Tuesday, August 08, 2006
We're on the Road to Nowhere
Despite the fact that we had nowhere to go, and despite $3.15 a gallon gas prices, the PT Clan decided to take a road trip anyway. I think after the past few years of driving in the van, staying in hotels, and eating out at Kosher restaurants across the country, we just got used to taking a summer trip. So we took a mini-road trip this year (big hint there).
This year was different in that the ultimate destination was not my folks' house. We had gone each year to visit my dad, who was too sick to fly out to Wisconsin (and didn't have much inclination to do so even before he got sick). So now that he has passed on, we don't have a good reason to drive there, and although I would love to see my mom, she is clearly not ready to have the eight of us descend upon her house at this time.
So, what to do? We basically took out a map and asked, what's the most interesting place we can go in a one-day's-drive radius from Milwaukee? That has kosher food.
Nothing real interesting in these parts that we haven't already seen. We go to Chicago all the time, not really much of a trip there. And we've gone East and seen Indiana and Ohio and there's nothing really compelling out there for us. So we went West (another big clue).
And aside from the requirement that there be Kosher restaurants, I added a new one this year: I need a minyan. I need to say Kaddish. I haven't missed a single minyan since the funeral.
So the trip was a little more interesting in that way. See, in prior years, our only contact with the Jewish community on the road was the restaurant, and you don't really interact with people there. This year, I had to get in touch with the rabbi, go to the shul, talk to people, etc, and I actually do feel like I've gotten to know the community a little, even in the 3 short days that we were there.
The only problem with this is that the "vacation" aspect of the vacation was dampened considerably for me and the boys, since you really don't feel like you're on holiday when you still have to wake up at 5 am to take a drive to the Jewish neighborhood for shachris. And then drive back for mincha/maariv later in the night. With the hotel being 25 minutes away, that added up to about 2 extra hours of driving just to and from shul. A little draining.
But hey, who hasn't come home from a vacation feeling like they need a vacation to recover?