Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rhode Trip

I think I’ve finally recovered enough from our trip to Rhode Island to share a few highlights and observations. The full story will take about four installments over the next three or so weeks. (Hey, now listen, at least this isn’t the 50s or 60s—where I would invite you to my house on the pretense of fixing you dinner, but instead give you a few snacks and make you watch three hours of 8mm “home” movies.)

I’ve revealed some “issues” Hubby and I have had on past trips. (Click on the link!) This time we had five months (and over 33 years of marriage) to prepare for the longest-distanced trip we would make in our life together. Until we left on October 5th, the fartherest (a new ELC word denoting even farther than farther—feel free to use) we’d driven had been to the top of Montana—Glacier National Park—from our home in Texas. Worth every single mile.

Here’s the way it works at our house (see if you can relate):

We make a decision to go somewhere (could be four hours away—or over 1800 miles). I sit back and wait for the time to draw near. I’m responsible for getting all laundry washed and dry cleaning taken and picked up. I straighten the house (on the slight chance something unforeseen happens and someone—TLC?—has to come in—wouldn't want the word to get around I’m actually not The World’s Most Incredible Hazel). I do half of my packing the night before. The remainder? Next morning. (Or as Hubby likes to call it: The Last Minute.) If it’s a short trip (3 nights or less), I pack the day we’re leaving. Even if it means getting up at It’s the way I roll. I’m not saying it’s smart. I’m saying it works for me because I know I can—and will—sleep in the car. Believe me.

Hubby, on the other hand, talks about an upcoming trip for days (or weeks—depending on where we’re going). If our destination is somewhere we’ve never been, he orders maps, individual State “books” and TripTiks from AAA (AAA = one of the best investments you’ll ever make—and I get no compensation for promoting them, darnnit!) well in advance. He goes on-line and looks up "stuff"—from hotels and restaurants to what the weather is and/or will be like at our destination. He reads a bazillion “reviews and comments.” He starts planning what he’ll pack (except for coats—he never, ever, ever wants to take any kind of coat—or gloves—or any kind of hat other than a ballcap—even in the winter—because this VERY smart man forgets the places we’re traveling to may not have weather like Texas—sheesh). At least three days before the trip, he’ll get his bags out to start fillin’ ‘em up. He'll be packed and ready (except for a few items that will be put in his dob kit) the night before. Done. In bed and asleep by 9:00 p.m.

Two days before we leave, he’ll start questioning me with major intensity. Like he’s a detective and I’ve committed a crime. All he needs are those bright lights to shine in my eyes while asking: “When are you going to pack? Do you have your bags ready? What time will you be getting all your clothes together? Do you know we’re leaving at (fill-in-the-blank time) o’clock in two days (or "in the morning")? Why haven’t you started putting your clothes in your bags? Is all your laundry done? Why do you always put this off until the last minute?” He’s a silly one, that Man O’ Mine.

Am I ungrateful to be married to an organized man? NO. Not at all. Quite the opposite. I am EXTREMELY appreciative of the fact he’s a “detail” person—dependable, energetic, enthusiastic, concerned, and responsible. I’m just along for the ride! We (and when I say "we" I mean "I") embrace our differences and make them work—for us. (It occurs to me that my descriptions may be the opposite for you and your significant other. Usually one is organized—the other not so much. Yin and Yang. It’s all about balance. It's all okay.)

This Rhode Island Road Trip seemed like a FABULOUS idea last April. Hubby had a meeting to attend in Newport for two days. In discussing possible flight scenarios, I became a teensy bit… ummm… worried. I was willing to fly non-stop to New York and then get a rental car for the trip to Newport. I was NOT willing to go on three different planes to get to our destination. A long story for a later date, perhaps. Suffice it to say I have become uninterested in flying—unless completely necessary. Somehow we came to the conclusion it’d be fun and/or interesting to drive. We’d take our time on the way up. We’d go through states we’d never been to before. It’d be memorable. We had faith we could do it—and live to tell about it.

The day before we were to leave, Hubby informed me he’d be at his office in our Barn apartment "for awhile." Downloading some info for his GPS. Oh, Lordy. That “Nina” woman. (Click on the link!) For ten days. Instead of throwing a hissy-fit, I decided to wait for her to drive me to The Edge of Insanity. Then I'd kindly request she be terminated.

I made Hubby happy happy (and possibly suspicious) by having most of my packing done by the time we went to bed the night before our departure. We left at on a Wednesday. (I reminded him to get his coat—as we walked out the door—a coat, by the way, he never used.) Our first goal was to get to Nashville at a reasonable hour that night. If possible. And without pushing so hard we would be totally exhausted. Oh, and cranky. As we drove away from our gate, I noticed it. The GPS. (Primarily because he was engrossed in pushing buttons as we headed down the road. Evidently he had forgotten how to get to Dallas. A trip he’s made one zillion times in his 67 years.) I became transfixed with it. Why did it look different? It finally hit me.

“Is that the GPS you’ve always had?” I sweetly asked.

Then came the look. That look that says: Uh-oh. My purchase has been discovered. That look men have been giving to their mothers, grandmothers, teachers, girlfriends and wives since time began. That look of sheer and utter innocense (or fear, if applicable).

“You know it’s not. I told you I ordered a new GPS for this trip. I couldn’t update all the new technology to the older one. You don’t remember that discussion?”

No, no I didn’t. Because I’m pretty sure it never occurred. And, guess what? The new model might have cutting-age (yes, not “edge”—this is also an ELC term to be used by Us Geezers trying to keep up with You Younguns) technology, but Scary Nina is still in that little box. Why couldn’t they have at least used a man’s voice this time—someone, oh, I don’t know, like Sean Connery? I politely (yep, stickin’ with that) asked him to be ready to turn her voice off at a second’s notice. He agreed. Actually, he only ended up listening to the hideously annoying woman (not me) a couple of times during our entire trip. Bless his heart. I will confess she was helpful—for a few minutes. In a couple of states. However, coming home she messed us up royally. Took us 45 minutes out of our way—in spine-tinglingly (ELC's way to convey extraordinary tinglingness. And the bonus? It sounds tres Halloween-y.) hideous Connecticut traffic. I won’t tell you what I called Evil Nina. It's not ladylike.

Stay tuned for Rhode Trip—Part 2 or ELC’s Whiskey and Chocolate Tour! It gets more exciting by the day. Or not. You be the Judge.

p.s. For other cute thoughts on packing, please enjoy The Piggy Lounge’s Kacy and her funny On My Mind! (Click on the link!)

2 comments:

Autumn said...

Some GPS units give you a choice of voice (gender and accent) and icon (what you use to represent your vehicle) Kind of fun. I chose an orange monster truck, just because I could. You might grab the instruction manual and check it out. Worth a shot, right? Especially if you don't have to listen to Nina anymore!

The Leightons said...

Well, well, well, Ms. Autumn. I think it's VERY interesting that My Sweet Hubby either doesn't know this or hasn't been kind enough to share the info. THANK YOU ever so very much. This will be taken care of--before our next driving trip. (Why do I think we'll have some issues finding the instruction manual? Could it be because men often don't believe they need one? Uh, duh.) We'll be heading to Houston to see the grandkids soon, and this trip we'll need the GPS.I'll look forward to a new voice!

I'm not surprised that you would have an orange monster truck! That is F-U-N-N-Y. Perfect for you, Dear Friend. I am still giggling.

I know we're commiserating with each other today about our Texas Rangers' loss--but we shall CARRY ON and forever be PROUD of their AWESOMENESS. They ROCK.

HUGS,
ELC