As a kid, riding in the back of a Pinto station wagon, I'd check out those land cruisers. I'd feel sorry for their hog-ness. And I'd wonder if maybe people who rode in those didn't get car sick.
Who knew that one day they'd turn a truck into a passenger vehicle, and the whole game would change?
It's road trip time.
For reasons not quite vacation, certainly not business, and everything having to do with family and moving toward independence, I am pointed east. With a driver's permit equipped teenager, a slew of Google maps, and a loose plan that has two firm pin-points on the agenda.
Yesterday's miles took us onto tollroad and Turnpike. And the layers of memories started to lift up like calendar pages in the "time passes" montage from old movies. Roadside sign symbols. Place names. Sounds of voices. Proximity of people. An odd, triangle on its side shaped back window that you could only pop out a little bit.
And then, not at the Knute Rockne traveler's station, but at Falling Timbers, a move out of my experience to my mother's. For in that outdated "oasis," a paean to things 1950's, in the worn at the heels women's restroom, was what at first glance seemed to be a standard issue feature. A diaper changing room. With a groovy light up sign mounted above the door directing you to it, mind you, but still; we've all seen a changing station before.
Except that as I paused to look, feeling an odd mix of curiosity at the janitor's closet ambience and the requisite wondering if the men's room had one and a touch of nostalgia at the fact that the one of the subject/objects of diaper changes in my parenting life was taking his turn driving. And as I paused, my mind tracked back to one of those impressions. Why janitor's closet? Oh, right, there's a sink in there. These days, you get a fold down piece of plastic with a picture of a koala and an empty wipe dispenser inside and hope to goodness the hinge will be strong enough to support your baby. Okay, walk by.
Come again? No, that wasn't it. Look back. Step fully inside this time. Ah, it's that the sink is oversize. Large enough to...to wash a diaper out. Holy freakin' cow. And that drain at the bottom? It's not a metal-flower covered 2" opening. No, it's a genuine, rock 'em sock 'em toilet exit type egress. So now I am frozen for a moment, trying to take in a) one giant sink, at just below waist level, b) the fact that it is plumbed like a toilet, sort of, and c) omg, this is the kind of thing that would have made life easier for my mother. Because
...you don't know how awful family road trips are until you try to pack food for a day and travel with a baby and if you're the passenger up front you have the diaper pail between your legs.
And with that, my mother persuaded my green self to use disposable diapers while on the road, and convinced me my harried life as a young parent would never have the same flavor hers did.
Janitor toilet sink with a faucet and hot and cold handles.
So, flooded with more memories than perhaps even the janitor toilet sink could dispose of, I headed back to my vehicle. Climbed into the passenger seat. And held my breath as my son backed out of the parking space and accelerated onto the turnpike.
For those of you keeping track of the perfume score, I hit the road wearing--but of course--Normadie. I put it on, thinking it was pleasant enough, kind of cologne-y, but was too distracted by the hubbub of getting ready to hit the road to think much about it. Perfumista mistake, of course, since I was trying it for the first time. So much for thoughtful notes. So much for even just taking it in.
Two hours later, I regretted not paying a little attention, because I thought it was gone.
Three hours later, I smelled something that smelled good. On my wrist. Well, I'll be. WHOOPS there's a situation to talk new driver through....and again, distracted.
Five hours later, it's still there. And now I've been on the road long enough I'm started to rethink the idea of applying scent for a car trip. Which I knew, I KNEW, would potentially be a something to take into account.
At eight hours, and nearly to our stopping point, it was nearly gone. Irony, irony, irony. I am going to pause by Lake Erie, my benchmark for least retention time, and Normandie is a disappearing/reappearing tenacious quiet lovely thing. I think. I'll pay more attention next time. For sure, it was more a Huron or Michigan on my wrist, even as I looked out onto Lake Erie.
About to head out for Leg Two. With Amouage Abyadh attar on my wrists. Which I will report on next.