I have an aunt in the LA area who decorates every inch of the interior of her house for Christmas. Or so my mom says. I haven’t seen it (although I’m perversely curious). My aunt was extolling her delight to my mom and they mused about the possibility of my mom coming over after Christmas for a few days. My mom mentioned it to me. And did I have any interest in going? Hmmmmm. Hadn’t I just vowed to moderate my fun-travel quotient? (See Breaking the Fun Barrier post) Yet I’m intrigued by the idea of seeing cousins I haven’t seen in long time and kids of cousins I’ve never seen. And I realized that breaking the fun barrier over Thanksgiving was more about over-spent. If this trip was going to happen, it would have to be on a bargain-basement budget. Staying with relatives is as cheap as it gets. So far so good.
I checked flights. Way too expensive to buy and too many frequent flyer miles for such a short trip. I contemplate: what about driving (“It’s only eight hours” I hear myself saying). Uh-oh. I feel another road trip coming on. I’m always lured by the road. And it is not lost on me how great it is to be able to take little trips with a minimum of planning and on whatever days suit me. I get a “look-at-me (although no one is looking) - aren’t - I - lucky pleasure jolt … which dims memories of the downside of long hours in the car. Nevertheless, the thought of eight hours of interstate highway driving did seem a bit much. Yuma is a good half-way point and last time I was there (a decade ago - as the gateway to a somewhat ill-fated kayak trip down the lower Colorado) I discovered it had a fab retro downtown. I jump on the net to see what the cheap motel offerings might be and I discover: the Yuma Cabana Motel And completely affordable. Done. This trip is a go! They had me at the neon sign.
We’re not Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand, so this is going to be closer to Driving Miss Daisy than Guilt Trip. Except my mother will be riding shotgun. All the way to Kristmas Kitsch and LA-LA land.