Out on the road, Eddie and I have learned a few lessons about the importance of really knowing and understanding each other and being respectful of our different ‘travel styles’.
Before starting to really travel together, Eddie looked at a few of the itineraries that I had done before we were married and admitted to me that he wasn’t sure he wanted us to keep that same kind of pace.
Not knowing if I’d ever be back to any given destination, I have always set out to do and see as much as possible on a trip. If the need arises to just get away, relax and take in some beautiful scenery, then I’d rather save the time and money and stay near home – because….well…… we live in Colorado!
I have had to learn, however that not everyone thinks like I do, or shares my travel style!
In an effort to be respectful to that fact, when Eddie and I headed to Grand Junction in our original Little Guy trailer, I planned our first day with only a short hike to the Mica Mine (which is SO cool) and a visit to the Colorado Monument.
By 2:30 pm we were finished for the day and I was proud of the ‘down time’ that I had worked into our day. Our ‘down time’ lasted about 22 ½ minutes before Eddie asked, “So…was there anything else you had wanted to do today?” Eddie met with the scowl on my face and then proceeded to take a walk around the campground. Before supper he had met nearly every other camper parked anywhere near us and had going a nice, roaring fire (in the 90° afternoon sun).
What did I learn? I learned that Eddie doesn’t need ‘down time’, he needs ‘wiggle room’! Wiggle room is time built into our day that allows for meeting new people, having drinks or a meal with new friends on the road and time to hear other people’s stories!
It also means time for unexpected events in our day……
Denver is kind of an ‘oasis in the desert’, so the first and last days of any road trip for us, are rather long (and sometimes dull) as we make our way along very open and endless stretches of highway. I’m always looking for something to see along the way.
On one September trip heading back from Virginia, we found ourselves in the beautiful state of Kentucky, and I was not ready to be done with our trip. I realized that we were driving (nearly) right through Louisville, and suggested that we should stop there, have lunch and take a quick peek at the Churchill Downs Racetrack. Because Eddie just loves these little jaunts through unfamiliar towns pulling a trailer and not knowing if parking (and parking fees!) are going to be more hassle than the side trip is worth, and knowing that that part of the excursion is his problem, he stared forward and turned up the music. I didn’t give up and we found ourselves in the very large parking lot of Churchill Downs – home of the Kentucky Derby!
For $3 each, we were allowed in to just take a few pictures and see the place. We roamed around a little, took a few pictures, watched a time trial, admired a few of the many beautiful horses and proceeded then to find somewhere to eat. Deciding against the $50 a plate buffet, we made our way to the snack bar for a sandwich. We got talking with Angela, who was working the counter, and expressed a desire to come back for more concentrated time. Before she finished with our order, she looked around, took off her apron and asked, “do you guys have a little time?”
We did get some lunch, but not before we spent the next 90 minutes getting a history lesson and guided tour of the Churchill Downs that even included a VIP trip into the ‘Millionaires Row’ (where we would never have been allowed to go unaccompanied). We even got an ‘off limits to the public’ view from the roof to see the famous spires up close. What an incredible, wonderful and unexpected experience! When Angela finished off our little random tour with a set of engraved souvenir glasses, we knew that we’d never again schedule a day without ‘Wiggle Room’!