Spring Break Road Trip: An Honest Account

The B and I took a nearly two week road trip for Spring Break this year.  I shared some highlights on social media (of course), but there is more to life than the highlight reel.

Enjoy the whole picture!

Day 1

Stuck in mud because I am dumb.

Day 1 take 2

Still stuck in mud.

Day 1 take 3

Step-dad gets backhoe and frees us from mud.  Six year old gets to ride in backhoe. Six year old is happy. 

Free in time to leave on first leg of journey.  5 minutes out, steering wheel begins shaking uncontrollably.  Begin traveling at 15 miles/hour with hazards.  Call Mom to see what might give steering wheel tremors.  She says something with the tires, gives directions to Les Schwab.

Luckily, still have studded tires on because procrastination. Regular tires conveniently loaded in car for an exchange somewhere along our way.

Also lucky, Les Schwab has WiFi and vending machines.  Six Year old is happy.

3 hours later we are dumping studded tires in storage, Moana soundtrack is blaring, and we are out.

Entering freeway, child in back informs me he needs a bathroom. 

Day 2

Wake up at Great-Grandma and Grandpa’s in Renton WA.  Meant to spend 3 days, but whittled down to 1 to stay on schedule.

Love my dumb phone, but about to spend summer in home with no WiFi.  Decided to get smart phone before trip for assistance in road trip success. Did not get phone before trip because procrastination.

Get smart phone with Great-Grandma.  Leave old dumb phone with Great-Grandma and Grandpa because Great-Grandpa needs new one, although he’s not sure phone is dumb enough (has slide-out key pad for texting.)

Head south toward Vancouver.  Moana soundtrack still blasting.  Notice B lip -synching.  Hold new smartphone up and take continuous video.  Capture much gold, such as this.  Beginning to like smart phone.

Day 3

Visit with Vancouver Aunt and Cousins. They are awesome. 

Aunt has cat.  Tells B to leave cat alone because cat openly hostile to humans.  B does not leave cat alone.  Did not receive injury from cat despite repeated efforts.

Aunt gives B stack of CDs for the road.  My least favorites so far: Madagascar soundtrack, Alvin and the Chipmunks soundtrack. 

Ella Enchanted soundtrack gets big thumbs up. 

B’s favorites: see my least favorites.

Vancouver Cousin is 9 days my senior.  He has Daughter 6 months B’s senior.  Both were born at 11:18pm on the 13th, 6 months apart.  This means back-to-back pictures are mandated, as they were for their parents.  Children clearly thrilled with this requirement. 

Day 4

I want to share video below.  B doesn’t want to share it.  Consider doing it without permission.  Instead resort to bribery.  Buy child movie (Sing) thus subjecting adults at all future stops to a viewing.

Leave Vancouver for Salem.  B yells at Siri every time she gives directions.  His insults become increasingly volatile, from “stop telling us what to do!” to “you disgust me lady!”

Arrive in Salem.  This is about the time Dr. B Jekyll becomes Mr. B Hyde.  Open defiance, disrespect, and sass ensue.  Family impressed with parenting skills. 

Day 5

Aunt in Salem buys chickens. She lets B get one.  B gives her a dollar to buy his.  He names chicken Robert.  When informed chicken is female, he renames her Carisa (Cah-rees-ah) and corrects everyone who mispronounces name. 

Visit to Great-Grandparents haven’t seen in years.  While there, B announces he wants to leave, exits front door, gets in car, refuses to come out.    Grateful I will see Grandparents in a couple months sans six year old.  Will look forward to compliments on parenting skills.

Aunt and Uncle buy us pizza at pizza place.  Uncle plays arcade games with B.  B is happy.

Aunt and Uncle give tips on iPhone.  Change voice of Siri to male with Australian accent.  B is amenable to this.  Names man “Cameron.” 

We all watch Sing.

Day 6

Salem Aunt generously takes us shopping for upcoming wedding.  B picks out dresses like pro and freely gives opinions, including distaste for anything showing too much skin in chest region. 

Cameron (Siri) gives directions from Salem to Wildlife Safari in Winston.  I obtain pensive glamour shots of as many beasts as possible.

B feeds an emu.

