a letter to my family before the road trip

standard kitchen experience
in my house

i like to think it makes the children
more grateful

Dear Family,

It's here! This weekend, we drive to Bend for the eclipse, spending 2 nights in Oregon before we return on Monday afternoon. 

Who's excited?!?! It's gonna be so fun!!!!

And since it's just a quick drive to Bend, only about 5 hours, the logistics here shouldn't be too tough or complicated. 

Below, please find a list of the things I would normally take care of, silently and independently, before we begin such an undertaking.

Please understand, as you look at the list of tasks and calculate what you can make time to do, that the making of this list is itself a major task that I accomplished, silently and independently.

I made the list instead of taking a shower, reading a book, and making a nutritious dinner today.

The making of the list constitutes at least 40% of the work described on that list. In order to make the list you have to rehearse, mentally, all of the physical actions that will have to be written down, organized coherently, and eventually executed.

You also have to check the pantry, fridge, laundry, car, garage, and closet.

You also have to Google a ton of shit.

Making the list is a fucking job.

Now, I live in the world and I know I’ll still be doing the lion’s share of this work –


I’m sorry, but can we just talk about the inappropriateness of the expression “the LION’S share of the work?” Because I for one would fucking love to be able to do the lion’s share of the work for like one fucking day. I would fucking happily fight the odd male lion interloper if that meant I could snooze all day long on a sunny rock literally biting my spunky cubs in the FACE and throwing them off my neck without giving a damn whether they land on their feet, and then a little later eat a tasty treat that just arrived at my mouth without me having to work for it, and that I absolutely do not have to share.

How about we start calling it the fucking LIONESS’S share, amIright?? Because those bad bitches WORK. Lionesses get shit done.


-- But so help my Lord of Bend, I will not doing this alone. 

I expect every person in this family to chip in on this bad boy. 

If this is a family trip, then the whole family is going to get ready for it. 

Please feel free to initial (or make your mark, Buster) next to any items that you can be responsible for over the next 3 days.

(Quick note: If you're reading this blog post and you're a mother, then you honestly don't have to read any further. You know exactly what this fucking list says. If you're reading this and you're not a mother, you read every god damn word and then you go buy your lady some scotch, because this is the noise in her head all. day. long.)


Research hotel to find out:
-       Check-in/check-out times
-       If they have a pool
o   If they do have a pool do they have pool towels
-       If they have parking
o   Do we need to book in advance/is it included
-       If there is a fridge in the room
-       If there is room service/onsite dining
-       If there is nearby casual dining suited to our children
o   If so, do we need to make reservations
§  If so, make reservations
§  If not, make a list of places so you don’t have to start over on Google when you’ve got 2 hungry kids in the blazing sun at 12:30 pm on Sunday.

Research Bend:
-       Weather for the weekend
-       If there are any kid’s sights/activities near the hotel
-       A few restaurant options
o   Figure out what shelf-stable food we will need to pack as back-up food
§  PB&Js
§  What the fuck else is there??
o   Figure out what gas stations have a Subway attached

Plan the road trip:
-       Locate a few options of place to stop in Portland, and then midway between Portland and Bend
o   Parks
o   Lunch
o   Portland Children’s Museum, etc?
o   Is there a butterfly garden in the middle of Oregon
§  No?
·      OK.
o   I’ll take a McDonald’s Playplace. That's fine.
-       Figure out snacks for trip
o   Decide what to bring
o   Purchase chosen snacks
o   Package them for easy consumption in the car
-       Figure out drinks for trip
o   Decide what to bring
o   Purchase chosen drinks
o   Pack in cooler for trip
-       Figure out diversion for trip
o   Find some fun CDs
o   Think of some good road games
o   Research good audiobooks
§  Age-appropriate for kids
§  Yet interesting for grown-ups
o   Hold at library
o   Pick up from library
o   Make sure iPads are charged
§  Audiobooks downloaded for them
§  Decide if you’re going to download TV shows
·      Decide if you’re strong enough to not download TV shows
·      Decide if this is the time for the high road
o   Locate headphones for kids
§  Oh right, B broke his
·      Check Amazon Prime to see if you have enough time to get a new set of kid headphones before you leave
o   If so, order them.
§  If not, add that to the Target list.
·      Oh yeah, you’ll be going to Target at least 4 times in the next 3 days.
o   Pack activity books – kids
§  But why
·      Why
o   Seriously, just charge the iPads
§  Give the people what they want
·      Or you will rue the day
-       Plan route/return route
o   South then east, or east then south
§  Check road work on perspective routes
o   Figure out departure time
§  Then add one hour
·      Because.

