Daddy Drinks Goes West

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The family is at the precipice of the Great American Road Trip: Three weeks, one minivan, two four-year olds, half a dozen national parks, and 2,000 pounds of luggage. There is no event or catastrophe that we don’t have supplies for tucked away in one of our purple suitcases. Lantern, check; snow mittens, check; malaria pills, check; snow chains, check.

We’re hitting the big sites between Colorado and California  (Las Vegas!, Pikes Peak!, L.A.!) but also hoping to tackle some classic American adventures like panning for gold and maybe starting a small forest fire with an illegal fireworks display.

So far, we’re only a couple of days into the trip, so we’re still in the honeymoon phase. I haven’t even started drinking liquor yet. Okay, I’ve had a little liquor. But not during daylight hours, so that’s good.

A couple of questions I’m curious about answering as we make our way further West:

1)   How will my kids react to all of the free porn that litters the sidewalks of Las Vegas?

2)   How do you get busy with your hot wife in a tent with two kids sleeping between you?

We’ve learned so much already in just a couple of short days. For instance, flying with two four-year-olds is fun if let your wife sit with them while you sit in a completely separate row and drink beers and play Transformers. Also, the cup-holder of a child’s safety seat is not a good place to store a handful of smashed turkey for two days. And this is interesting: if you buy hundreds of dollars worth of food and camping gear at Target, the check out guy will ask if you’re a doomsday prepper.

Feel free to write that info down.

Some pictures.

Optimus Prime likes cheap beer.



This is just one of the carts we needed.



How cute are these kids?


The Van Life

We’re toying with the notion of buying a mini-van, a move that, according to absolutely everyone we consult, will eliminate any remaining vestige of hipness from our lives. Luckily, we’ve never been hip, so there isn’t much to lose. That’s not to say that when I was a young lad daydreaming about what my life as an adult would be like, I pictured cruising around in a white Toyota Sienna. A vintage Woody with surf boards hanging out the back is more what I had in mind for my future. I would catch killer tube by day, and sleep in the car parked at the nearest Circle K by night. To feed myself, I would bed a series of artistic, but gullible college girls, mooching off their unlimited meal cards at the university cafeteria. Dudes, raise your hand if you had a similar dream. Now, keep that hand up if you’re actually living that dream.

Yeah, me neither.

I have my beautiful wife to blame…er…thank for that. If it wasn’t for her, I’d truly be living in a van down by the river (how awesome would that be!?). And if it wasn’t for her, I’d drive my 1998 diesel Jetta until the wheels fall off, which by the looks of things, could be tomorrow.

So, the mini van enters into the equation. Even though I’m not clinging to any delusions that I am young or hip (cool, rad, boss…what do kids say these days?) I’m still not gung-ho about buying a mini van. My wife says we need the space, but I see families of nine pile in and out of 1999 Honda Civics all the time. She says we need something more reliable than our 12 year old cars, but really, with the glaring oversights in manufacturing practices these days, what does the word “reliable” mean anymore?

In order to test out the world of mini vanning (yes, it’s a verb too), we’ve rented one for a week. My wife is hoping it will convince me that a mini van will make our lives so much easier. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s only one reason a man buys a van: the potential for mobile sex. That’s the long and short of it, period, the end. If you see a guy driving a van, be it a mini or full size, you can be certain he’s on the prowl. At the very least, there’s an inflatable mattress stowed in the back and a disco ball ready to descend from the ceiling given the right opportunity. That’s not a sunroof on the ceiling, that’s a mirror, baby!

But I digress.

I will admit there’s more room in the mini. It has more square footage than our house, which could come in handy. Since my daughter has developed a serious dress fetish, we’ve quickly run out of closet space. I could easily use the spacious trunk as my closet. Would it be weird if I wandered out there every morning wearing a robe and drinking coffee to get dressed? What if I wasn’t wearing the robe?

Just driving the MV around town for a day, I’ve noticed one undeniable truth: Blasting Jay Z from a mini van makes you look like a jackass. Cranking George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex,” on the other hand, is perfectly appropriate.

With all this talk about mini vans, I think we’ve overlooked the obvious solution to our problem. We need a solid family car–what about a golf cart. Before you scoff, I’d like to point out three things.

  1. Golf carts are awesome. You can’t deny that. The only thing more awesome than commuting to work in a golf cart, would be commuting to work in a dune buggy.
  2. Gas prices continue to rise and America is experiencing an oil crisis. Golf carts can literally travel for several miles on a single charge. Don’t you love the earth?
  3. Golf carts may lack standard safety features like seat belts and a windshield, but picture the kids riding to school, the wind blowing in their hair, their tiny legs securely strapped to the seat with a healthy amount of duct tape.

Imagine you’re in stand still traffic and all you have to do is drive up slowly to the car in front of you and ask, “mind if I play through?”

It doesn’t get much more practical than that.