This Vagabond Life (Day 31 and counting)


It’s Day 31 of the month–and of our lives as vagabonds.

After packing up everything we own and sending it to storage, we departed our princely town on June 30, and we have been busy! We’ve spent weeks traveling the continent. We’ve stayed at country houses and city houses and hotels and motels and in our palatial tent (as palatial as tents come, anyway . . .) . We’ve been seeing mountains and fountains and lakes and moose and elk and bison and geysers and hot springs and canyons and tall towers and waterfalls and shopping meccas and bears and a Cubs game–

This fellow greeted me on my bleary-eyed amble to the bathroom for my morning ablutions. If you think I backed away slowly, pretended to be big and scary, or zapped him with bear spray, you overestimate my woods smarts. I ran for my life.

I probably should have moved Baby MoFo a little further away from this bit of wildlife rather than snapping pictures …

Too much damn traffic. It’s worse than NYC around here!

We’ve been going on magnificent hikes and boat rides and elevator rides and bike rides–

Is this freaking gorgeous or WHAT?

And we’ve been doing a heck of a lot of driving.

Pinch caught on camera

The driving is something of a challenge. Our home rule is 30 minutes of screen time a day (iPad, TV, computer, and Wii all count), but we tend to be laxer on the long drives. After all, although my friend Anna Oh believes kids can be kept entertained for hours on end with a roll of tin foil (think of the possibilities!), I see no evidence of such vast creativity in my kids. We play Geography and Brain Quest and word bingo; they color and write in their journals; they nap and snack and fight; and when they get bored of all that, they watch DVDs. It helps with everyone’s sanity.

The downside is this: whenever I ask them what their favorite thing has been thus far, they reply, hesitantly, because they know what answer I don’t want to hear: “Do you mean other than screen time?” And then they scramble to come up with a suitable answer (“Does eating ice cream count?”).

And when my friend asked them what their favorite activity has been–asked them, that is, when I wasn’t around–they told her frankly: “Playing Wii at our cousins’ house!!!!”

So you might wonder, as I wonder, if I am completely wasting my time taking them on adventures across the continent when clearly this–

Looking at the “grand” canyon below–

is less interesting to these boys than this:



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