Thursday, August 01, 2013

Large family travelling

While this past vacation was a fairly short trip, both in time gone and distance from home, there are a few things I noticed about this time around that I hadn't really been aware of before. We've been a conspicuous family for a while now. We are unusually large in number and the varied ethnicities coupled with some special needs and look-alike twins make us noticeable. Since our house guest and her children were travelling with us this time we were particularly noticeable. I'm used to fielding questions and comments from interested by-standers and usually these are positive, or at least neutral. Rarely have we ever had anything negative actually said to us. (And I'm ready, I tell you, if that ever happens. I have stock-piled responses in my head if I ever need them. Thankfully I haven't.)

Anyway, my short list of ways it's different travelling with many people.

  • You can't get away with telling the hostess at the restaurant, "Only 14," just like the person ahead of you who said, "Only 1." Even if you put the 'only' in front of it, 14 will always make the hostess panic.
  • When you travel with a large group, you always get to meet the manager. Every time we've all gone out to a restaurant recently (and it isn't that many times), it seems that the manager either takes over taking care of our table, or at least comes over and introduces himself and thanks us for coming.
  • You find out the number of children anyone who deals with you has. The manager at the last restaurant we stopped at had five children and I think the waitress at the first one we stopped at had five as well. I don't know what it is, but when I'm out with my children, people feel compelled to share this information with me.
  • Once you reach a certain number of people and ethnicities, it seems people stop assuming you are a family and just call you a group. As in, "My, you are a large group here today," which the clerk at the children's museum commented to us. And because our family make-up at the moment is a little complicated to explain, I just went with it.
  • Bathroom stops can take a while.
  • If you are travelling in a 15-passenger van and every seat is filled, including the use of 5 car seats, the best place to sit is the front. I have been informed by those sitting in the back row, that there is no way that we can ever travel farther than we did with that many people inside. There was a bit of grousing. It's a good thing that the back row also held those who take motion sickness medicine and are thus rendered unconscious for most of the trip.
So, now, I must go back to the laundry and the blueberries. Plus our neighbors gave us a bag of cucumbers, so B. and I may be making bread and butter pickles today as well.

1 comment:

Jennifer P said...

Perfect. Except my van is "only" a 12 with 4 carseats. But I got the group thing down. Love this post.

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