On the Road Yet Again, I

“A road trip is a way for the whole family to spend time together and annoy each other in interesting new places.” 
– Tom Lichtenheld

I am, as I write this, in a hotel in Flagstaff, AZ about half-way to a conference in New Mexico. After the conference, I’m heading to Florida. The Little Dude, as you can see by the photos above and below, is with me. Mike is not.

I bring this up for two reasons: First, I cannot believe the comments people make when they learn I am driving to Florida with only the little butter boy beside me. The most common one I get is the, “I could never do that,” followed closely by, “Aren’t you afraid?” Usually, it’s women who say those things to me, but the other day, my doctor asked, “Are you going to be okay by yourself?”

My response is always the same. “I travel to Europe by myself. I’m not afraid.” I’m not being snarky, believe me, but there is nothing to fear. I have a phone (with GPS if I need it), a reliable car, and a firm plan. I also have a little hairy dude to keep me company.

Riley, God love him, was the most difficult part of my four-and-a-half hour drive today. That’s the second reason I bring this up. I’m driving Mike’s car which we packed to the brim with stuff for the condo in Florida. Included in the myriad of boxes, bags, and suitcases is a new bed for Riley. I arranged everything so well that I had a place for him in the front and the back. He was not happy.

The first 30 minutes or so, he stared at me from the front seat (above). He then decided to jump in the back, but instead of going to the side that had his bed, he jumped onto a black trash bag that was on top of my suitcase. To protect them, I had placed inside of it my favorite stuffed Santa and my winter coat.

Apparently bored, he decided to sit on the console for a bit. I am not wild about that, so I tried to get him to sit on his bed. He was NOT having anything to do with it. He sat on the front seat again for a bit, and then hopped in the back and got very quiet. A quiet Riley is not always a good thing.

The Little Dude

He was asleep on top of the suitcase and trash bag. Perhaps he was guarding Santa.

Traffic tie-up in Kingman.

As we headed into Kingman, Arizona, he woke up because I slowed the car down quite a bit due to bumper-to-bumper traffic. He stood between the two seats and put his head on my shoulder as we slithered along with the rest of the cars and trucks heading into downtown Kingman.

Downtown Kingman

The two-hour drive from Kingman to Flagstaff was more of the same. He alternated between the front seat, the back seat, the middle area, the bed, the trash bag, the console. I noticed that he seemed to like a few of the songs I played from my iPod…. Bambaleo, Mamma Mia, and La Traviata, in particular.

When we finally got to the hotel, he was a wild man. This place has popcorn and soft drinks for guests, and I’ll just say that maintenance won’t have to clean up much of the popcorn that people dropped on the floor today. Once in the room, he ran from the door to the bed to the chair and around again.

We went for a long walk a bit ago, and he had his supper. He finally settled down and is sleeping on his bed on the hotel bed right now.

Thank God.

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