Not for us the simple life. Smooth getaways and idyllic vistas without a soundtrack of squabbling tend to be in short supply.
And yet we do it again. And again.
Some would say we never learn.
Others might chime in, yeah but it's worth it.
This Easter we planned a minor excursion. Just a one-nighter to the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, to stay with friends who had recently moved there. A brief break from normality before the madness of birthday season sets in.
Before we had even left the greater Auckland area, there was comedy/drama of the sort you might find in an Adam Sandler movie.
Let me paint the picture... After the stress and strain of packing three whingeing, complaining bodies and their requisite gear into our people mover, hubby pulled into the BP around the corner from home for fuel (petrol and sustaining coffeeeee).
Back in the car, we sipped caffeine and tried to ignore the noise from the cheap seats as we rolled down the motorway on-ramp and picked up speed.
What was that noise? I asked hubby, who shrugged, unconcerned, and kept sipping.
A few hundred meters further down the road he suddenly froze and began fumbling in his pockets.
"Where is it? Where's my phone???" he kept muttering.
"You don't think it could have been the phone that made that noise do you? Could you have left it on the roof....?"
Shocked eyes turned on me and silence was demanded.
We pulled off the motorway at the next exit, and returned the way we'd come. Now we get back onto that same on-ramp where we heard the der-dunk, and we cruise along the hard shoulder at snails pace with eyes peeled.
"What's that?!" I cry, spotting a small black rectangle across two lanes, lying in the gravel.
Mr G pulls up, hops out and dodges traffic to retrieve the object which looks awfully like a cell phone.
He waves it at me. Not a cell phone. A rubber cell phone case.
But still, a clue. We are getting warmer; the cell phone can't be far.
I see my hubby's eyes light up as he spots the actual phone, sitting unhurt on the white line between two lanes.
I start to sigh with relief, thinking, "Alls well that ends well" and "this will make a funny story" when to my horror the cell phone disappears from view in a shower of plastic bits.
A learner driver crossed the lane and hit our phone, dead on.
It's gone. Smashed to bits on the motorway. We nearly had it! We were seconds away from picking it up when that L-Plated egghead couldn't steer straight and smashed it to smithereens.
And so with this dramatic beginning, we were on our way.
I should also mention that Mr G was due to turn forty on Easter Monday, which is why we had thought to simply stay one night and return home for our traditional gift-frenzy first thing in the morning.
But the Bay had a strangely relaxing effect on us, despite the drama.
It's a jandal-wearing, laid-back, holiday-feeling place. Famous for surf beaches, mega new years eve parties and the Rena... I gently suggested to Mr G that perhaps we could stay another night, delay the gift-opening a little, squeeze in a game of golf (for him) and some blog-friend-visiting (for me).
Surprisingly, he agreed.
|[New friendships were kindled, which had all our kids asking: "When are we coming back???]|
We stretched out of one night's supply of undies and shirts to last an extra day and made the most of our time in the Bay.
Mr G retold the story of his phone many times (the disastrous end made the story even more dramatic) and he enjoyed a different kind of birthday, without the constant beeping of emails and txts from his ancient brick of a Blackberry (which should have been replaced two years ago).
That learner driver did us a favour, really (now he'll have to get a proper SMARTphone and join the rest of the world).
|[A version of Go-Home, Stay-Home kept the kids occupied]|
So, after a lovely morning spent at Delissimon's new abode, full of sunshine, salty air and the kind of lightness that comes from sharing laughs with friends, we headed back to Auckland.
Forgetting completely that it is now Easter Monday and everyone else is heading home too.
When we hit our first tailback at the intersection with Route 27, Mr G made an executive decision and took the long way home to "beat the traffic". An extra 60km while moving is preferable to sitting in traffic jams, right?
Well, yes such would be the case if we didn't also hit a tailback on SH1. "Take the long way home" is the theme tune of this journey...
A two-hour car trip ended up taking four hours to get home.
|[Delissimon's new place in the Bay is FAB and so is she, of course]|
Worth the loss of a phone.
Worth the traffic jams.
Worth the drama and the kids complaining and the two day old undies.
Worth it for spending time with special friends and renewing aquaintances.
Worth it for walking by the beach, licking gelato.
Worth it for the memories, the laughs, the conversation.
That's why we do it, in spite of the drama, aye?