You’ve seen the pictures, but I feel compelled to expound on our annual visits to Paradox, Colorado. Located in Southwest Colorado about 30 miles from the Utah border, it is the town where Cory’s dad was born, where Cory and his family visited every year growing up, and where several of his aunts and uncles still live. A place where gas, ice cream, and fresh beef jerky are a mere seven miles away, we have faithfully visited every summer for the last fourteen years. This was the first time we visited in the early spring without the attendance of cousins, but the kids still lamented when we pulled away to head home. And even after fourteen years, I learned a few things.
I learned that Cory and I have officially run out of road trip conversation, that when you don’t have city noises subtly demanding your attention you can actually hear the sound of birds flying (it sounds like a lasso circling the air), and that sometimes not even Dramamine can knock your kid out during a six-hour car ride. Samantha learned that trying to do push-ups and sit-ups in a moving vehicle is not a wise boredom-curing strategy, but that urging your brother to try and fit his entire body into his pillowcase provides a good 45 minutes of entertainment. I learned that I should stick with brain candy vacation novels instead of trying to appear more mature by taking on “1776”, and that just because your mother-in-law buys three bags of Oreos doesn’t mean a full sleeve should be counted as a single serving. Long ago I learned that somewhere past Glenwood Springs the animal-loving-tree-hugging-prairie-dog-defending contingent lose their power and the farm killing rodents become suitable and necessary targets for ammunition. And somewhere around Vail Pass I learned that the marketing campaigns for McDonalds, Subway, IHOP, Red Robin, Stanley Steemer, Toyota, Kohl’s, and Geico have been wildly successful as my kids began singing their jingles and reciting their catch phrases. Now THAT’S a really fun game…when you’re under twelve...and you’re bored out of your mind...and it doesn’t really matter to you that you have sung the same song 249 times in a row you still think it’s funny…and, “Holy crap, are you SURE you gave them enough Dramamine?” (Just to clarify, my children actually do get carsick. I don’t just drug them for peace and quiet, though I’m not against it and it’s awfully tempting after round 53 of “bada bop bop baaa…I’m lovin’ it!”)
Oh yeah, good times.