What's it like to travel with  my daughters.

                    24 HOUR BRAIN STRAIN        
and oh, so much more:

 My life is really fairly easy. The ladies are quite grown and pretty much take care of themselves. But travel offers new adventures and places.  Sometimes this can prove to be exhausting.  But it also proves to be fun.
I try to remain positive when I travel. It doesn't always work. Like the time my luggage was lost for 6 days on a cruise. Not so positive then. But now I know that it can be done and if it every happens again I will remain positive. Hopefully.  Or the time we went to our AirBnB in Venice and waited in the street for 2 hours for the key. Not so patient then.
With the girls, things can become frustrating if I let them. To begin with there is packing. Oh my, I used to pull my hair out and scream and yell and make everyone's life miserable. Including mine.

Now I figure if they don't pack it, we can always buy it, borrow it or do without it. The older three do pretty good. Sometimes I have to intervene but not often. The youngest is the easiest because I pack for her and there is no argument or problem.
But do you know who is the hardest to pack for?  ME!  I have so much trouble deciding what to pack, that I usually end up taking too much or not enough. Which is somewhat funny, considering I usually wear the same 3 or 4 outfits everyday when I am home.

 Getting on and off planes is always easy. They have that down to a science. We usually bring candy for the flight attendants. That way they will know we are very nice people and not a crazy family. Well that remains to be seen but we drive and prove we are not. When you arrive with 4, clearly disabled young ladies, you always know any kind of reaction is possible.  But we have always been treated with great kindness.
Car rides are perfect. No one talks. Seriously, it's the quietest time in my life. No TV's blasting downstairs, no music or yelling. Just Anna making a few strange noises and life is good in the car. I have been told that when they ride with someone else they talk nonstop. That's okay with me because I like quiet.

Traveling to foreign countries is interesting. We usually do some research and history lessons on the places we will go. It makes it fun for them. When they get there, they know what it's all about. They are quite funny when we travel abroad. They relate everything they see to movies. They will say, oh, I saw that in such and such a movie. Or, this is where it happened, in some movie they have seen. Whatever works.  Right!  We even learn a few words, as a courtesy to the country we are going to visit.  They knew hello, please and thank you. Not always pronounced perfectly, but hey, neither do I. It's the effort to be polite that matters to the people you meet in these countries.
 We are also careful in how we dress. The girls haven't been to the middle east but I have. Please be respectful when you go there and observe their custom of modesty.  I have heard stories about women who didn't. Nothing serious but not an experience I would want.

We also know what to wear in certain situations. The Vatican has strict dress codes. I was on a tour once where women were frantically looking for jackets or scarves to tie on their waist or cover their bare shoulders. So plan ahead. We do and the girls love this planning.
 The 24 hour brain strain, comes from always be on the mental watch. We usually try and do cruises because it gives them so much freedom. But even then, I am checking on them in the dance events and other public venues. They are smart but also very trusting. If I have to stay up until 2 or later in the morning, so they can have fun, then I do that. The youngest has now started hanging out with the other 3 so that even causes more brain strain. It's not hard, but mentally exhausting at times.
Maddening and frustration sometimes go hand in hand. I have one daughter that can turn an attitude quicker than I can blink. I usually don't handle these very well because it is a constant strain between us. But we have come to an understanding for trips. Because she can control these attitudes, she knows a turn for the worse could mean no trip or a trip that is not so fun until the attitude changes. It's much better than it use to be so I am grateful for that.

Mostly fun. I love to travel. For me, travel means to breath. It is basically the only thing I enjoy doing. Right now, I am stuck at home until I can figure out a way to financially be able to travel again. Not so fun. But a season of life.

I was thinking of going somewhere on my birthday in Feb. I am turning 70!!!! UGH. Better than dead though. I was going to go somewhere by myself, to mourn and to have fun in the midst of mourning old age. But then I decided, how boring. Traveling with the girls is always an adventure. It promises lots of attention, lots of eventful happenings and entertainment. Why would I go alone. So here's to figuring out where to go and how to make it happen.

Travel on dear friends. In my book, it's the only way to breath.