Archive for road trip

Road Trip

Posted in Awesome, Food, Humor, Travel with tags , , , , , on March 2, 2014 by BrainRants

Question for you:  Would you drive eight hours, over 550 miles, for a hamburger?  For most people, the answer to this is Continue reading

Swag

Posted in Afghanistan, Army, Awesome, Best, Humor, Random, The Suck with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2013 by BrainRants

Hey!  ‘Live’ from Kuwait, just a quick note to direct you to a new page of mine here at BrainRants.  Some of you might be interested in this shit, others not so much.  This is also accessible from the homepage.

Enjoy.

Travel Thoughts

Posted in Afghanistan, Army, Home, Humor, Rant, Travel, Worst with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by BrainRants

Oh, hi.  What’s up out there in blog world?  Same shit, I see.  Interesting development for Rants going on here – I’m on what we call “Mid-Tour Leave.”  This means that I get a break from the daily bullshit in Kharjackistan and am allowed some time in the ‘States.  Continue reading

I Must Be Retarded

Posted in Fred, Humor, Rant, Travel with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by BrainRants

Quite a while back I announced – with some sadness and pride – that my Rants American Tour was coming to a close as I prepared myself mentally and physically for Continue reading

Hitting The Road: Another Update

Posted in Family, Fred, Humor, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2011 by BrainRants

I really wish I were wealthy, so that I could pay someone to follow me and slap me across the face violently to bring me back to my senses when necessary. Then again, …more update…

Hitting The Road

Posted in Family, Fred, Humor, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2011 by BrainRants

So what does the Rants Army need to know today? I have no idea, but today’s post will be more of a PSA to you all than an actual post, so excuse the rambling nature of this. I figured I’d warn you all that there may be intermittent …more road rants…

The Adventures of Fred: Road Trip

Posted in Family, Fred, Humor, Travel with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2011 by BrainRants
Fred on the way to Illinois (silent 's')
Fred!

Update from the road here today.  We Di decided that we’d go to Mom’s house for Labor Day.  Normally, in the past, this then would have truly been a weekend of Labor.  However, thanks to many long weekends in the past, Mom’s house remains ready to sell (anyone need a really great house in Illinois?)(silent ‘s’).

By now many of you have vicariously experienced my Epic Vacation from Hell here, and know the depleted enthusiasm we now have for road trips.  Even the 5-hour journey to Mom’s pushes the limits of tolerance.  I can also tell you that there are more exciting drives to be had than the one across Missouri.  Not that Missouri is a bad place.  The roads are well-maintained, but they’re awfully straight.  There’s not a lot of variety to the scenery either, and out in the middle-ish part the number of radio stations drops to three-ish.
Anyway, we made it just fine.  Di endured several naps while I remained awake and driving.  Fred elected to come along since he’s not been on a road trip for over a year.  Normally Fred travels in my carry-on for Army travel.  Initially this was an issue but I explained about TSA to him and how they’d probably either profile him or freak out about his lack of pants.  So Fred kicked it on the dash, getting some sun.  Which is easy for him without his pants.  He offered to drive but I pointed out that his wee little legs wouldn’t reach the pedals, and that I thought we’d covered that on a trip to Fort Campbell.
The point here I suppose is that for anyone concerned out there, both Missouri and Illinois are still there and they look much the same.  I had a reflective moment while driving – well, actually about 360 reflective moments of driving – that it had been a while since I’d been out.  At first I was trying to figure out how to drive without pants myself.  After that,  I was trying to rack up some good rants to unload and realized that this entire three-month blog effort to date has been completely between visits with Mom.  We’re looking forward to a good visit with no house projects.

