The Great Van Adventure….

Back in 1987 I took a trip with my Mother and my Sister. Mom wanted to go to Cherokee NC. to find her Father’s roots and so we took our first trip together since childhood. We would cross the United States from Ca. to NC. and back again. My Sister had a van and that seemed like a good idea at the time, it would save money if we camped. We would stop and see family along the way and get to know each other better. We were gone 3 weeks and my husband ’73 watched the kids the whole time. He braided hair and cooked the meals and dealt with the angst of young daughters or at least he tried.

Things went wrong right from the start. Just 2 days into the trip my Mom got sick. She threw up continuously from Carlsbad NM. to El Paso Tx. Now I have always had a sensitivity to the sounds of this particular bodily function and I was having a hard time so when we stopped for gas I ran to the restroom for a moment of peace to get my own stomach back under control. Mother refused to turn back even though Sis and I wanted to. When I finally left the restroom my Sister was in the store and Mother was still in the van. As I approached the van the sliding door started to open……. a hand came out holding……………OH MY GOD!………… A clear bag…………the bag…………the vomit bag. My Mom said “Robin take this and throw it out” I started gagging but I took the bag like a trooper. I held it away from me like it was full of snakes. I pivoted and made a world record setting run for the restroom dropping the bag into the trash bin without missing a step. The restroom was occupied and so I did what any sane person would do, I started pounding on the door and yelling at whoever was inside to get the hell out…..now! It was my sister. Twenty minutes later we were on our way and God smiled on me because even though she still didn’t feel well she had ceased to vomit. There is more of course but I will let the pictures tell the story for now.


The beginningThe Beginning: 3 happy women looking for adventure. I think I am giving last minute instructions to ’73 as there are no cell phones so he is on his own. It turned out to be so much more adventure than I expected.



The gang at r 10My innocent children that I would leave behind for 3 weeks with their Father. ’88 had not been born yet so there was just the 3 girls. Did I feel guilty? Did I feel anxious about leaving? Absolutely not. I knew they were in good hands and felt it was time ’73 did a little parenting.



N. VanThis would be my home for 3 long weeks. We would sleep here and eat here and get sick here. You may notice my Mom reading, now you know where I get it from. She would have loved my kindle.



The EndThe End: Three weeks later we are home and we look shell shocked. Three very tired and worn out ladies. The puppy is BJ. I picked him up in Texas on the way home, my souvenir from the voyage. You will notice only one of us is smiling here, what does that mean. This trip is a great memory in spite of everything and I will always treasure it. It may not have brought us closer but it didn’t kill us either. My husband and childrenĀ  survived too but made me promise to never leave again especially ’79 who had oddly cut bangs that were too short and crooked, and for some reason my husband wouldn’t talk about it. I won’t even mention the condition of the house or the laundry.

Given the opportunity to do it again, would I?………..in a hot minute!


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About insider53

Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Friend, Writer, Voracious Reader, and so much more.
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6 Responses to The Great Van Adventure….

  1. lynn says:

    i like the way you set up your blog

  2. Oh my God, the look on your faces in that final picture! Priceless!

  3. ck says:

    what a great post. i can’t even being to imagine what awaited you upon return. it probably took another three weeks just to get to the bottom of it!

  4. faemom says:

    Great post.
    Though I don’t think I could ever take a three week vacation with my mom voluntarily.

  5. ymk says:

    I like how you didn’t feel guilty about leaving your kids with your husband.And without any cell phone too. Hubby calls me the minute I leave home, I am still in the garage, he calls to ask me where the cereal is. Drives me crazy.
    Great post.

  6. Yaya says:

    That must have been amazing!

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