September 1, 2017

Boston memories - the start

I considered titling this post 'Boston highlights'.  Some of our road trip experiences do NOT count as highlights, but can best be described as moments that we will certainly REMEMBER, so I adjusted the title accordingly. 

The drive out east from Chicago was lengthy.  It was August 10th - our 21st wedding anniversary.  I slept a bit during Coach's first leg of driving.  When it was my turn to take the wheel, I feared I would be too sleepy despite my short nap.  Honestly, I struggle to keep my eyes open on short treks to Irish dancing class, so I stand little hope of being useful on a long drive . . . especially when I start out sleep deprived from late night packing.  To remedy the situation, I slammed a bottle of Coke.

We then hit an hour of bumper to bumper traffic as we encountered terrible construction zones.  I was behind the wheel, AND I had to pee.  Thanks, Coke!  Damn, double-edged sword.  Our approach to lengthy drives includes eliminating as many stops as possible.  I pondered the situation while we were stuck in traffic, and it made sense to me that I try to empty my bladder while we were practically stopped anyway.  Two birds, one stone - right?

As we sat there making no progress, I began to point out clusters of bushes or generous cement blockades along the side of the road that I felt would offer me enough 'coverage' if I just jumped out and took a quick pee.  Coach looked as if perhaps I was NOT the woman he meant to marry 21 years ago.  In my desperation, I even suggested that the kids climb out and hoist up a beach towel from the back seat like a little privacy shield.  This time he couldn't even look in my direction.  He chose not to acknowledge me with a glance or a reply.  A full bottle of Coke can do that to a person - I think it's called DESPERATION!  Ultimately we were forced to stop at a gas station - right after the road work ended.  Of course.

This 3 quart thermos rocks - I bought two!
In the middle of my packing, I prepared a huge batch of chili.
When our captives, I mean passengers started to beg for dinner, I simply whipped out the two enormous thermoses that I bought on Amazon before our trip.  I had created a batch of chili, and left it cooking in the crockpot at home over night the night before we hit the road.  When we left the house at 5:30 am, I dumped chili into the thermoses and took them on the road.  Those bad boys kept our dinner warm for 12 hours.  This is the latest addition in my quest to save money by not eating out when we travel.  I'm pleased to say that it was a big success.

Chili is typically a recipe I dig out when temperatures drop in Chicago and we are cozy in front of the TV watching football.  Chili in August was unexpected and welcome by my crew - who I'm assuming is like any other crew:  they tire of the same recipe rotation.  I hear about it all the time.  It helped that I thought to pack sour cream, shredded cheese, and a batch of corn muffins.  Nothing like the whole package!

OK, this might be overkill on the chili pictures.  This is my lap begging Coach not to hit a bump as I served up the chili. 
Beats fast food!
We decided to stop for the night just a few hours short of our final destination, which was Lexington, Massachusetts.  Coach surprised me by reserving two rooms instead of just one.  The hotel clerk gave him a deal he couldn't pass up.  It was a Home2 Suites hotel by Hilton.  I had never heard of it, but I do highly recommend it.  There might be more romantic places to celebrate your 21st anniversary then a mid-tier, extended-stay style hotel in Middleton, New York, but a room separate from the kids was a gift.

I wasn't kidding - this fridge was big!
We normally cram all family members into one room, so this was a treat . .. . especially since I realized that I forgot to pack ANY sleeping bags.  Zip.  Zilch.  Zero.  Ugh!  We only had air mattresses for the bodies that would not be lucky enough to be awarded a bed and would thus break fire code.  So one less night where I had to inconspicuously beg extra bedding off the hotel staff was huge.  Regardless of my spouse's not-so-hidden 'hey-I-got-two-rooms' agenda, I of course, loved the fact that we had a decent size refrigerator in our room - and since we had two rooms, we enjoyed access to a second fridge.  Score!  And, yes - they were both plugged in.  Happy anniversary to me!

I was a little leery about sleeping in a room next to our offspring . . . with no adjoining door.  This crew is old enough to be unsupervised, but it's often the times when they don't require supervision that they need it the most.  Exhibit A happened while kids were putting on bathing suits to unwind in the pool and I was unloading the coolers full of food into the large fridges. 

Tank managed to lock Reggie in a cabinet with a wooden coat hanger.  And that's when I was standing a few feet away.
True story . . . my 11 year old was in this cabinet - compliments of Tank.


1 comment:

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

You really do know how to save on food when traveling! The chili in a giant thermos is brilliant!