Love On Vacation

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Love On Vacation

“Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said if you can do this you’ve obeyed all the law.

Jesus obviously never took a family vacation.

Our second daughter is L.A. bound for a film studies program and my lovely wife thought a family road trip from the slow-paced, comfort and beauty of Orcas Island to LALA land would be the perfect way to cap off our busy summer.

They say any good trip begins with a well-crafted plan and it has also been my observation that every marriage unites a detailed planner with a loosey goosey “let’s just get in the car and see where we end up” free spirit. Some years ago our son and I turned on the ignition in Seattle and drove to Chicago without a map and with no advanced reservations. Sheer bliss.

Alas my wife takes after her dear mother, who within hours of learning of our wedding plans had prepared a five page singled spaced, legal pad of preliminary notes for our blessed event.

And so our planning began one lazy afternoon with wifey and I at adjacent computers scouring dozens of travel sites, where we compared the best deals on hotels. Her desire to shave off five dollars a night added hours to the process. I was exhausted but did it for love. My wife thought this five-hours together booking four hotels was perhaps the most wonderful cooperative venture of our married life and is excited to do it again sometime soon.

Animals complicate vacations. Two days before departure our horse broke through a fence and was found eating the tall grass next to the Shell station stopping traffic in both directions as tourists stopped to photograph this slice of island charm. The day before we left for LA my wife spilled a freshly broken egg on our West White Highland terrier, who happily strutted about with yellow spreckles dotting her pure white coat. I was informed that one must not take such a dog to the caregiver without a complete bath and shampoo. I did it for love.

When my daughters pack for a road trip the living room looks like an explosion at a clothing factory. It becomes clear that our plan of one compact suitcase per person will not do. I learned long ago that for my daughters a decent packing job requires the use of multiple plastic bags (guaranteed to rip when packing) each of which must be carefully packed and unpacked at each and every stop. Love. Love. Love.

Having by this point realized that our stuff was not going to fit in the trunk of a 90’s Honda Accord, my wife again went excitedly online and discovered This ingenious and reasonably priced item allows a pack-rat hillbilly family to cram all unpacked items onto the top of the car.

The daughters thought a lock was essential for the roof bag, so I made a trip to ACE where I bought a tiny lock a two year old could break open and snapped it in place. Upon arrival at our first hotel our oldest daughter realized that despite our top-level security system, we should not leave the bag on the car top, so we got a hotel cart and loaded the whole bag on, only to learn that the assemblage is too wide for the elevator. Love.

Sharing a room with your wife and two daughters (22 and 17 years of age) is one of life’s truly great adventures, especially when it comes to bathroom time. Once in the room I heard the dreaded words, “l saw a Target¢â‚¬¦maybe they have that darling blouse we saw in Seattle.” Unbelievably we are going shopping, the logic being we still have space in the roof bag.

En route Molly reveals the custom play list we will listen to for the entire trip. Music to my ears? Not. Love.

We are only hours into the trip when I remember that Jesus actually did take a family vacation. The Holy Book tells us he went with the family to Jerusalem when he was twelve years of age. The family was three days into the return trip home before they discovered Jesus was not with them.

The wisest man on earth had stayed behind.

I shared this insight with the women. They did not laugh, but I love them anyway.

(The photo of Dick Staub in a lobster bib is taken in SF on Fisherman’s Wharf on this wonderful family vacation by his wife, who felt it would make him look as goofy as he really is).

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in August 28, 2009 by | No Comments »

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