When it comes to travel, the Ellis family wrote the book. On what not to do.
That romantic anniversary trip to France? Missed the flight to Paris.
Our honeymoon? Stranded in a Spanish train station for nearly eight hours before a policeman kicked us out. We left the station with no place to spend the night and no way to reach the person who was scheduled to pick us up.
Lost luggage. Misplaced passports. Flat tires. Stolen credit cards. Are you seeing a theme?
Ironically, you’d think any of these things might discourage us from travel. It hasn’t. Instead, we’ve learned to adapt and are masters at rolling with it. We move from Plan A to Plan Z in lightening speed. The kids? They expect nothing less. They too can roll with the best of them.
All of this is a long lead-up to explain that when the Ellis family camps, expect something to do awry. That the weatherman forecasts unseasonably cold overnight temperatures for the fall Cub Scout camping trip comes as no surprise to us. Why would we expect anything else in a week previously filled with sunny and warm skies?
After an afternoon of canoeing, exploring, campfire cooking and s’mores and skits around the evening fire, I’m ready to collapse. I enjoy camping with the Scouts but I wouldn’t claim it’s restful. Five of us bent into a tent ensure that Chaz and/or I awake with a stiff neck or sore back that takes well into Wednesday to heal.
“Coffee,” I growl when Chaz zips open the tent to check on the fire. “Strong.”
Chaz crawls out of our tent with promises of a steaming cup. He returns within minutes with the bad news. “No coffee,” he says.
For parents who’ve lived through a Cub Scout camping trip, you understand that morning coffee is essential for survival. We don’t only want it. We need it.
It takes only minutes for Chaz to make a plan. “I’m going to find some.”
Within the hour, the hero returns to cheers of gratitude and relief and carrying 40 cups of McDonalds coffee. I like my Plan B with cream and sugar.