Sunday, October 7, 2018

Ramblings and Recipes, Part 8 - The Long, Long, Long, Long Summer

“A lot of parents pack up their troubles
and send them off to summer camp.” ~Raymond Duncan

There I sat.  The kids were out of school for summer vacation.  It was raining outside.  My car wouldn’t start.  I was five months pregnant and looked like a blimp.  Jamie sat in front of the TV, so Tracy pinched her.  Then Jamie started crying and Tracy denied doing anything wrong.
The mailman came… nothing but a credit card bill.  The kids were hungry.  Jamie wanted a peanut butter and honey sandwich.  Tracy wanted seafood paella.
Oh good, the phone was ringing.
I soon became so desperate for some adult conversation that I poured my heart out to a telemarketer, and HE hung up on ME.
Hubby came to the rescue with a terrific vacation idea.  He would take six weeks off work, pack up the kids and the dog into an RV and we would travel around the country, from Florida through New Orleans, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, then up the California coast, past Oregon, up to Washington, turn right and go as far as the Dakota’s and then work our way in a southeastern direction all the way back to Florida.  Jamie squealed with delight while Tracy, now 12 years old going on 16, folded her arms in front of her and met our eyes with a blank stare.  “Seriously, Dad?” she said.  “I can’t see my friends for an entire six weeks?  That’s like… ALL summer!”
Spending the summer on the open road!  What’s not to love?  The adventure, the freedom, the vast educational experience visiting historical monuments… the kids fighting in the back and yelling “Are we there yet?”
I had packed the RV’s limited storage areas to the max with all the necessities we would need for the next six weeks.  Soup, cereal, sandwich meat, snacks and 12 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.   When Rick saw me neatly packing the wine bottles between washcloths and towels so they wouldn’t break if jostled, he commented “12 bottles of wine?”  I looked at the bottles and back at him and commented, “We are going to be confined in close living arrangements with a dog and two kids for SIX WEEKS!”  He studied the bottles for a moment and said, “I guess we can buy more along the way”.
Our first major stop was New Orleans.  Great city… if you’re an adult traveling without kids.  So we popped a couple of beignet’s in our mouths and headed further west.
“Are we there yet?” 
“There is no THERE”, I would respond.  “It’s the journey, the trip, the adventure!”
Tracy looked at me with that same blank stare, arms folded across her chest.  “But we’ve been driving for three days in TEXAS!  Are we ever going to get out of Texas?”
“We will be in New Mexico soon, and then we can visit Carlsbad Caverns”, I said hoping for a cheer.  Instead, I heard “I’m not walking around in some old cave with bats, stepping on bat poop everywhere.  And speaking of poop, the dog just pooped on the floor back here.” 
We then made our way from Tombstone, Arizona, through the Petrified Forest to the Grand Canyon.   Then west and up the California coast through the Redwood Forest with its giant trees and on to Yosemite National Park.  

We visited my brother who was living in the state of Washington and eventually found ourselves in Yellowstone National Park where Jamie managed to submerge her Mickey Mouse flip flop clad foot into an enormous pile of buffalo poo.  Although I wanted to leave the flip flop there and just carry her back to the RV to wash her up, this was her very favorite, most cherished pair of Mickey Mouse flip flops ever.  So even after promising I would buy her another pair when we got back to Florida if I could leave it there, the tears would not stop running down her cheeks. Needless to say, I dug through the buffalo plop to retrieve it for her. 
By the time we finally made it back home to Florida, it was near time for school to start again.  Yes, we made it through another summer.  Next year, they go to summer camp.


·       Pillsbury Grand Biscuits, uncooked
·       Wesson Oil
·       Powdered Sugar
·       Butter

Open roll of biscuits and cut each one into fourths. Heat oil in a deep fryer. When the oil is really hot, drop each piece of biscuit into the oil. When lightly browned on both sides, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with butter and powdered sugar.


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