The Long & Winding Road Trip

roadtrip, spring break, motel, roadside

A week ago, my two teen daughters, our dog Daisy and I returned from a 2,348-mile Spring Break road trip through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. We did a similar trip last year, though without our canine companion.

Although a little possessive of the space in the back seat, Daisy was a good travel buddy. Until she wasn’t. That happened somewhere around Trinidad, Colorado, when she developed explosive diarrhea. (I was going to write “a bad case of…” but is there ever a “good case” of explosive diarrhea?)

Thankfully, we all survived to tell about it.


ON SATURDAY, we started out
upon our Spring Break trip:
two kids, one mom, one dog
and one car wisely well-equipped.

I’d packed it with provisions
for both progeny and pup,
anticipating any need
that ever could come up.

I’d piled it full of pillows,
plus dog toys, drinks and snacks,
a stack of books and all three
High School Musical soundtracks.

How well-prepared were we,
with our fully furnished load!
I knew we’d see the miles speed by
once we hit the road.

And sure enough, as 20 clicks
inched off my Google map,
the kids got busy reading
and the dog began to nap.

BUT THEN, just 30 minutes in,
–our mileage still quite low–
I heard a peep from the back seat:
“Uh, Mom? I gotta go.”

No big deal, even though
we’d barely left our town;
just one quick stop and then we
buckled up and settled down.

At mile 68,
our dog announced her need to pee;
at mile 92,
it was a coffee break for me.

A hundred forty miles in
(Woot! We’re on a roll!)
I sheepishly turned off again –
my coffee took its toll.

Convinced by kids to stop for lunch
three hours into our drive,
I also exited for gas
at mile 205.

At mile 289,
of course our dog got sick.
At mile 332,
well, I had to snap that pic.

And so in spite of my intent
to speed on through our travel,
I saw my plans – just like the miles –
reluctantly unravel.

I realize, of course,
that it’s not just the destination
that makes the trek worthwile
when you set off on your vacation.

A ROAD TRIP, though, most likely won’t be
next year’s undertaking;
I’ve learned my lesson all too well
from all of our spring braking.

©2014 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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dog portrait, dog photo


A Limerick A Day – Day 18 – Jumping For JOMO

©2013 CESTankiewicz all rights reserved.

I live in Austin, Texas, which is a very cool town 50 weeks of the year — and even cooler, some might argue, for the two weeks in mid-March when South By Southwest (SXSW) occurs. During this time, all sorts of interesting folks come out of the woodwork and into town to partake of all the latest from the interactive, music, film and comedy worlds.

SXSW always falls on our school district’s Spring Break, and for the past two years my daughters and I have left town during it. As an advertising/marketing professional and a music and film lover, it’s not an easy thing to do. This year, I was acutely aware of everything I was missing — what with my Twitter, Instagram and now Vine feeds just hoppin’ with the sights and sounds of SouthBy.

I’ll admit that I had brief flashes of the modern problem known as FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, when I happened to see a Vine of a band performance I’d have loved to attend or Instagrams from my company’s SXSW party. And while heading out of town meant that I didn’t get to go to any free day parties or have any celebrity sightings or see the cool poster art at Flatstock, I’m happy to report there were plenty of things I did experience — including, but not limited to:

  • my girls and I singing along to The B-52s, Feist, Simon & Garfunkel, the soundtrack from “Wicked,” and other random CDs as we drove and drove and drove and drove across Texas
  • a particularly gorgeous sunset over the dunes of White Sands National Monument
  • not worrying about all the sand in the car because it was a rental
  • the most amazing chile relleno I’ve ever tasted
  • an unbelievably brilliant blue New Mexico sky
  • snow!
  • incredibly delicious mussels and french fries in Denver
  • spotting pelicans and golden eagles at Cherry Creek State Park
  • scoring some major buys for my girls and me at a fabulous thrift store in Aurora, Colorado
  • vandalizing a work of art in Amarillo, Texas
  • sighting bison and riding horses in Caprock Canyons State Park

So, in other words, I didn’t miss out on anything at all.


Jumping for JOMO

Our “Fear Of Missing Out” keeps us stressed
While “You Only Live Once” is professed.
Between FOMO and YOLO,
Foregoing’s a no-no —
‘Til with “Joy Of Missing Out” we are blessed.


©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


A Limerick A Day – Day 9/10 – Road Tripping Down Memory Lane

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I grew up vacationing from the back of a Chevrolet station wagon. And whether we were driving from Michigan to Florida for a summer break on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, or traveling to Pennsylvania to visit family for the holidays, my parents loved to get an early start.

They’d pile my sister and me, still in pajamas, into the Family Truckster before the crack of dawn. I’d inevitably wake as light began to stream into my window, highlighting the drops of condensation racing down the glass.

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The car would smell of coffee and bologna sandwiches and gasoline — a heady mix of fragrances that still sends me into a happy reverie. My sister and I each had exactly one half of the back seat to call our own, the division marked by a Maginot Line of masking tape my mom would apply prior to departure.

Despite such preparations, siblings will be siblings, so inevitably some sort of quarrel would ensue, usually a few miles after the first Stuckey’s stop.

Mom was ready, of course.

She always kept a long-handled fly swatter handy in the front seat to settle any dispute or quell any mutiny that might arise. Her aim wasn’t great, however, and over the years my sis and I became expert at dodging her smacks with alacrity.

For our next trip, I’m thinking of investing in one of those fly swatters. I’ll be sure to do a little training first, though…


Road Tripping Down Memory Lane

My childhood road trips were bliss;
Shared the Chevy’s back seat with my sis.
Back then, all we would need
Were some good books to read,
And thus peacefully we’d co-exist.

Well, that is, till we started to bother
One another; then out came mom’s swatter!
She’d whack with abandon,
Her blows rarely landin’
Upon disobedient daughter.

Now with my girls, the cross I must bear,
Hoping road trips don’t lead to despair.
Still, I hear myself utter
The words of my mother–
“Don’t you dare make me come on back there!”

©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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