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The Weekend Trip from Heck

(Yes, from Heck. This is a family-friendly blog.)

My daughter, now nearly 20 years old, often chides me for being such a homebody. But it is partly her fault that travel holds such little charm for me.

When Abigail was a year old, we decided to take a four hour car trip to visit family in Kentucky. It was the first long trip we attempted with Abigail, because she didn’t travel well—meaning she did not drop off to sleep the instant one stuck the car key in the ignition, as most babies do. Abigail didn’t sleep in the car—at all.

Perhaps the trip started out all right. I really can’t remember, because of the traumatic experience that followed. First, the weather turned bad. Second, Abigail got colicky. Third, the Mama about lost her mind.

This was the sequence of events at my brother’s house on that particular Saturday night:

  1. The tornado siren would go off.
  2. We would all troop down to the basement for safety
  3. The tornado warning would expire
  4. We would all troop back upstairs to bed.
  5. Abigail would get colicky.
  6. I would take her outside for some fresh air, so she could breathe easier.
  7. The tornado siren would go off.
  8. Repeat at least two more times

The next morning, we headed home—in the rain. Because of all the rain, we learned the bridge across the Ohio River in Louisville was closed. We diverted to Cincinnati, still driving through the rain.

Seven hours and forty-five minutes after leaving my brother’s house for the four hour drive home, we pulled up beside our house. We unbuckled and got out of the car. Scott closed his door, not quite slamming it. Our eyes met across the expanse of the car roof and Scott said, more resolutely than I had ever heard him speak, “I am never going on another trip. as long. as. I. live.”

So, Abigail, my dear child, remember this story the next time you are urging me to go somewhere with you.

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers.



  1. This dredges up some delightful memories of a trip we took when L was 10 months. We flew to the beautiful city of Montreal, or really, to a strange crib in a strange room where clearly the only thing to do at night is to cry one’s lungs out. Our nightly routine there: put L to bed, where she slept for 2 hours while we hid in the hallway to the bathroom eating a chocolate tart and playing games on my husband’s phone. After those 2 hours, we’d try to coax her to sleep beside us, but her little head would keep popping up. During the day she and I wandered the 5-block radius around the hotel while she slept in the stroller.

    Goodness, I didn’t mean to share that much at all, and I didn’t even remember the details of the trip till now. But I’m with you on the homebody part… at least until we finish nap times in this house!

    • Well, since you had to hide in the hallway, at least you had your chocolate tart 😃 Babies certainly dislike deviating from their routines.

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