'What have we forgotten?"
Well, if we've forgotten it, then I don't remember!
My answer was, "an engineer and an administrative assistant together don't forget things. We're ready."
and we are.
It's the trip we've talked about making since before we retired. That trip where we have no reservations, (except Yellowstone - you can't go there without reservations!), haven't overly counted the cost, and plan to do a 'Diners, Dives & Drive-ins' version just for the fun of it. We've got the cooler ready to be loaded with a loaf of bread, bologna, chips, cookies and soft drinks. As many lunches as possible will be eaten at a roadside picnic table that pops up along the way. We've got a GPS, atlas, binoculars, bug spray, camera, sunscreen, a week's worth of clothes, audio books downloaded, knitting packed, some cash and that's about it.
Oh yeah, red twizzlers. We've never, ever, ever taken a road trip without red twizzlers.
First stop is Kansas to see my 88 year old Daddy. He lives in a bodunk town that has a Walmart, a few restaurants, acres of planted fields, cows grazing next to busy streets, and that's about it. We'll eat at least once at the county airport cafe, where he knows everyone by name. I'll leave him the fruitcake, pickles and black-eyed pea salsa I bought for his birthday. I'll take pictures of him, but mostly I'll soak in his face, his eyes, and listen to the sound of his voice, promise to call more often, then try not to cry when I hug him goodbye.
Next we'll head to Englewood, Colorado for my 40th high school reunion. I haven't seen most of these friends for 20 years, some for 40, but Facebook has softened the shock; we've seen each other's changed faces already. Then a Gibson family reunion somewhere in northern Colorado. There aren't many of them left, so Don and his brother, Tim try to get them all together every few years. This year we've rented a historical working farm, where I may finally get to attempt milking a cow. I'll let you know how that goes! I'm squeezing in a day with my Mom and brother at my all-time favorite mexican restaurant in the world, where we'll sit and eat chips and guacamole and have a margarita no matter the time of day, because life is short and you never know.
then we're off to the wild, blue yonder, literally. Heading up to Yellowstone (by way of Sacajaweja's grave because I'm crazy about her), to spend 4 days with our daughter's family. It's been twenty years since we were there with our three kids. We've rented a house near the west gate to the park, and I know it's going to be wonderful, wonderful being there again. I can't wait to see Landon's face when he sees Old Faithful go off.
After that we're heading up to Idaho for several weeks, with some side trips; taking our 7 year old grandson, Landon camping in their pop-up; sending the parents off to camp without their 7 year old; then possibly heading over to Oregon for a ride along the coast. It's a new state for us to visit, and Don's mapped out a 100 mile route for us that should be breath-taking.
We'll go through Utah, visiting a couple national parks Don has on our list, spend a day in Salt Lake City, then stop in Grand Junction to see my sister, Barb and her family before we turn the car south and head back home to Texas. By the time we get back it should be in the 90's rather than the 100's. 90's feel balmy to Texans by the end of summer.
The camera batteries are charged. The cooler is packed. The suitcases are packed. We've hired a guy to mow while we're gone, and someone to come in and scratch Miss Kitty's head now and then, fill her food bowl, and assure her we'll be back.