Stop at Red Robin on way to hotel in Medford. Grateful for gluten-free buns.

Discover a downside to traveling alone with a child.  Child needs to use facilities.  Takes longer than expected.  Wait staff begins clearing procedures.  Child perturbed about disappearance of menu full of activities he spent 10 minutes diligently completing. 

Spend night at hotel in Medford.  Work couple of hours from laptop then foolishly fall asleep with B still watching Disney channel.  B does not fall asleep with T.V. I believe it is a biological impossibility.  I wake at 2 a.m., realize blunder, and scramble for remote, silencing Jessie.

“It’s okay mom,” says B, “If I stay up late I’ll sleep longer in the car.  You need sleep ‘cause you have to drive but not me.”

Spoiler: He did not sleep more in the car.

Day 7

What should have been five-hour trip to Napa somehow turns into eight.  Not saying it’s monster’s fault, but did just refer to him as monster. Draw your own conclusions. 

There is wine at the end of the tunnel.

Great visit with family.  B has great visit with the chocolate lab.

Day 8

Ferry to San Francisco with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, and soon-to-be-Uncle.  Exploratorium is the coolest.  Must return.  

Lunch at Coquetta.  Amazing food and amazing service.  Six year old unimpressed with spending hours in restaurant, but gives high praise to food and enjoys fancy drink with mint sprig.

Incident occurs in which B accuses soon-to-be-Uncle of stealing two quarters.  Mr. B Hyde is mad and fixated on this point.  Imagine a high voice demanding “Gimme my quarters!” followed by undeterred physical pestering on the street, waiting for ferry, on ferry, leaving ferry, in car. 

Catch the end of Zags winning Final Four game (Go Zags!) on the radio. Spend evening drinking wine outside, watching Ducks lose ( :( ).

Day 9

Grandma and Grandpa put together killer Sunday brunch at Napa home.  Ate my weight.  Needed nap. 

Borrowed basketball from B’s soon-to-be-Uncle.  Grandpa takes me and B to play.  Grandpa wears sandals, one of which breaks when trying to fish ball out of mud for second time 

Grandpa knows of hoop not next to muddy ravine.

At other hoop, now shoeless, Grandpa discovers new court is flood damaged and covered in tiny chunks of dislodged asphalt, perfect for massaging bare feet. B does not notice dilemma, insists Grandpa chase and guard him because “that’s how you play ball.” 

B’s FG% decreases significantly with introduction of 10-foot hoop. 

Day 10

Relax with book near pool in what feels like summer.  B wears out chocolate lab. 


Drive to beautiful park with Grandpa and chocolate lab.  B holds leash and swings it around screaming “yah yah yah!”  Chocolate lab does not seem to mind.

Hike up hill with gorgeous views of valley.  B enjoys fresh air until trips on leash and skins leg. This is somewhat traumatic. Claims of being unable to walk erupt.  Crying occurs (so does walking).

B’s Aunt calls.  He inquires if soon-to-be-Uncle has his quarters.

We all watch Sing.

Day 11

Prepare for trip home. 

Grandma suggests B write thank you note to soon-to-be-Uncle for lending of basketball.   Grandma provides thank you note. B complies in B fashion.

Aunt comes over for dinner.  B throws epic tantrum.  Grandma offers me more wine.

Day 12

Leave Napa before sunrise in hopes of hours of sleeping B.  B wakes when placed in car seat.  Does not sleep.

Give up hopes of fun car ride with music and car games.  Exchange for kid in back with iPad and headphones.  Mom in front with podcasts. 

Get to hotel in Bend.  I suggest shower, pizza, and T.V.  B really wants a burger.  Find place with gluten-free bun.  Cameron (Siri) gives directions.  B has apparently tired of Cameron and insults him.  Cameron ceases giving us verbal directions.  I have no idea how to resolve this.

Gluten-free bun place turns out to be meatless.  Buy child plant-based burger and fries in hopes he will not notice.  Child notices.

Back to hotel room, we order pizza. 

Day 13

Amazing views on winding highways, stimulating podcasts, and barely a peep from the child in the back glued to some addictive building block game, blissfully unaware it will be deleted immediately upon arrival.

All in all, a fantastic vacation