Memories continue to fade, almost two weeks have passed since we were in Washington for Rachel's class trip. I was compelled to post a "Top Ten" list after our family trip to D.C. a while back, so I thought it'd be fun to compare the differences. Click here to read the first five memories this trip…and following is what comes to mind now. Again, they aren't necessarily in order, just enumerated so I'll know when to stop :).
5. Bus rides ? Thrill rides.
Or at least they shouldn't. Our driver was not only new with the company, he had never set wheel–or foot–in D.C. before our trip. Let's just say both parent and child were on edge when he was behind the wheel; it might've had something to do with hitting guardrails at 70 mph…or having the side mirror busted off by a "dump truck"…or leery "looks" and strange remarks (i.e., once when we were getting off the bus, I said, "We'll be back…" and he said, "Is that a threat or a promise?" and I was just a bit weirded out…) or getting lost in a suburban D.C. 'hood, where a "neighbor" was moving large cross ties from driveway to street at 10:00 p.m., and when asked for directions, said, "We don't get many buses around here…" Duh…ya think? Actually, I'm sure this was a "had-to-be-there-in-order-for-it-to-be-funny" kind of thing, but it was freakin' hilarious at the
time. Then, again, that just might've been frayed nerves… Think a cross between Schneider from "One Day at a Time" and the odd neighbor Mr. Heckles from "Friends" and you'll have a good visual.
4. Sleeping with strangers.
I about died when I found out I'd be bunking with three other women. Four girls, one bathroom, two beds…YIKES! When I was MUCH younger, this wouldn't have fazed me, but now? Different story…I was fazed. I snore…I can't "go" with other people around…I don't like putting on make up, getting dressed or showering with an audience (like I'm sure they couldn't wait to see all of the above… ). I had told K (principal and organizer) I'd give up staying with Rachel in order for her to be with her best friends; the other moms were chaperoning, too, so that would've meant the girls would be split up…and since this trip was about her (not me), I figured that was the least I could offer. I DIDN'T KNOW
I'd eventually regret that "sacrifice" THAT WOULD MEAN I'D BE SLEEPING WITH ANOTHER WOMAN IN THE SAME BED!
The first night I got a reprieve…there were two rooms available for the four of us (whew!). The next two nights (in a different city), no such luck. Of course, because I cannot keep my thoughts to myself, I was pretty vocal about my anxieties…nothin' personal, I just like my s p a c e.
The thing is, our days were full and long and there wasn't a whole lot of time spent in the room anyway. AND, I got an unexpected surprise….the "found-$20-in-your-coat-pocket-from-last-winter" kind, not the "cat-left-you-a-'goodie'-in-your-right-shoe-because-he-was-ticked-you-left -him-home-while-you-were-on-vacation" kind:
It was FUN!
The first night together, as we laid there
not spoonin' or anything even remotely approaching saucy or salacious in bed, delirious from having walked a thousand miles and carpe diem-ing D.C., everything was funny. It reminded me of school-age sleepovers when life was easy and good and…more innocent. There was a symphonic rhythm to our conversation–someone would say something, we'd giggle, and then settle…over and over again. Eventually, the rhythm changed as we drifted off to sleep. Snores replaced snorts. Remarkably, insomnia queen that I am, I was one of the first ones asleep so the Zzzzz didn't bother me a bit. Them, maybe….not me;).
3) Sometimes $#!t happens, sometimes it doesn't.
AKA ENTIRELY too much information…As
I've recounted on my blog before, when I'm out of town, I cannot "go".
This is not something I consciously "make" happen (or more accurately
DON'T make happen). My body seems to know I'm not at home, so
apparently I digest food some other way. I have an extremely shy bladder, but an even shyer bowel. Why I feel compelled to admit this before God and the whole world wide frickin' web is beyond me. It's amusing to me I can t a l k about it, just not do it…
My friend and favorite co-chaperone Nancy was concerned about this on my behalf…she encouraged massive consumption of water. Kinda hard to do this when you're averaging walking seven miles a day–your body may need it, but it's just not practical. Nancy, a teacher, also decided to educate me. She explained that "__it" is supposed to be S-shaped, make a "certain" sound when it hits the water, and healthy stuff should be in a particular color range. HUH??? WHAT THE HECK?? Well, apparently she's been watching too much Oprah…and Dr. Oz is her personal physician.
I REFUSE to become a poop inspector. If I had wanted to be a proctologist, I would've gotten a medical degree. Besides, obviously "I don't do that", so it's not necessary. Kind of ironic that on our first day I took a picture of a "privy" at Monticello, don't you think?
2) Oh, the Joy!
We had a tour guide, Joy, who accompanied us from Chattanooga. Lemme tell you this, Joy was a professional in every sense of the word. She was dressed in uniform everyday–a long-sleeved white blouse, navy vest, khaki pants and sensible shoes. She's been a tour guide since 1982 and Nellie.bar .the.door.and.get.out.of.her.way…she was more than able to make it happen, whatever "it" happened to be. She ran us ragged, and I'm serious when I tell ya we averaged seven miles/day. A wealth of information (like where to buy $18 hoodies that sold for $30 everywhere else and the best food courts for kids…), Joy was deliciously "old school"….
It's important to add, she was born BEFORE the Depression. The Great One (which really wasn't great at all). She's in her late 70s and ran circles around us! Oh, my, we enjoyed her on a thousand different levels–I soooo wish I had a "good" video of her–for now, here's a glimpse. She was absolutely precious…and then some…;)
This one is going to be a whole post to itself. There's no way I'm squenchin' it in to this one.