Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Holiday Road

A quick glance at my calendar for the next few months has confirmed that we will be handily contributing to the tally of road warriors this summer.

After what has seemed like months of staying perfectly still, we have three upcoming trips: to Jeff's parents' in Pittsburgh, to the beach (immediately following Jeff's brother's wedding), and to my sister's in Boston. Now that the kids are a little older, I am no longer overcome by dread over the thought of a trip. I think that both the drives and the sleeping once we arrive will proceed more smoothly than in past trips.

(I have probably just doomed these trips irrevocably.)

I'm especially looking forward to the visit to my sister's house. To give us some perspective on how long it has been since we ventured to New England, I told Jeff that the last time we were there, my nephew had bunny wallpaper in his bedroom. He's 8 now.

Until relatively recently, visits to my sister's had been a summer staple since she moved to Massachusetts 22 years ago. I have scores of fond memories of those trips, and I'm eager for Sean and Allie to begin their own memory trove.

One aspect of those visits we won't be able to re-create is our annual trip to Provincetown. My sister and her partner owned an adorable house in P-Town for several years, and they were incredibly generous in letting friends and family stay there throughout the summer.

Have you ever been to a place that literally restored your soul? That's Provincetown for me (and Jeff too, I think). There isn't just one aspect that I can single out. It's more the study in contrasts -- how you can dip into the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street at one moment and then lose yourself in a solitary walk along the dunes the next; how you can laze about on a calm, clean beach (so different from Tacky Shore Town-a-rama in my state), see the sun set over the ocean (the only place on the East Coast where that's possible), and mingle with drag queens and families during a single walk.

Just being able to visit a place where same-sex couples can freely demonstrate their affection without fear of ridicule makes me feel that all is not lost in this world.

My sister and her partner sold the house a few years ago. Even though it will be a little more complicated than before, I do hope to take the kids to Provincetown some day.

Oh, dear. I don't want to end this on a glum note -- I really am downright cheerful about all the traveling ahead of us. And if anticipation and reality don't intertwine as neatly as I'd hoped, well, at least the kids are young enough that they won't remember the details!