Living Retired — ‘Make Believe Romantic Road Trip’
Living Retired – ‘Make Believe Romantic Road Trip’
By Gary Chalk
I received a promotional email earlier this month about valentines day. The subject line read, ‘Romantic Road Trip.’ I clicked the message open, and this is what it said…
‘You know what is pretty romantic… making a spur of the moment decision to hop in the car with someone special and taking a trip to explore something new together. The shared experience can easily create a new bond or strengthen an older one.’
AHA! This gave me the idea for a road tip with Jan. A few days to relax, recharge, and rekindle our relationship – with our 3-piece luggage set with the wheels that don’t wheel and telescoping handles that extend to the length of the Wall of China!
If we were to take a last minute trip, this is what ‘acting on a whim’ would look like…
Jan is sprinting back and forth between our walk-in closet and the guest room! She piles armfuls of clothing all over the bed. This is a woman on a mission: she has outfits to coordinate, jewelry to match, and purses to prepare.
“Jan, we are going on a quick road trip, not a cross-Atlantic voyage!”
Me? I pack at the last minute. My shaving kit is stocked with the usual things for a guy my age: toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, nasal strips, blood pressure and cholesterol prescriptions, hemorrhoid ointment, toe fungus cream, and Beano!
Next, I empty my underwear and sock drawer in my suitcase. Easy peasy! I don’t bother getting any clothes out because Jan will come in and say, “YOU ARE NOT TAKING THAT!” Then she selects slacks, shirts, and sweaters for me. Just saying.
Leaving for a vacation is always difficult – particularly backing the car out of the driveway…
“Gary, you have to stop the car. I need to go back in to make sure I unplugged my curling iron.”
“Jan, you say this every time we go on a vacation. We haven’t even reached the end of the driveway yet!”
“Gary, I am sure I unplugged it. I just want to doublecheck.”
While Jan doublechecks that her curling iron is unplugged, I check my wallet for the umpteenth time to make sure I have the printed copies of our Covid-19 vaccinations. Just saying.
At the end of our cul-de-sac, I realize we need to go back.
“Jan, I know I closed the garage door. I just want to doublecheck.”
“Gary, this is embarrassing. Every time we go on a trip before we get to the end of the street we are driving back to check the garage door. The neighbours must think we are nuts!”
An hour into the road trip Jan reminisces about our family road trips.
“Gary, I remember going away with Tyler as a child. He liked to play the license plate game while we drove to Myrtle Beach. And he would listen to his music tapes.”
“Jan, I remember the time he puked Ben & Jerrys Cherry Garcia ice cream all over my leather car seats.”
“Gary, I don’t like it when you say he puked.”
“Okay Dear, he heaved. How’s that?”
Jan recalls staying overnight at roadside motels. “Tyler would play with his He-man characters.”
“And dear, he would lay on the bed eating Pringles potato chips drinking Mr. PiBB pop that tasted like Dr. Pepper. I would toss and turn trying to sleep – finally figuring out the ‘lumps’ in between the sheets were gummy bears.”
Jan and I agreed that we had Tyler trained when we crossed back into Canada – ‘if he knew what was good for him’ he’d better keep his mouth shut when they asked, “Do we have anything to declare?”
Some things never change. Romantic road trips still include pee-breaks. For me!
‘Living Retired’ is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.
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