Making Peace with the Box

My lovely wife posted a few days ago about our daughter’s struggle against living in a box.  It was articulate and heartfelt.  But as for myself, I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag let alone a box.  From the cradle box we are put in at birth to that box that goes underground at death, it is a box we call home.  And in-between those milestones we take shelter in-house shaped boxes, see all events unfold within the limited frame of our box window, and mostly travel in wheeled boxes.  A few of us think we work outside the box, but I would argue that even park rangers play and work in a box (an open-ended 1000s of acres size one with lots of wild animals one, but still a box). 

For me then travel is making peace with my box.  If I am never to be rid of my box (and to be honest, freedom is often just another word for being irresponsible), the least I can do is take it out for a spin.  We choose to live as much of our lives as possible in motion not to escape life, but to live it more fully.

So off we go on our 14th summer road trip; maybe for just a few weeks, but likely more than a month.  Over this time the mortgage still has to be paid, dogs walked and fed (and for this we thank our very large, former Marine cousin George for watching our house while we are away), and laundry cleaned.  As much as we like to go out for a good meal, hell for us would be trying to find a good meal three times a day.  So we bring a stove, a cooler, and utensils.  Sometimes we eat grand (we have steamed lobsters before), but more times it is a spaghetti and a can of vegetables.  A perfect night is one of tacos, a KOA swimming pool, and a nice fire toasted by a wine pricier than the lodging.

In past trips there has also been homework done (usually done on the interstate with Henna passing it to the front seat for us to go over) and lessons learned.  I would like to say the lessons are the type only gleaned in far off places, but often they are more generic like “don’t give a two-year old a watermelon without expecting a mess.”   

So where are we off to this summer?  Well, no one has ever accused us of over planning, but this summer we hope to do even less than usual.  If it is an itinerary you are looking for you are going to have to look elsewhere.   Instead I offer you possibilities: the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska, Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, central coast of California, up the spine of Idaho, and select parts of Montana.  I doubt we will see all that.  As with every trip, I hope we see many a place not heard of until the moment arrived.   And as always we welcome you along.

City of Chilli (Skyline that is)

Note:  I was messing around with the blog and came across this in the “draft” section.  Enjoy this classic Hennacornoeli from the vault.

First day out of Chicago and we found ourselves in Cincinnati.  This was our first time staying in Cincinnati and I was impressed by its’ distinct vibe.   We stayed at the beautiful Netherlands hotel which was built in the 1930 to be a “city within a city.”  Restored in the 1980s it is a definite upscale place.

Mentioned in an earlier post, we were in Cincinnati for a wedding.  Dan, my first cousin, was marrying the super cool Liz.  The first place we went was the Wise Temple.   The Wise Temple is impressive.  Built around 1900, it is easily the most ornate temple I have ever seen.  Maybe it is my Midwestern upbringing, but most temples I know are built circa 1960.  This temple was so, so churchlike.  Stain glass windows, pews, cathedral ceilings; for someone like myself, a secular Jew who loves churches, it was almost a religious experience.  Henna and the wedding party practiced walking while Corey and I chilled in a pew.  Later had an awesome dinner at this cool Scottish themed pub (the waiters had to wear kilts).  It was fun to be somewhere away from home and eating with my parents, brother and sister in-law,  niece, aunts and uncles.  Dan was nice enough to invite me and my brother back to his place to have some drinks.  Dan, his very cool friends, me, and Brad talked dude stuff until the very wee hours (about 11:30 P.M.)  Came back to the hotel to an awake Henna and an almost sleeping Corey.  I promise to post pictures of the temple and the wedding soon.