Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship With Rest Areas

I never liked stopping at rest areas. They all seem like something out of a bad movie to me. I remember riding home from my Grandparents with some lady that everyone knew except me. We stopped and had a picnic at a rest area. It was weird.

Now that we have five kids, I still hate them.

Rest areas:

look like they were built around the 1950's. But I admit there are a lot of nice new ones too.

seem to be a haven for panhandlers. I do not know what to do about that.

have people walking their pets outside the designated "Pet Exercise" area where I intend to exercise my children.

are home to many, many nasty little creatures that want you to share your food with them.

have cigarette butts everywhere.



And yet, I must admit, I love them. A lot.

We started using them when I was nursing babies. Every year, on every cross-country trip I was nursing someone. I could nurse the baby while Mike fed, watered and exercised the rest of the kids. It seemed more relaxing than a fast food stop. That is, if there is anything relaxing about a cross-country road trip and a bunch of little kids.

Rest areas are:

clean.

have plenty of stalls for all four of my daughters and I to go at the same time without causing a twenty minute line-up outside of a one toilet restaurant bathroom. This was our first big trip with everyone potty trained so I spent plenty of time on bathroom detail. I don't need women coming in and out 15 times to see if we are done yet and giving me a desperate look. All while I'm obviously busy on my iPod.

have playgrounds. We stopped at a McDonald's playland that was beyond disgusting! I made everyone get out and bathe in hand sanitizer.

have picnic tables. Which is great because I just realized we've been to every stinkin' McDonald's between here and Wyoming. The kids will even say, "Oh, I remember this one. We've been here before."

green space for running kids that have been pent up in the car all day.

don't selling anything. Except Diet Coke vending machines. We don't really need much at gas stations except gas because we pack a big cooler full of food and keep it right between the front seats, Griswold style. That means no whining for candy or gum. Just what's in the cooler baby.

free coloring books.

and get this... FREE WI-FI! It makes driving through Iowa a pleasure!

So until we can install a bathroom, treadmill and wi-fi in our van, we'll be loving the rest areas.

1 comment:

SahlbergFamily said...

Huh? Free coloring books and WiFi? And all I ever cared about was the free bathrooms! As one with a very small bladder I know every rest stop between here and CO! ha