To Bus or Not to Bus…
The emails were flying, and I was trying to get my head around what it would mean for our family to buy an old school bus. We were planning a family vacation to the Southwest with the Grand Canyon as our main destination. We had other stops we wanted to make too. But before I could work out the details, we had to decide on the mode of transport. This was a budget vacation. Yes, I mean budget. We were sleeping in tents the entire trip. Yes, tents on the ground. Plus there were 12 adults and 14 children on this ride. So, no airplanes for us. Either we take five vehicles or one giant old school bus.
I had seen the school bus graveyard as we drove home from the last rodeo. Two of my brother-in-laws were excited about the bus idea. They had called and checked on prices and things like air conditioning. They had dreams of removing seats, setting up a movie theater in the back, and a plethora of drivers to switch off with. My mother-in-law was excited too. At last all of her brood would be together. We could play cards, watch movies, and the kids could hang out together the entire trip. I was thinking of getting on board. It was starting to sound fun…like a trip within a trip.
However, dreams of moving seats were shot down as sister-in-laws checked seat belt laws for babies and children in buses. Others mentioned how tired the kids would be of each other. Those without babies talked about having to hear crying the whole way. Then there was the added cost to the vacation, having to go slow and the not so economical fuel for a bus. I began to swing to the other side. The added cost did it for me. The people on the bus side went round and round. Then the bus idea was parked.
We were all going, but we were going in our own vehicle space, by golly. We wanted to be with each other, but folks liked the idea of having a little separate family time during the plenteous driving time. Months rolled by, and we set our trip for the first week of August 2009. I was designated as the itinerary maker. This made me nervous since we have no lack of opinions in our family, but I took the role seriously. I began to talk to people and read about what we wouldn’t want to miss on this Grand Canyon Adventure. I considered Carlsbad Caverns, the Painted Desert, and different hikes in the canyon areas.
Finally, I came up with a schedule which was approved by everyone. We would go to all the places I had read about! We would be rugged! We would take turns cooking! We would never complain! We would hike with our small children! We would have the most adventurous, wonderful trip ever!
To be continued…