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6:30 a.m. Put on baseball cap and offer to walk to the
nearest café to pick up coffee and breakfast. It’s easier than loading heavy
suitcases into the car and wrangling cranky children.
7:00 a.m. Distribute coffee, bagels and milk boxes in the
car. Discover after reaching the freeway on-ramp that there is only one
cinnamon sugar bagel—and two boys ready to fight to the death over it.
7:15 a.m. “I need to go to the bathroom!”
7:20 a.m. Stop at the nearest gas station mini mart to use
the bathroom. We haven’t even left the county yet.
7:25 a.m. Pick up package of donuts at the gas station to
make up for the missing cinnamon bagel.
7:45 a.m. Reach the I-5, only to realize everyone else in
Northern California had the same idea of leaving early. Get into an argument
with the husband about whether it’s better to leave before the crack of dawn or
to start at midnight the night before.
8:00 a.m. “How much longer ‘til we get there?”
8:05 a.m. Start the first of the "Clone Wars" DVDs.
8:10 a.m. Kick self for not packing movies without constant
shouting and gunfire.
8:30 a.m. Settle into a lull, now that the kids are
mesmerized by Anakin and company.
8:35 a.m. Start posting selfies. With sunglasses and enough
filters, I can look like a fun, cool mom, not like a woman who might kill her
own husband and children.
9:00 a.m. Lose 4G connection. What am I supposed to do if I
can’t Instagram this trip?
9:30 a.m. Plug in "The Clone Wars" season 2. Screen time,
“Why isn’t that lady on the billboard wearing any clothes? What’s a gentleman’s club?”
10:00 a.m. “I’m hungry!”
10:05 a.m. Fumble through the pile of pillows and stuffed
animals in an attempt to find the bag of snacks I packed earlier.
10:10 a.m. Pull up Yelp to find the nearest fast food.
Internet service is still spotty.
10:30 a.m. Spot a McDonald’s on the side of the road and
tell kids we’re getting lunch.
10:35 a.m. See a cute little taqueria across the street from
the golden arches and attempt to convince the family we should eat there
instead. No luck.
10:45 a.m. Pull into the McDonald’s parking lot. “Where are
10:55 a.m. After tearing the entire car apart, realize that
in the rush to get out of the house, I forgot to pack shoes for the children to
wear. Argue with the husband about whose job it was to put their shoes in the
11:00 a.m. Convince the kids to put on a pair of old socks
and walk across the parking lot into the dirtiest McDonald’s ever.
11:15 a.m. People watch while waiting for the world’s slowest
Happy Meal to arrive.
11:20 a.m. Start a game of “guess who’s from Northern
California and who’s from Southern California.” Nobody else in my family finds
this nearly as amusing as I do.
11:30 a.m. Push through the crowd of hungry, exhausted people
to retrieve my tray of food. At least I think it’s my tray…
12:00 p.m. Throw away trash and hit the restroom one more
12:10 p.m. Peel off the kids' nasty socks and toss them in
12:15 p.m. "Clone Wars" season 3
1:30 p.m."Clone Wars" season 4
2:00 p.m. Call Mother-in-Law and tell her we’re making great
time, should be there in a few hours.
2:30 p.m."Clone Wars" season 3
2:45 p.m. Look up Waze, as there must be an accident on the
pass. Nope, no accident. It’s just LA traffic.
3:30 p.m. “I need to go to the bathroom!”
3:45 p.m. “Are we there yet?”
4:00 p.m. “Why isn’t that lady on the billboard wearing any
clothes? What’s a gentleman’s club?”