseburger - No kids means no fast food. I know that for most of you that's a huge selling point, but I'm pretty sure that by this point my body is functioning solely on the grease it absorbs from take-out burgers. That doesn't sound healthy, but how often do you hear people talking about their bodies functioning like a "well-oiled machine"? Where do you think that oil comes from? You know that stiffness you wake up with in the morning? That's just your body telling you it's a quart low and you need to hit an In-N-Out drive-thru right away.
There's nobody to distract Lori - When we're in a hotel room with our kids, you can bet that there's something Lori is dealing with. Somebody needs something, clothes need to be organized, or there's an argument that needs to be settled. When it's just Lori and I, all the entertainment duties fall to me. Now I'm all for entertaining my wife in the hotel room (I throw sentences like that in just to get my kids to stop reading the blog and go back to doing their homework), but if I'm trying to catch the end of a game, there's nobody to keep Lori busy. This means she tries to watch the end of the game with me, and that leads to questions like "'Why don't they have green in their uniforms?" or "Have their pants always been so tight?" This wouldn't be so bad if my brain would just ignore the questions, but sure enough I find myself wondering "When did their pants get so tight?" Believe me, the rest of my day is shot right there.
I don't have to drive a mini-van - When we have our kids with us, renting a car isn't very exciting. For our own sanity we always book a mini-van and make sure that the kids don't have to sit right next to each other. When it's just Lori and I, we get to wander the aisles of the car rental place looking for just the right car. Lori hates this part because she knows what I'm looking for...the word "Hemi". Now I have no clue what a "Hemi" is, but I've seen enough commercials where people get beat in a drag race then pull up next to the car and ask "Have you got a Hemi in there?" to know that I want one. I'll take any car that has the word emblazoned on the back, no matter how silly or impractical it may be, and once I hit the road in my Hemi, everything is possible:
"Hon, I don't think you're going to make that light."
"Don't worry baby, we've got a Hemi!"
"I don't think we can park here."
"Of course we can. We've got a Hemi!"
"We're going to be late for the show."
"Ha ha ha....Hemi!"
I'm going to be really disappointed if one day I find out that Hemi refers to a certain brand of windshield wipers or something stupid, but for now all I need for my life to be complete is for somebody to build a mini-van with a Hemi in it.