We've pretty much forgone restaurants on this tour. They used to be as much a part of touring as the baby bus. Our days were marked by the rhythm of the road, breakfast at an eggy place, the road, lunch at a lunchy place, destination.
That was back when we had one child. And she was just a little baby.
As with so many givens in our life, we've had to make adjustments. These days restaurants are rushed and chaotic and expensive and confining and generally just not worth it. So we stop where we can, when we need to. Rest stops are good. They have tables for sitting at, grass for picking flowers and kicking balls, cleanish bathrooms -- but they can be spaced far apart. And sometimes you have to stop. Right now.
So we make due. We find some tables outside of a grocery store. We even sneak food into a McDonald's (after buying Lisel a happy meal. I admit it! Please don't take my hippy parent card away!)
And we're all the happier for it. It's leg stretch, sun on your back time. Laugh hysterically while trying to shoo the ever increasing number of bees away from your table time. It's tiny adventure time.
This is not ever what I thought going on the road would be like. For so many years it was an enclosed experience -- from the front lounge to the bunk to the back stage. I'd cross 5 states and never see anything more than the television and the guys and the inside of my eyelids. When I would go adventuring, it would be to set out and find a good local eatery, though I'd take a Denny's if that's all that was around.
And somehow we've now totally transformed this road life into an epic family vacation, more like the trips I used to take with my grandparents in their travel trailer rather than the way I used to roll with the band. And if you had described this life to me back when I was on the bus, I probably/definitely would have poo-pooed it. Because driving across the country without a place to lay down at all times and a flat screen tv to zone out to would have seemed too hard. And trading a bacon and egg breakfast at a diner near the hotel for yogurt and granola at a scenic overlook would have seemed unthinkable. And being on call all the time, playing with and taking care of wee ones instead of resting would have seemed like just too much work.
But I really do love this life we're making out here.
Sure, I get totally exhausted and sleep deprived. But I stayed at home and guess what...Sometimes I got totally exhausted and sleep deprived! I think it's just part of the deal right now. But at least out I'm with my family (and one of my best friends) going on adventures and playing music. This, to me, is the triumvirate of good. Family, adventures and music.
That's the life.