Or: The best laid plans of mice and men go out with the baby’s bathwater.
We were supposed to take the train this year. We were supposed to leave tomorrow. The kids and I were going to take a leisurely three days to roll along the countryside, drawing cartoons and listening to iPods all the way to Chicago. Then we were going to spend three days touring my favorite American city before taking another train to Michigan (and laugh at the construction-bound car traffic). Please note the past tense verbs in this paragraph.
In case you haven’t heard, Iowa is flooded. Due to the flooding on highways and rails, there was no way between Omaha, NE and Springfield, IL — at least not in a fashion that Ian (or I with Ian) could handle. So my ambling, low-stress, dream trip has morphed into a rushed, high-stress, nightmare trip: last minute plane tickets, a rental car, and the total lack of Giordano’s pizza. Of course my misery is nothing compared to the victims of this disaster. So I’ll stop whining now and briefly mention the last two adult-only trips I took in the last month.
The first was a 16th anniversary trip to the cabin with Kurt – no kids. We were pretty lazy most of the weekend, but we did find a lovely 5 mile trail in the South Grove of the Calaveras Big Trees. Kurt had never seen any giant redwoods prior to that. I discovered how much better it is to hike with trekking poles. SO much easier on the knees.
The second trip was with my mom for a belated Mother’s Day celebration. We rented a sporty little car and drove all over Gold Country. We felt the cold of a glacier under shale. We ate a picnic overlooking a deep gorge. We even took the narrow road by a rusty sign that said “Mark Twain’s Cabin.” We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we definitely didn’t expect to find a cabin in a cage. I know there’s a poem (at least a limerick) locked up in it somewhere. If my brain ever finds the key, I’ll be sure to post the results.