5 Tips for Traveling With Teens

I'm including this picture to show you a few of my gorgeous (and tanned) relatives. Yes, I am related. Shut up.

I’m including this picture to show you a few of my gorgeous (and tanned) relatives. Yes, I am related. Shut up.

Enjoy this clip from National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbBL62IiRE

It’s that time of year again. Roadtrip! Nothing says summertime like voluntary confinement in a car for hours on end!  Because most of my family lives in Arkansas and we’re in Texas, it’s a necessary evil if we want to see them. Because I don’t want to end up like Clark Griswold’s family in Vacation, I have certain rules for the road. There is a certain freedom you achieve when your kids aren’t babies anymore–for example, nobody’s gonna poop their pants (unless you stopped at that food truck you passed, then all bets are off). However, traveling with teens can create a whole other set of joys and challenges. For your amusement, here’s 5 easy tips for traveling with teens.
1. Make sure everyone’s showered AND is wearing deodorant. Yes, this seems like an obvious thing, but sometimes with teens regular hygiene can be dicey at best, and nothing puts pain into hour three on the trip like the rugged aroma of the unwashed masses. Unless, of course, you’re recreating Civil War America and want pure authenticity then go for it.
2. Crank up the tunes. I always think that the driver has first dibs, unless of course I’m not driving, then I institute the “oldest person picks” rule. I like the Eagles channel on iTunes. I feel that it’s my duty as the most musically educated (ok, except for Jody and Sarah but who’s writing this blog anyway?) to spread my knowledge of 1970s rock to the next generation. The Eagles, The Beatles, pretty much any band that represents a bird or insect if up for grabs. I also love me some “Sweet Home Alabama” type music. I see it as my duty. They can’t learn it all from Rock Band. Take some responsibility, parents.
3. If music gets old, have an audio book handy. We listened to “Insurgent” on the way last time. It’s the second book in the “Divergent” series. Good stuff, and Mancub didn’t mind. He actually turned it back on after a pitstop.
4. Take a few short breaks and let everyone switch seats. Those long teen legs need to stretch out periodically, preferably NOT in my back.
5. Have lots of snacks on hand. The last thing you want to happen is to break down on some deserted road. That’s how Texas Chainsaw Massacre starts, people. With Mancub’s appetite I can’t afford to take chances.I don’t have bumper stickers but if I did it would say “The cycle of cannibalism stops HERE.”
Be the change, people. BE. THE. CHANGE.

Summer Vacation and Chihuahuas With Fat Pockets


Confession time: I’m concerned about my chihuahua’s fat pockets. I took him to the vet thinking he had tumors and he said that they are most likely pockets of fat since Goliath has gained a few pounds in his old age. When you only weighed 5 pounds to begin with, gaining a few pounds is like gaining 50 for us. I’m supposed to “monitor” them, kind of like women do breast exams. What I’m monitoring for, I couldn’t tell you–I guess I’m supposed to call the vet if they get bigger or anything. Since he can’t do anything about it I’m unsure what my calling him would do.

Me: “Hi. Is this the vet’s office?”

Vet’s Office: “Why yes. This is the Veternarian’s office. Can I help you?”

I guess I should be happy for the clarity–I wouldn’t want to accidentally call the VA office to tell the nitty gritty details about Goliath’s fat pockets. I’m not sure they’d be so concerned.

Me: “Yeah, um, this is Tina Bausinger and I’m calling with Goliath’s monthly fat pocket update. They seem to be a bit swollen this week, but I can’t tell if that’s because he ate the neighbor’s dog food for a few days before I noticed. Also, he may have scarfed a bit of fallen taco.”

Vet’s Office: “Um. Okay…”

Me: “It’s not his fault, really. I mean, who doesn’t love a good taco? Sometimes I’ll eat three of them without even thinking about it.”

Vet’s Office: (Clearing throat) “Well, I’ll certainly let Dr. Johnson know about Goliath’s progress.”

Me: “So that’s it? I mean, what happens next?”

VO: “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Me: “Do I bring him in for a fatty ultrasound or something?”

VO: “I don’t know that’s necessary.”

Me: “Well, should I change his diet to Skinny Champions instead of Little Champions? I mean, I’m trying to be proactive here.”
VO: “I’ll get back to you.”
Me: “Ok, I’ll be waiting.”