Adventures in Iceland

By the time you read this, we will be in Iceland, probably lost somewhere in a volcanic field. I will have finished presenting my paper at my conference and hopefully I did not faint or otherwise embarrass myself. Prior to this however, our family embarked on our annual trip to the Artswells Festival of All Things Art in Wells, BC. Like all road trips that should be planned well in advance so packing is easy, we do things the most complicated, last minute and disorganized as possible so we can maximize the stress in our lives. Mission complete.

It started first thing in the morning. I gently asked my kids to get ready and pack their bags for the trip. Our daughter spent about 40 minutes walking around the house naked telling me how good she was at packing and getting dressed at the same time. She packed three plastic bags with an assortment of clothes, toys and extraneous items but managed to forget her pajamas. My son threw some clothes in the suitcase and immediately began negotiating how many toys he could bring. My daughter took offense and told me I ruin everything all the time because I put her clothes in the suitcase, rather than leaving them in her plastic bag. . I ruined everything again for my daughter by not allowing her to use all the scotch tape in the house so she could tape dental floss to the bottom end of a felt. She had made a kite out of the floss and a plastic bag but she needed a tail for the felt. Approximately forty hours later, we managed to pack up and leave the house.

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We stopped at the grocery store and my husband ran in to grab snacks for the road. Eventually, after having to run back home to grab shorts for everyone because it was not raining but blisteringly hot, we managed to get on the road. My son, who never stops eating, immediately asked for a snack because he was starving and we hadn't even made it to Mr. PG yet. I open the snack bag and pull out cheese strings that my husband bought only to discover they are lactose-free cheese strings. Earlier in the week, he had also mistakenly purchased lactose-free yogurt. He was not happy.

According to my husband, people who are lactose-free should just be okay with it instead of yearning for the forbidden dairy that doesn't quite taste right. The lactose-intolerant should just avoid the things that are making them sick instead of passing off garbage as lactose-free dairy. No one wants lactose-free cheese strings. No one wants lactose-free yogurt, ice cream, milk or chocolate. It tastes like a mistake. There was a Buddhist restaurant in Victoria when we lived there that similarly offended my husband because it served items like "mock chicken" and "mock pork." It was tofu dressed up as meat that still tasted like tofu. Just do you, Tofu, just do you. Don't pretend to be meat. Be yourself. Be tofu.

Later in the trip, we also discover that instead of chocolate-covered almonds, he accidentally bought chocolate-covered peanuts. I prefer chocolate raisins myself but my husband really like chocolate almonds. After ranting about the horror of eating peanuts instead of almonds, he resorted to sucking the chocolate off the nuts and spitting them out the van window like Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail to find the way home.

After eating thirty pounds of food, we make it to Hixon where we have to stop and eat lunch. We get on the road again eventually and our daughter asks quite seriously, "mom, can you punish your parents?" Everyday my sweetie, everyday. The festival was amazing like always and I can't wait to get on the road again for next year.

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