Friday, March 2, 2012


I've bid sayonara to the land of the hobbits. The kids and I managed to survive the 30 hours that it takes to travel from my father's house in New Zealand back to the land of brats and cheese. Everybody was a little cranky after our long vacation, and there was occasionally unhappiness during the travel, especially on the part of Baby W. Do you remember how I said that on the way out to New Zealand, three people came up to me and complimented me after the flight about how quiet the kids had been?

Nobody did that on the flight back.

As long as we're talking about kids and travel, I have a great idea that would revolutionize car travel with young children. We had several hours in a shuttle at the beginning of our return trip, taking us from my father's house to the Auckland airport. At one point during the shuttle trip, Baby W started to get cranky. No problem, because I have a superpower -- two of them, in fact -- inside my bra that can calm a fussy tot in no time. But it's nearly impossible to nurse a child who is belted into a car seat. To remedy this problem, I'm proposing that women evolve much longer breasts, or perhaps some sort of breast-extender appendage, to make it easier to reach the baby's mouth. Either that, or we could get car seat manufacturers to change the design of car seats, but to be honest it would probably be easier to totally redesign the basic female body structure.

I'm majorly ambivalent about New Zealand. Upon hearing that I've just come back from New Zealand, most people rhapsodize about how beautiful the landscape is in New Zealand, and how much they'd like to go there, or go back there. And it's true, New Zealand is beautiful. But they also have traffic there. And Kentucky Fried Chickens. And Starbucks. At the grocery store, I saw that the cover story on the magazine at the checkout counter was about Glee. It's disappointing that so much of their culture is similar to American culture. If I fly to the other side of the world, I want to land in a place that is truly foreign, you know? It makes me want to collar New Zealanders and say "GUYS! YOU'RE BLOWING IT!"

A few days after returning from New Zealand, I flew to San Antonio to attend a work conference. In fact, I'm sitting in the San Antonio airport right now. San Antonio is a great town for a conference because look! Look what they have in San Antonio!

I have curly hair

That's right. San Antonio has margaritas. And I had one, thereby doubling my 2012 alcohol consumption to date. As long as I was cutting loose and having a drink, I decided to go into full-bore party mode and watched TWO Daily Show episodes online back at the hotel before falling asleep.

I felt like I needed to partake in some Texas culture, so I visited the Alamo. Fortunately, it's right across the street from a Hooters, which helped round out the Texas cultural experience.

The Alamo
Inside the Alamo, the most interesting part to me was the old pre-1900 graffiti. I really love how the marks people make defacing a monument became history in themselves. I wish I could also leave my own mark for people to see a hundred years from now. Of course I didn't, though. In Texas you can get the death penalty for doing that.

Margaritas and history are great, but the yardstick that I use to judge a city's true worth is whether it has a good place to run. And yes! San Antonio has a great place to run! Here's the RiverWalk, which makes it possible to run 5 or 6 miles without ever having to cross a street. It's a wonderful example of far-sighted urban planning. I'm not sure what it's doing in Texas.

The RiverWalk in San Antonio

All this traveling has been great, but I'm looking forward to going back home, especially to seeing David and the kids. I'm a little worried because it's apparently snowing back in Madison, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather won't cause any delays. I'm looking forward to getting back in the groove of my everyday schedule: going to work, getting Stella off to school, and playing with Baby W. And in case you were wondering, that schedule does not include watching Glee.

1 comment:

  1. Hope your flights go well. Somehow my husband managed to get out, early, and is on his way to Tampa for a weekend. Always enjoy your posts....keep posting!

    And now I have more insight into why we never got into traveling when the kids were young.....both of my refused to nurse. Formula doesn't work well on flights.