When it comes to arriving at a vacation destination, there are two types of individuals.
The first type is the Beeliner. Beeliners are the people who are all DISNEYLAND OR BUST, BABY! And by this I mean they do not stop for anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Food? Food is overrated. Potty breaks? Potty breaks are for wimps. That deer you accidentally hit on 1-15? Why should one deer’s bad judgment call slow you down?
I have a brother-in-law who is a Beeliner on steroids. Dude just hates, hates, hates to stop when he’s forced to make that dreary drive from Texas to Utah, so this is what he does. He puts a gallon of ice cream between his legs and holds a single Benjamin outside the window, which (I can totally promise you) keeps him wide awake until he reaches the Promised Land.
The second type of traveler is the Meanderer. Meanderers are the people who are all ENJOY THE JOURNEY, BABY! Only they would never say that in capital letters because they are far too chill. Only uptight Beeliners speak in capital letters. Driving from Texas to Utah with a gallon of ice cream between your legs will do that to a person, I’ve noticed.
By contrast, Meanderers are mellow hey-let’s-be-in-the-moment-because-the-moment-is-so-awesome people. “See that historical marker there by the side of the road?” they ask. “Why don’t we pull over and read about how fur trappers and mountain men used to gather here so they could all get their rendezvous on.” Or, ”I’ve heard about a café off the beaten path that specializes in pinto bean pie,” they say. “Should we make a little detour and try a piece?” Which causes the Beeliner in the backseat to go, “Wait. You want to make this trip two hours longer because somebody in America got mixed up and made a pie out of beans?”
Which brings us to the following truism: Whenever you take a road trip, you will no doubt have both types in one car. That’s where the art of compromise comes into play. (Definition of “the art of compromise”: a negotiation that guarantees everybody will be equally dissatisfied.)
Anyway, I tend to be a Beeliner. If I had been a pioneer, you can totally bet I would have booked it into the Salt Lake Valley on the 23rd of July and I would have been at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, taunting all the other pioneers who straggled into town on the 24th by calling them wimps, as well as shouting, “Yo, Brothers and Sisters! IN YOUR FACE!”
Lately, however, I’ve been asking myself what that rush has been all about. Why am I always in such a hurry to get someplace — even when that someplace isn’t so great? Like Disneyland, for example. I used to love, love, love Disneyland, but the last time I went there I started resenting the obscene cost of everything associated with D-Town. Seriously, Mickey Mouse, how much money do you and your little lady friend, Minnie, really need to keep up with the McDucks?
But that’s not the point.
The point is that I’m beginning to think slowing down might not be such a bad idea after all. Why not stop at a few spots along the way? Have a nice piece of weird pie. Read a marker or two. Dodge a deer. Go shopping at an outlet mall (except that I hate to shop, so never mind).
Throw that gallon of ice cream away and see what happens next.
Ann Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.