Friday, April 8, 2011

I threw up on Grandpa in the Verdon Canyon

A few weeks ago, we decided to take a day trip to the Verdon Canyon with Grandma Pat and Grandpa Ron. We'd been told that it rivals the Grand Canyon in Arizona, so we thought it was worth the trip despite the logistics headaches. So with a rented station wagon jammed full with 4 adults and two kids in car seats, and me singing the theme song from European vacation, off we went on a 3 hour drive to the Verdon Canyon.

The trip started off relatively well, with only the odd grumble about hungry tummies and squished legs, but slowly Chloe got crankier and crankier. We wound our way through beautiful mountains and valleys and along beautiful cliffs until, finally, we were entering the canyon. By this time, Julie and Pat were not feeling so well, so I was taking the curves as carefully and gently as I could. At the same time, Chloe was complaining constantly in this half moan / half cry that usually means she's really tired and can't cope. We started to put it together that Chloe might be feeling the same car sickness as Mom and Grandma (apparently it runs in the family). We asked Chloe if she felt sick, but got no response. I started to look for a place to pull over, but on a narrow road full of twists and turns, this is not an easy feat.

Suddenly, we heard it, that dreaded noise we all hate to hear, that can only be one thing. Chloe had started to vomit - just a little at first. Ron was sitting beside her and Pat quickly passed him a towel to protect himself and the seat. But when she started to throw up again, instead of getting the towel in front of her, Ron reacted by pulling the towel back with a "oh, oh no" and the rest is the making of great family trip stories.

Vomit was everywhere; all over Chloe, some on Ron, a little on Pat and all over the seats. The stench was foul, and the rest of us had a difficult time keeping our own cookies down. I managed to pull over on a narrow patch of grass and everyone quickly vacated the car.  Julie lowered her head and said, "Lets just go home. We have no change of clothes for Chloe, the car stinks so much we can barely ride in it, and Dad's been thrown up on too." I looked up, imagining our 6 hours of driving being all for naught, and the spirit of Clark Griswald suddenly came to my aid.

"We are not going home now! We're already here. Let's put a coat on Chloe (she was sitting shirtless on the side of the road playing happily with rocks), use the towel to clean everything up as best we can, and drive with the windows down. We came to see the canyon. We're here, so let's have a good time."

So off we went to see the canyon. At first, we cringed at every stop sign, as the fumes would once again surround us. But eventually, the puke dried, the smell dissipated, and smiles returned to our faces. After all, we were on a great family adventure. No little bit of car sickness was going to stop us.

The canyon was gorgeous and so was the weather that day. We had a wonderful time. And we'll always remember having to explain to the waiter at the restaurant why Chloe was the only one on the patio wearing a coat zipped to the collar on a warm and sunny day.  Ah, memories...


  1. I love it! Clark would be so proud!

  2. Ah...the memories! Yes, indeed, Clark would be proud. Kirsti

  3. My Mom just reminded me of a quote from the original vacation which fits beautifully:

    I think you're all fucked in the head! We're ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something, this is no longer a vacation, it's a quest. It's a quest for fun, I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun, we're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles!

  4. The famous Clark Griswald rants! Too funny! (I love the Christmas Vacation one as well) Kirsti