Drive Time: Holiday Edition or My Travels with Charlie

We don’t have children. One ramification of that fact is that we usually travel at holiday time because our lives are so much “easier” (I’ll save that topic for later).  To share one holiday dinner and spend a little time with various family members, our four days went something like this:

Thursday: 3.5 hours in car ( two large adults listening to Christmas in Hicksville, Amy Winehouse, and the Oxford American Georgia CD)

Friday: 3 hours in car ( now three large people and one large dog) followed by another 35 minutes after dinner.

Saturday: 3 hours in car (with dog who has separation anxiety) due to the Solimar fire changing what is usually a 40 minute jaunt into an ordeal.

Sunday: Close to 7 hours in the car–3 with dog. (I must get my coat dry-cleaned now in spite of the cold!)  Bay Area style driving (i.e. tail-gating, swerving lane-changes, and inexplicable slowdowns)  started before Salinas, and things just got increasingly exciting for the last 90 minutes of the trip.  Those adrenaline surges keep one focused.

Of course wonderful meals, pleasant conversations, interesting outings, and competitive, high-stakes Yahtzee games filled up the time outside the car. Christmas dinner was very tasty, the table was gorgeous (I love a good table setting!), and my sister-in-law has an adorable new puppy who likes to play and cuddle. The little dog and the big dog were pretty sweet together, and so were the young adults who used to be our cute little niece and nephew. Still cute. Not little. The Saturday excursion was fun and followed by a great lunch, and nothing beats the trash-talk dispensed by my 85 year old mother-in-law while playing Yahtzee!  But that traffic! Every year! By the time we get home from the holidays, we are exhausted, bloated, and beyond bah-humbug (in spite of all the giggles provided by Dan Hicks and the Jug Band).This year, the cats turned their backs on us for an extra thirty minutes because of all that dog smell.

Next Christmas, we’re proposing Holidays in Hawaii. What do you think?

And by the way, Happy New Year!

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