Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roadside dining and other news

Out of the blue on Wednesday we decided to take a little road trip and go visit Uncle F and Cousin R in Cap Martin, France. This little plan was hatched Tuesday evening, obviously The Husband and I weren’t thinking clearly… or rather, we were thinking like two adults with no children… which is definitely not the case. So Wednesday morning we get up and get ready to leave. Three hours later we’re all finally in the car, with not a little regret for the old days when we’d decide to go somewhere and in half an hour at most we were on our way.
This little trip was memorable for several reasons. First of all, it was The Girl’s first road trip, it was her first time out of the baby car seat and in a regular car seat (though still rear facing, which we’re not sure she really cares for), it was her first time out of the country, and consequently, her first time in France. On our way to France, we realized The Girl has no documents, though this realization was not enough to compel us to turn back (after all it took us three hours to get out of the damn house, we weren’t about to turn around and go home) we did experience a little trepidation in crossing the border with visions of being arrested for child smuggling. Thankfully, border controls are now a very rare exception. Note to self, go get her id done.
So anyway, at around 12.15 we were on the lookout for an Autogrill (typical Italian bar/restaurant/gas station/rest stop on the highway) so we could feed the kids (primary objective) and ourselves (if we had time) and at one of the little emergency stop areas along the road I see the following: a parked station wagon, between the car and the guard rail a couple is sitting at a little table, I really need to repeat that with emphasis, SITTING AT A TABLE, with two folding chairs and, I kid you not, a table cloth, surrounded by Tupperware, having lunch. They were having lunch, in the emergency lane of the highway. My mouth dropped open. As The Nanny said, they are a prime example of two people who HAVE TO have lunch at noon, wherever they may be. But what really gets me is they had one of those travel folding tables, the ones, I imagine, that contain the folding chairs so that when It’s closed it’s just a little formica square, and then when noon hits, you can brake into the emergency lane, unfold the table, pull out the legs, out pop two chairs, and voila’, roadside dining.
Now, most of you may not know this about me, but I love kits. I seriously love kits. And bags with compartments. If I buy a bag with compartments I compose my own kits. FOR EVERYTHING and anything. Let me explain. In my car, I have several emergency kits. The emergency diapering kit, kids have diarrhea, I finish the diapers in the diaper bag, no problem out comes the car emergency diapering kit. I have the change of clothes kit, with a change of clothes for the kids AND me. I have the medical emergency kit (which is a constant work in progress as I come up with yet another apocalyptic scenario to be prepared for), I have the “we’re stuck on the highway in a snow storm kit” containing among other things, water and crackers (this actually happened to a friend, who was stuck on the highway over night, literally ALL NIGHT). I could probably survive on just my car kits for about a week. So when I saw this middle aged couple fine dining on the highway, my first thought was, oh my gosh I need to buy a table and chairs and make a roadside dining kit. (And you thought I was normal!)
So we get to Cap Martin, with only minor meltdowns and a moderate amount of “are we there, can I get down, get down, get down, get downs”, and The Boy practically dives straight from his carseat into the pool. Needless to say, he had a blast. Obviously, our adult plans of a quick jaunt to the supermarket and a walk around Montecarlo were a pipe dream, our lives are now led by a two year old. So we spent the day in the pool and then we had dinner in Menton. After this fun filled, not at all tiring day, The Husband and I, in our infinite wisdom and good sense decide to return to Cap Martin for the weekend, and at this point why wait for Friday, there’ll be too much traffic, lets come back tomorrow. So what did this little day trip teach us? Well, when travelling with a toddler and a baby the only difference between a day trip and a long weekend is a couple of portable cribs and more diapers, so you might as well take the long weekend, cause a day trip is simply not worth it. So that’s what we did on Thursday. Are we crazy, you may ask. Possibly just a little addled from lack of sleep, would be the answer.


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