The Vacation Trip To Hell, Level Two

Posted in Family, Humor, Rant, Travel, Worst with tags , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by BrainRants

Welcome to the Second Level of the Vacation Trip To Hell.  As I related earlier, Di and our daughters made a long road trip from California to points east of the Mississippi to visit family.  My spouse and I left as confident, cheerful adults and returned as burnt, used-up shells of humanity.  The two respective visits to our respective parents went well, overall, after some mishaps on the drive out.  We were, at that point, still at least confident.  However, once we hit the interstate to return to California, little did we know the events that would overtake us.  We departed Mom’s house a man, a woman, and two girls.  We arrived home a man, two women, and a girl.  And now for the gory details…

Somewhere on the highway between Illinois (silent ‘s’) and Oklahoma, yours truly began developing a headache.  These events are rare enough for me that at the first available pee break, I dug through the dense cargo hold of the Blazer and located some Motrin.  All was well for the next few hundred miles.  The girls were being teenage females, and after the entirety of the trip thus far, boredom reigned supreme in the back seat.  Arguments over the CD player, the CD’s, the pens, the paper, and which line of stitches in the seat marked territory blended into a dull roar.  Di and I were numb to this and just rode in sullen, boiling silence.  The knot at the base of my melon seemed to be subsiding, and Di offered to drive to let me attempt a recuperative nap.

At some point in Texas, I awake to warm water dripping on my legs and Di whacking me.  From under the dash, putrid chemicals were dripping on my feet, and – no kidding – dense white fog was rolling out of the AC vents.  We sprang into action, shut down the AC, rolled down the windows, and pulled over.  We had no idea what just went wrong but speculated that the condenser / evaporator / AC thingamabobber had failed catastrophically.  Ever resourceful, Di located a phone book and in ten minutes we were back in business with a shop in Tucumcari waiting for us.  I rode along, noting that the Motrin was failing miserably, and that I now had what I believed to be an Alien growing somwhere inside my big, fat head.  As we rolled down I-40 in August, Daughter Unit The Second wails helpfully, “I’m hooooooot.”  There were seven syllables in ‘hot’ in her version.

By the time we rolled up on Tucumcari, I was useless.  The throbbing in my head was audible, though Di denied being able to hear it.  She attempted to solicit my help in directions to our anticipated repair shop, and I supported her by saying, “Guhmmphalthp. Brrthp.”  I honestly don’t recall a lot of the rest of that day, but at some point in the evening we were packed into a motel room while the Blazer was resurrected.  The girls, without break, moved their Squabbling War into the room and launched new offensives for new territories.  Through the fog of pain, Di gently wakes me to inform me that Daughter Unit The First officially became a woman.  I replied in Bantu that I was thrilled.

More hours passed, the room grew quiet.  I regained the ability to speak, but my head hurt so intensely that I was nauseous.  Di emerged from a long session in the bathroom with The First, and I waved her over.  I whispered (because that’s all I could manage) my concerns.

  • ME: “Is Daughter Unit still in the bathroom?”
  • DI:  “Yes, why?”
  • ME:  “She needs to get out now.”
  • DI:  “She’s having a big day and dealing with this, don’t be an ass.”
  • ME:  “I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to watch me projectile-vomit in the next three minutes, then.”
  • DI: “Oh.”

My only coherent recollections of the period between Tucumcari and Fort Irwin were broken shards of consciousness experienced from a contorted sleep in the front passenger seat.  At some point, I was moved to the back seat and collapsed further into the fetal position.  The Migraine of the Gods continued all the way to California, where the helpful staff at the post hospital concluded there was nothing wrong with me.  Di saved the day, as she would many times to come.

In many ways this trip completely and forever killed the fun and adventure of cross country road trips, at least for Di and me.  We tried one after my return from Afghanistan but after only half of Iowa behind us, Di lost it about all the corn.  I knew the cause, and regretted the loss of the Road Trip Adventure.

The Vacation Trip To Hell, Level One

Posted in Family, Humor, Rant, Travel, Worst with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by BrainRants

Like much of what I share here, this post will be somewhat theraputic, though both my Super Spouse and I now have adjusted and experienced enough therapy (English: self-medicated) to the point where we can actually laugh about this.

