Road-Trip Ramblings #4 Walmart is NOT on Every Corner...

My #1 tip for packing for vacation has always been, "Don't worry about what you forget.  There will always be a Walmart."  I've learned my lesson and will never say it again!

We decided at the very last minute last Memorial Day Weekend to pack up the car and drive to southern Utah for a whirlwind road trip.  I needed to take pictures for an article I was writing on alternative destinations to the national parks, and the weather had finally cleared up enough to keep us from drowning. Within one hour we'd loaded the camping gear, thrown some clothes into a bag, and grabbed a little food.  I'd occasionally called out to the kids, "Get your shoes on," or  "Grab some books," and theneventually, "Time to get in the car!"  They all loaded in.  We backed out the driveway, and were on our way.  It wasn't until we piled out of the van at a sand-covered camping site three hours later that we discovered the problem.

Take a guess.  Really think for a moment what a child might be responsible for, and then forget to bring with him as he's jumping in the car for an out-of-town trip.  In the hustle and bustle of getting ready, P dutifully obeyed the instruction to get in the car.  Not such a good listener when it came to something else very important I'd asked him to do.  For our epic camping/hiking exploring road-trip, my 5-yr-old!

No shoes while you're camping?  Ok, that's no so bad.  Our kids run around in their bare feet all the time anyway.

No shoes at the national park visitor center?  Ok, we'll run in real fast and hope no one is paying attention.

Totally not wearing shoes while he takes his Junior Ranger oath

No shoes climbing over rocks on the edge of sheer rock cliff?  Ok, Mom is REALLY not feeling good about this.

No shoes when we climb to 10,000 feet and want to go hiking in the snow?  N-O-T O-K!

Not to mention walking through park shops, stopping to eat at funky small town restaurants, having to carry him into a gas station public restroom. ..

My reaction even at the end of the weekend could still be described as confused stupor.  How do you get in the car for a weekend road-trip without any shoes?  My husband, of course, took it all in stride.  He kept P off of nasty bathroom floors by letting him stand on Dad's feet.  He tried to fashion shoes out of diner french fry trays and string.  Even when I got to the point where thinking about it made me start laughing uncontrollably, he had the attitude that, "Hey, maybe this has also happened to me a time or two..."

There we were, packed but with something forgotten and without a Walmart anywhere to be seen. We racked up a total of 10 hours in driving time that weekend, going from destination to destination with not one single supercenter looming on the horizon.  Any other post and I'd be telling you that's exactly why we love southern Utah.  This time I'm still just shaking my head in disbelief...