I’ll tell you what you get…hours spent in a sand-filled car that smells like farts and rotting hermit crabs. Throw in a tour of just about every bathroom along the way and that about sums it up. Anyone who has traveled with children has heard “I have to pee” far more than one would think humanly possible. In our family, not only do we have 2 girls that like to be in the bathroom, but I’m also sure that Sophie has the world’s smallest bladder. Everywhere we go, the trip starts with a bathroom break, is punctuated with a bathroom break and usually ends with me saying “just get us there fast – Sophie has to pee again”. What is it with this? And I hate public toilets unless they are those fancy ones with TVs and a tray of delightful hand creams and hair products. Unfortunately gas station toilets are pretty bare bones and often smell bad. Even worse are the dunneys (out houses) – I don’t go near those. I hate airplane bathrooms too…I’m proud to say that I made it from Vancouver to New Zealand without having to squeeze myself into one of those…14 hours baby – like a camel I am!!
So back to the car…I said it smells like farts and rotting sea creatures. That’s not an exaggeration. The fart smell is from Elise. She is foul. Yesterday from the back seat I hear, “Papa, this is your last chance to roll down the window before the gas leaves the station”. I’m not kidding – that’s exactly what she said before she let it rip. Most often she’s sneaky about it and laughs hysterically when we all pull our shirts up over our mouths and noses. Going to put her in a giant plastic beach ball if it doesn’t stop…she’ll be like the boy in the bubble except that it’s to protect us not her.
You’re probably wondering where the rotting hermit crab smell is coming from. Every single beach we go to becomes a seashell collecting frenzy. Much to Dug’s disgust, the girls quickly collect more than they can carry from every beach and fill pockets and with hands overflowing, they dump their treasures in the car. Unfortunately this often means that bits of seaweed and beach muck get tossed in too…neither of which smells good after a day in the warm car. As I am writing this, the bathroom sink has been filled with stinky shells under the threat of being tossed if they don’t smell better after a warm soapy bath. It’s not all the kids’ fault…I’m the one who OK’d putting the wallaby skull in the car too. Dug did not find it that interesting when Elise decided that it was too fragile to ride in the back with all the other sticky mucky treasures and put it beside him on the centre wood grained console of this fancy Holden.
So between all the toilet stops and stinky things in the back seat (Elise included), there is sand everywhere. I HATE sand. I really hate sand. I hate it between my toes and fingers, in my shoes…anywhere. I could write a entire Dr Seuss rhyme about how much I hate sand. Well it’s everywhere. When I ran my half in Auckland, I wondered why my feet felt like they had no skin on them afterwards…turns out I wore the same socks the day before when we walked along the edge of a beach. 21km later I had inadvertently given myself a sandblast pedicure – I’m sure that some spa somewhere charges the rich and beautiful a fortune for a fancy sand pedi but this do-it-yourself job sucked. It’s in my ears and in my hair, in my toothbrush and that can’t be good for my teeth.
All in all the road trip has been good. We haven’t accidentally left anyone in a gas station toilet or hit a kangaroo (knock on wood), but at time the driving is a little scary. Aussies love their cars and drive fast; driving is a sport. No matter how fast you drive, there is someone right behind you who wants to go faster. These little country roads are 80 to 100km/hr; they are windy and narrow, but that does not deter anyone from driving full throttle. The typical driver on our Island highways would literally freeze like a kangaroo in the headlights and mess in her Depends. It’s a little scary for me and Sophie as the cautious ones in the family, but Elise eggs Dug on…to Ozzie Crazy Train the other day while I wasn’t in the car telling Papa to “get some air”.
We have 300km to go to tomorrow to get to Melbourne. I predict 6 bathroom stops, 10 farts, at least one dead thing in the boot and Dug will get flipped the bird twice for driving only 100 in a 90k zone.
The picture below has nothing to do with this blog, but I thought the stubby holders on our afternoon beer deserved to be seen. Dad, the one on the right is a gift for you, but we thought you’d appreciate the pragmatism of borrowing it until we get home.