The weird thing about this trip is that it was actually my idea. One evening last year, while Katie was deciding where to go to college, we were telling her that we wanted her to stay local. Her response to our advice was this dramatic sobbing thing, the back of her hand on her forehead, heaving gasps emanating from her chest. “I can’t stay here for college! I just can’t!” and more such drama. So eventually she stormed into her room, and we remained in the kitchen sipping wine. I was cooking dinner, Dana watching me cook dinner.
The man does not cook. It’s OK, I’m good with that.
Whenever Katie does the drama hand thing, I get upset. I often yell back, and sometimes I cry, and sometimes I chase her into her room shouting obscenities. I’ve even been known to slam a few doors. Dana is much calmer with her, so that night, after the where-to-go-to-college dramatic presentation, I followed his lead and calmly sipped my wine.
Did I mention that I love sipping wine?
And we discussed where we had gone to college. Not that we hadn’t already talked about college on many occasions. We’d laughed about our bad roommates, roach infested apartments, drinking mistakes, 8 AM calculus classes, and all the rest of what college was, and still is, about. But when our kids started going to college, we began to take a new look at our own experiences. So, when deciding if we were right telling Katie to go to college close to home, we agreed that my college in Albany, about 3 hours from my home in Brooklyn, was a preferable situation to Dana’s college in Boston, about 2000 miles from his home in Florida.
“You know,” he said, “whenever I went home to see my mom, I wanted to ride my bike but I never did. I took the bus a few times, or the train. Once I got a ride with someone. But I never rode my bike down to Florida, and I really wish I had.”
And then the wine replied “So why don’t we do it now?”
And that was that. It was settled. I came up with the 57 idea, I came up with waiting until Katie’s sophomore year, by which time we assumed Bill would be out of college. Which he won’t be, but that’s another story. And Dana took the idea and ran with it. Or pedaled with it, or whatever. I have created a monster. A pannier packing, camera weighing monster.