Friday, May 24, 2013

#Juniors Tour De Lazy Eyed Llama Travel Day

Nothing warms the heart and cements the value of cycling in a teenager more than missing a day of school to race. Over the last few years I have certainly pushed my wonderful wife to the brink several times with the question, "Sure.  They can miss a few days of school.  Right?"

Teenager's have very few reservations about missing a day of school - but sitting in a car for 8 hours may push those limits. How do you make the car fun while driving through the flat, barren prairies of western Illinois and the rolling farmland that borders the Mississippi River in Iowa? You don't.

Old guys like myself remember traversing western Indiana into Illinois to visit relatives near Peoria, IL. If you have ever driven Interstate 74 you would swear there are no turns and that you can see the Rocky Mountains off in the distance. A couple of us have the experience of driving across Nebraska, so Iowa seems like driving the strip in Vegas by comparison, but the kids get the luxury of flying long distances while the dad's share a bed in the back of an SUV.

As you read this blog post on your iThing with your head down at the dinner table avoiding your vegetables, the realization should come to you that iThings are what make this all bearable - for both the teen and the parent. As long as 3G is strong enough the teen won't know what country they are in and couldn't care less if they are in Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa. They all start with "I" and look the same through the car window. Of course I am writing this blog entry on an iPad with cell service while sitting the passenger seat of a Toyota Sequoia midway through Illinois.

Signs that you travel with another family too often include not being able to remember which road trip you saw something peculiar. Several times someone would say "remember last year when we saw [insert silly memory]" which would quickly be rebutted with "no, that was on that other trip". We are going to have to start documeting these encounters better. Maybe in a blog or something.

Travel days do give you time to consider things you hadn't really thought about previously. We found ourselves wondering about our lazy eyed llama - did she have a name? We affectionately called her "llama", but that doesn't seem real personal. We decided that from now on we would call her Sue. Seems appropriate, though we aren't quite sure why.

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