-       Pack car bag
o   Figure out what we might need available in the car & pack it
§  iPad charging cables
§  Baby wipes
§  Paper towels
§  Trash bags
§  Chapstick
§  Water bottles
§  Sunglasses/Hats
-       Clean out the car
o   Trunk
o   Seats
§  Car seats
·      Yuck
o   I see B has been playing his favorite car game again
§  It’s called “Where can I stuff this cheese.”
o   Car wash
§  Haha
·      Good one
o   It’s sweet, really
§  The way you try.

step into my office

-       Laundry
o   Wash
o   Dry
o   Fold
o   Put Away
o   Repeat.
-       Yard
o   Look around and clean it
§  Seriously, use your eyes, if there’s shit on the ground in the yard just pick it up and put it where it belongs.
·      Seriously.
o   It’s that easy.

i see like 9 things


-       Kitchen
o   Trash out
o   No dishes in sink
o   Clean out spoiled stuff from fridge
o   Basically I’m not trying to come home to a thriving fruit fly colony is what I’m saying.
§  That means put the bananas in the fridge.
-       Bedrooms
o   Vacuumed
o   Dressers cleaned off
o   Beds made
§  But who are we kidding
·      This whole subcategory is hilarious
o   We won’t have time to clean our bedrooms
§  Or bathrooms
Pack Kids
-       Clothes
o   Swimsuits
o   Clothes
o   PJs
o   Shoes
§  Figure out rough itinerary so you can bring the right shoes for it
§  That means before you can pack shoes you have to do all of the scheduling and research
-       Gear
o   Binkies
o   Water floaties
o   Backpacks
o   Water bottles
o   Loveys
o   Diapers
§  And night diapers
·      And swim diapers
o   You might have to go shopping to buy more of these things
§  Check early in the week so you can consolidate trips to the store.
·      If it’s already too late to consolidate trips to the store and you have to make an extra trip to Target, check the pantry before you go because you probably need more fig bars.
o   And fruit snacks.

and bananas
(photo courtesy of chicken
who was allowed to take pics on my phone
at target today
so he wouldn't bleat like a coked-up sheep
at everyone we passed in the store
while i bought diapers
for the fucking trip to bend
o   Wipes
o   Trash bags
o   Pool/beach towels?
§  Again, this will depend on whether the hotel has towels you can use.
o   Toiletries
§  Toothbrush
§  Toothpaste
·      Notice 2 identical tubes of toothpaste except one has fluoride and one doesn’t.
o   Learn about fluoride in kids’ toothpaste
§  Pack the one with fluoride
§  Throw away the one that looks almost exactly the same that doesn’t have fluoride.
§  Shower stuff?
·      Or does it even matter?
o   Who gets to decide what matters?
§  If anything really does?

Pack Myself
-       Clothes
o   What’s clean
§  Yeah, sure, that’s fine.
-       Gear
o   Book         
§  Oh honey.
o   Laptop
o   Notebook
o   Cell charger
o   Headphones
o   Toiletries
§  Glasses
§  Contact stuff
§  Extra contacts
o   Scotch
§  Yep
§  Now we’re talking

Thank you for your cooperation. I can't wait to spend the weekend on an adventure with you, my favorite people in the world, the only pride I'd want to hunt for, and the only cubs I'd let chew on my neck.

Next time someone else is making the list. 



PS - Oh shit I forgot the eclipse glasses. 


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