Monday, February 28, 2011

My Silver-Scream Life

This weekend we ignored all official storm warnings and set off for Tahoe at Friday lunchtime. (And I wonder why my kids are so contrary). The traffic was slow but not the 12-hour horror expected.  We spent five hours in the car learning a lot more about each other...

Have you ever spent five hours thinking you're trapped, er, starring in three rotating scripts?  Scripts which might have been rewarded with Oscars if anyone could bear to read through to the end?

After two hours of driving we are in Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" 

Cy, seven, ventures: "Those clouds are cumulins. They have m'n'ms of water in them - and air!"

This is pretty amazing for a start, because Cy never mentions school without grumbling: "They're just wasting my time, wasting my time..." as though he is forfeiting meetings with Steve Jobs. (And despite the fact that he always looks euphorically happy whenever I see him at school.)

Jackson, 11, : "Molecules, it's molecules of water"
Cy: "Something moolen'ms..."
Jackson "Molecules"
Cy: "No, it's something starting with M - we did it in science."
Everyone: "Cy! - You have science?"
Cy: "Yeah, we blow bubbles." 
Whereupon everyone cracks up laughing. Cy yelps for half an hour, his feelings sorely hurt.

Next there is the No Exit part of the trip, which I have named after an existential play where all the characters think they have checked into a luxury hotel, but they have actually arrived in hell.

After several hours of slow driving it starts to look like the Donner Pass to Truckee will  remain closed and we will have to turn back. We get Harley, 13, to call around for a hotel to stay the night.

After loads of calls to fully-booked hotels all along the I-80, Harley locates a room with two double beds.

Harley shows us pictures of the hotel which looks very average; grey and pink with a tiny pool. The kids pass round the i-pad and oooh and aaah.
Tallulah, nine: "Look at the conference rooms!"
Cy: "There's a hot tub!"
Jackson: "And a foyer!"

Kevin starts pontificating, er sharing, about how booking a hotel is like having insurance. My eyes glaze over as he explains how insurance is a tangible benefit.

After listening to this at some length Jackson says: "But where does the car insurance come in?

Harley, 13: "Tangible is one of our spelling words."

Suddenly the Pass looks to be clearing and Kevin and I have a 30-minute discussion about whether to cancel the hotel room.

Screams of rage eminate from the kids and continue unabated:  "But the conference rooms!!!" Eventually Harley gets on the phone to the hotel. After loads of back and forth from the hotel we're told - they've never received a booking from us...

Then there is the Waiting For Godot part of the trip - the final hour. When Cy's singing starts to makes sense: First up is The Killers hit. "Somebody told me you had a girlfriend... that looks like a girlfriend and then you had a boyfriend that looked like a..." Then his second favourite, an esoteric Katy Perry number: "That's what you get for Waking Up In Bacon" and you really start to wonder why they didn't use the word "Bacon"  instead of "Vegas". Because you're basically in bacon when you wake up in Vegas...

At last we were there! - with a driveway and a house covered in snow.

After watching Kevin and the kids shovelling,  I headed straight for bed exhausted. I wake at 1am to Cy's howls, two slams of the door and another howl from Harley. I pretended I hadn't heard anything and eventually Kevin rose and walked into their room - and howled.

Cy had obviously woken up with Mountain Man's Montezuma's revenge, couldn't find the doorknob in the dark, was caught short and the cream bedroom carpet was carnage. (Sorry, I just realised this is the third of my stories to end like this) Kevin spent the next hour cleaning the carpet, amid groans of disbelief and murmers of encouragement from myself ...from my bed.

We woke up the next morning to sparkling everything; snow-flakes twisting in the sharp air and the soft high snow shimmering on the ground.

Tallulah, nine,  looked out the window spellbound: "It's so beautiful, it's like we're in a movie. Like we're on the silver scream."

Did you have any silver scream moments this weekend?


  1. hysterical! I'm sure I would have been losing my mind had I been there, but sitting here reading it I think it's so funny especialy the way you tell it! The joys of parenthood :)

  2. Oh dear...sounds like a crazy weekend XDXD Mine wasn't nearly as eventful :p I sat at home doing nothing

  3. I can't get past the "but the conference rooms!!!" line... too funny.

  4. so funny! your family is your stories :)


    ps. love those boots - they are pretty comfy...unfortunately i got them a year or two ago so not sure they still have them?

