Usually driving to camp to pick up children is a routine kind of thing. I get it together at home, put the address in my nav (because it doesn't matter how many times I have gone to this camp, I still don't know how to get there), and get on the road. Nothing all that unusual happens. Well, last week I did get lost in a parking lot because of a detour. That would probably be considered slightly unusual for a different person, me... not so much.
Yesterday however my friend Ashley was kind enough to go with me. This made the whole trip an adventure. There is nothing "normal" about driving an hour and a half with her. She even told me ahead of time that this was a road trip and it was going to be fun. She packed herself a "snack pack" for the car. I have actually never seen someone fit so many fishies and pretzels in a zip lock bag at once. It bordered on impressive (or piggish) depending on how you look at it.
She activated her safety harness as the law states and we were on our way. We were barely out of PA when she spotted a groundhog! She notices everything. This groundhog was way out of any line of vision I had but she saw him right away which started the whole, "Well hello wittle groundhog. I yuv you so much, cute widdle cwitter. Hey, do you see the critter Amy?" Yes, I see him. I love him too. Let's see if he's there on the way back, perhaps we can get you a date.
Driving through Maryland it started to rain, the sky turned black, it started to pour, buckets of pounding rain. There were moments we couldn't see the road or even through the windshield. Ashley kept insisting it was a tornado. She started spouting off some sort of storm nonsense and how she could see the "devils fingers" of the tornado and that it was possible that our car could be picked up and whisked away at any second. I was hoping if all possible, perhaps it could drop us off at camp. Finally the rain stopped and the sun started shining and that was when what seemed like the drive through the safari part of Great Adventure started.
"A fox! Did you see that gorgeous fox! Oooooh so fluffy and regal was he."
"I didn't see any fox," I muttered. I like foxes. She gets to see everything as she sits there and stuffs her face with cheddar gold fish.
"Look at the cows! Take their picture! Stop the car."
I stop on the road and get my camera per her instructions. At that moment a particularly big guy decides to try and get a "date" with a pretty girl cow. She rebuffs his not so suave advances and waves to us with her paw. I mean foot. Or what are they called? Her flipper! The cow waves to us with her flipper. I take the picture and we start rolling again.
"Oh, it's a veal farm," she says morosely.
"I don't know what that entails but I don't like the sound of it, please stop talking," I say.
Of course she doesn't. Asking Ashley to stop speaking is like asking a small child to put down their sweet, sticky, sugary sucker.
"See all those little shacks over there?" she asks.
"Yes, I've seen them before. I think it's nice they each have their own little bed," I say. I actually did think this. I pictured them each having their own little home with a night table and their special things on it. Their nighttime eye patches so the early sun doesn't disturb them and their ear plugs so those pesky roosters don't wake them at the crack of dawn. I actually thought they were lucky cows to be so well cared for. Apparently I was wrong.
"Yeah, no, it's......." she starts explaining what they were really for.
"Stop it. Stop it. Stop it," I beg. "I can't stand it. Shut up."
A few minutes go by.
"I'm hungry," she says.
"Me too! I'm starving!"
"I could eat one of those cows," she says.
"Yes! A baby one would be nice right about now."
"Stop the car! Stop the car! I've got to move the turtle before you just run over him."
"Stop the car!"
I stop the car. She jumps out and goes around the front and picks up a little turtle that had been in the middle of the road. She whispers to him closely and moves him safely to the other side of the road. "Make sure you put him in the same direction he was going," she informs me. "Or else he will turn around and end up in the road again."
Good tip. I'm going to file that away.
"That's so weird, cause last week there was a turtle in the middle of the road too!"
"Did you move him," she asks me with squinty eyes.
"Um, no. I didn't kill it though. I drove over him but he didn't get smooshed."
"You did kill him!" she yells at me.
"I did not. I saw his head pop up after through my rear view mirror," I say.
"He died a miserable death."
"Oh my God! Look at all those bucks!"
"Oh my God! Look at that female deer trying to intimidate us!"
"Oh my God! Look at the baby bunny!"
"Oh my God! Look at that osprey nest!" "We're stopping at that on the way back. Did you know you can fit a volkswagon in an eagle's nest? You should see the talons on birds of prey!"
We only have a mile left to go and then the whole ride home. I'm hoping to see a kangaroo, a crocodile and perhaps if it's not to much to ask, a polar bear. Anything is possible.