We’ve all had bad vacations.  It is inevitable, really, when you look at it from a sheer statistical point of view.  This one could reasonably be thought of as the 100-Year vacation.  The only upside to this trip was that it passed uneventfully – for the most part – at each of our major destinations.

The context is this:  Di and I, not long married, elected to take a road trip from California to both Tennessee and Illinois (silent ‘s’!) to rack up a twofer visit of her dad and my mom.  We were confident, and we were experienced.  We had essentially executed this trip once already during the “before marriage” phase so each of us could at least meet the respective in-law.  The major difference with the Road Trip Redux: Children <insert dramatic, ominous, evil music here>.

The trip out was far less painful than the trip back, but there were some highlights worth mentioning.  Omens of evil yet to manifest, I choose to think.  However, we made it nearly all the way out of Texas before things started skidding off track.  I’d made excellent time across Arizona and New Mexico, hitting my road-trip-driving stride as all three females were sleeping and we hurtled through the desert darkness.  By the next afternoon, the atmosphere got hormonal, but manageable. Texas would not end, and boredom kicked in.  We stopped at what is arguably the Safest Possible Non-Fast-Food restaurant in the world: Cracker Barrel.  Perusing the menu, we get this question from Daughter Unit The First: “Do they have tacos here?”  The dining experience spiralled downward from there.

We were nearly to our first major objective, likely in Oklahoma, possibly Arkansas, before the second evil portent mainifested.  After several uninterruped hours of back-and-forth dickering from the backseat over the thinnest of excuses each time, Di and I were beginning to exchange looks.  Rough interpretation follows:

  • MY POINTED LOOK: [Can you believe this shit? Pass me a pen so I can jam it deeply into my eye socket and distract myself, please, dear.]
  • DI POINTED LOOK: [And what would you have me do? I’ve been on them for the past two hours. Oh, here’s that pen, My Love.]
  • MY POINTED LOOK: [Making them stop would be great, thanks.]
  • DI POINTED LOOK: [They’re your kids now too. Act like it.]
  • MY POINTED LOOK: [Noted and recorded for posterity.]

Some moments of muted disagreement passed from the backseat.  In the front, our Parental Units’ gaze rested on the horizon, half-lidded and dead.  Then the remark from Daughter Unit The Second: “Moooom, her hair is touching me!”  Both of my ass cheeks raised from the carseat as I literally stood on the brake.  Lots of loose shit, to include the two little shits who were passengers, slid forward.  Oaths and general shouting followed, and for a pleasant time, we enjoyed complete silence.  For the remainder of the trip out, a mere look in the rearview was sufficient to put the cone of silence over the heathens occupying our space.

The third, final and perhaps Biblical omen on the journey out occurred at a rest stop.  I have no idea where this happened because by that time I had lost completely the ability to monitor the passage of time.  For all I know we were in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Narnia, or possibly The Twilight Zone.  We were not far from the Tennessee border, it was dark, and everyone serendipetously had to pee simultaneously.  The blue rest area sign lured us in and we did our business.  Being the first done of course, I cooled my heels near the door for security purposes.  From inside the pissoir, an increasingly frantic hollering by The Second escaped into the night.  Mother Parental Unit shouting overmasked it, and both ejected violently outside, Child all flapping arms and slapping hands, Di loudly admonishing and brushing.  Apparently a militant splinter cloud of mosquitos had colonized the ladies’ room.  I believe I witnessed what is known as “a hissy fit.”  The First sauntered casually out some minutes later apparently uneffected.  Calamine was slathered as we completed the approach march to Dad’s.

The visitation portion(s) of the trip as mentioned passed remarkably without major incident.  Dad was glad to see the Grandchild Units, as was Mom happy to meet them finally.  The Daughter Units actually pretended to enjoy it all and maintained a credible veneer of courtesy.

Tune in later for the descent to Level Two of the Vacation Trip To Hell…