Clark Griswold: Eat Your Heart Out.

Last weekend my family of five made an 1100 mile round trip car journey to attend a niece’s wedding.  I can imagine very few, maybe no other reason, you would travel that distance, in a car, for a two nights stay.  The destination was the Outerbanks of North Carolina and the closest airport was two hundred miles in the wrong direction.

My wife, dutifully wanted to show off our above average children to her sisters and brothers and cousins so if they had made other plans, that was just too bad.  I performed the duties of holder-of-the-credit-card and dance partner.  The trip could have been so very much worse.

No more kid menus or sippy cups

My kids are young adults.  This helps a lot when they volunteer to drive and helps a whole lot when they no longer pull hair and poke ears or demand that a souvenir at every rest stop is part of the package tour.  The flip-side of this coin is the food and wine consumption when we were finally at our destination.  I guess it’s part of nature’s plan that families of multiple children reach maturity in some sort of elongated march.

When you are finally comfortable accepting the third plate at dinner to being as expensive as your own, then the next one reaches 21, adding a fourth glass and finally the last.  Eventually, you are spending as much on a family dinner out as a mortgage payment.  But I’m not really complaining, we had wonderful meals together and I loved playing co-host and having my entire broad contained in one vehicle with no distractions from everyday life.

Size Matters

When making a journey of this type, size really does matter.  The family fleet includes a couple of sedans, a convertible and two mid-sized SUVs.  No single car would work for this magnitude of time together so a rented Uber Wagon was procured for the journey.  Oh my goodness did it make a difference.  Again, the multiple drivers help so much, but on the post-wedding return trip there was room for sleepers and nappers and nodders and a driver.  Yes you can drive ten and a half hours without forty words spoken among five people after a really fun wedding complete with many turns of the Carolina Shag.  I’ve seen it happen.

The wedding was wonderful.  It was held on the beach with near perfect weather.  The wife and kids looked like hired models and the bride genuinely appreciated our effort.  Yet, I think we may have driven a stake in the sand.  There are numerous more offspring of this generation and of course their weddings will be ‘must do’s, too.  But the distance maximum has been reached, a literal mile-marker established.  Y’all gotta get hitched a bit closer, please.

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