  5. Jody, that's the funniest blog, yet! Loved it. You could also teach your kids the art of gambling - not just benefits of insurance - as that's clearly what you all were doing by ignoring sage advice / 80 closure notices! See, going for broke can pay off. Sally

  6. Sally - gambling and are right on the money! (See what a business degree can yield?) I feel a field trip (to Vegas) coming on!

  7. Love it... Hearing about *others' crazy weekends, that is =).

    We had a drive like that coming home from San Jose, this past holiday. The Grape Vine was closed, so hours into our trip (on the oh-so-fun 5 FWY), we switched over to the 101, and sat for more hours- on the highway that connect the two- in the dark... in the rain- just stopped (trapped)- with NO exit anywhere. Finally got to Paso Robles, ate dinner, checked in at a hotel (that accepted dogs too!), and the kids missed school the next day. Of course, since we were in Paso Robles, we HAD to take the opportunity to do a little wine tasting the next day =) (a reward for our troubles).

  8. Oh gosh! You are so funny! The "No Exit" reference is hysterical. I invoke that one sometimes but no one knows what I'm talking about. :)

    It looks so beautiful there! That is a LOT of snow. Makes me kind of sad we didn't brave the road and weather to go to Whistler as planned. . .


  9. I have nothing but respect for you for doing this weekend jaunt! My parents used to drive us every friday night 5 hours down to Laguna (where I live now) and I can only imagine what we put them through (conveniently deleted from memory). Your drive looks so worth it though--that snow is heavenly!

    xo Mary Jo

  10. I loved this post!! I completely go bonkers in the car with the kids if the ride lasts longer than about 5 minutes. I was beginning to think that I was the only one because no other parent that I talk to seems to have the same issue. Fun times, non? ;)

  11. "But the conference rooms!"

    I'll have to remember that when they get a bit older. This is hilarious. Oh, and I'll think about teaching the future 1st grader about the virtues of insurance as a tangible benefit. Let's see how that works in slow traffic.

  12. cute post...thanks for sharing with us! i can just imagine being in the car with you guys, lol!

  13. this is one of your strongest posts yet - and i think tallulah has given you the title of the book you eventually publish of the best! my morning was a cross between MASTER CHEF, a competitive cooking show here in new zealand, and possibly SLIDING DOORS, or maybe something that reflects ships that pass in the night. am staying with our other sister sharon. i was watching documentaries till 1am, she left for work at 345am, her husband adam left for work at 745am and then i rustled their kids, they made jam sandwiches with jam very blobby and no butter for their lunches, and after discussions on what shoes go with leah's outfit she decided "No shoes today" and off we walked three doors down to their school. am exhausted and its only 10am.

  14. You are too much! This post was hilarious. I felt like I was right there with you on this adventure! :)

  15. hahaha, what a great post. Hilarious, kids are hilarious. Looks like Tahoe was beautiful despite the long trip up there! I'm dying to get back (went about a month ago and love it)

  16. your fam is hilarious.

    did you buy a trench? lands end has some really cute ones i've had my eye on. it's not burberry, but it's affordable.

  17. oooh, the snow photos are beautiful!!! :D and i think road trips can be a lot of fun. reading your post makes me want to go on one right now. ;)

    <3, Mimi

  18. What an ending! But the morning photo loooks like it was all worth it.

  19. What a crazy adventure! but that snow! It is a beautiful sight.

  20. That's a great story, loving it! Kids are full on, and so funny :)

    Love your photos, the snow is beautiful.

  21. wow, you had a very eventful weekend. lol at blowing bubbles for science :)


  22. Never a dull moment for you! Wow, it must have been exhausting watching the boys shovel :)

  23. I love your recap of your exciting weekend. Sounds like what happens around here sometimes with the kids! LOL! Amazing pictures!

  24. Hahaha - this post made me laugh!! What a fun weekend. Those pictures are gorgeous too!

  25. This story cracked me up from beginning to end. You - and the kids - have a way with words! :D

  26. Your kids are precious! Poor wee thing regarding the molecules and blowing bubbles, hehe.

    Sounds like a horribly long time on the road, but also entertaining enough to be tolerably. Better than grumpy children huh!


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