the first time i remember traveling with my family--in a plane instead of a car--i was nine years old and we were going to disneyworld. i still have the journal i kept during the trip, a substitute of sorts for the week of school i'd miss. i imagined myself a southern belle under the willows of cypress gardens, and i remember searching for herb at the burger king on cocoa beach. epcot got me hooked in a way that disneyworld couldn't, reeling me in to other worlds that made the long lines worth the wait. i loved that vacation, and i wouldn't have changed a thing, though the airplane rides never equaled our road trips.
looking out those minivan windows, i imagined myself running at the very same speed, through the grass or the trees that i saw as we passed. sometimes i'd tell myself that the wind waving branches was meant for us alone, like a wish for godspeed that i couldn't hear, but knew. i'd often fall asleep, the delicious deep kind that only an engine in motion can give. and tim and i would have sibling spats, a rite of passage not possible on a plane.
patricio and i are flying tomorrow--our second trip together in the hands of airline pilots. it's so much quicker by air than by land, and yet another little chance for patricio to try slaying the fear-of-heights dragon that's been pestering him for years. we won't be vacationing in florida this time, but in some places most familiar to me when i had just turned nine. we'll be flying toward my family, some good friends, and a wonderful wedding; toward adventures in making pottery and my parents' brand new garden.
i love this trip already, and would only change one thing: moving mexico's election date to the day after we return. but among the things we'll miss on this trip as we fly instead of drive, one unforgettable highway sight stands out above the rest. they're the chassis drivers--if that's what they're really called--and they have road-warriored their way into my personal road trip folklore.
transporting legions of semi-truck chassis, these interstate stuntmen do a lot to earn their pay. attaching a wooden box to the chassis's steering end, they perch themselves on top, cover their heads with ski caps and goggles, and drive that open-air chassis down mexico's long highways. i'd never seen anything like it until we road-tripped last november: a mixed-breed crossing of motorcyclist, guerrilla fighter, and a daredevil delivery man.
it isn't spanish moss romantic like the grounds of cypress gardens. nor is it as spectacular as the elk at vermejo park ranch. but it was something that reminded me of how fun a vacation can be. now we get to be on one for two and a half weeks. and so will this blog, until the 10th of july.