Vacation: Day 17
But at least I have time to reflect.
If I had an anti-bucket list -- those things in my life I’ve done but wouldn’t repeat on a dare -- several items would be from this trip. For instance, I don’t think you could pay me to take a 31-foot camper on the Cross Bronx Expressway again. Some of my sense of humor flew off from a massive pothole and was hit by oncoming traffic and then unceremoniously flipped off while other angry drivers urinated on it from the Throgs Neck Bridge.
I also will never believe that “clean, modern shower facilities” are defined universally. After one “shower” upon a 50-year-old peeling linoleum basin with a faucet pulled on by a rotting tow rope that trickled cold run-off from the dumping station, I told my husband two things: 1. Don't bother bathing there; and 2. Please don’t even go near the bathrooms because if he saw what I had just done he’d think less of me as a person.
And while I know you’re expecting the next item on the list to read “Never step foot into an RV again,” well, it’s not. Despite all of our mechanical foibles, I still would love to take this trip again someday. When things were working properly, we really had a great time.
Sure, I’d do some things differently -- probably pack more clothes, extra road flares and brush up on the inner workings of fuel pumps -- but it wasn’t a total loss. The food poisoning went away after 18 hours and the rental company reimbursed us for all the lost days and hotel rooms without too much protest.
But camping along the Long Island Sound and star-gazing with my kids was something not to be missed. The playing with fireflies and nightly campfire talks were precious. And even watching my kids remain calm and flexible during adversity was surprisingly meaningful. It turns out, they are pretty wonderful people who never complain and can make me laugh even in the most unfunny moments. And while I’m sorry that more of those funny moments didn’t occur at scenic campsites in the wilderness instead of various Fairfield Inns across the south, well, there are many worse things.
And so while it certainly won’t be in this particular make and model (one that I think should be put out of its misery and ours), I will bet that our family will opt for the Holiday Rambler over the Holiday Inn next time
-- Tracey Henry, the Suburban Diva