PJ, aka my mom, was my travel partner on my little jaunt to New Orleans. She is, in fact, the reason I went. She called to say she’d booked a double queen room for the conference she’d be attending and why didn’t I just get a ticket and join her … so I did.
I haven’t traveled much with my mother as an adult. We had many, many family vacations, sure, but as a grown up I’ve only had two trips with her before this one. The first was a whole-family vacation to Ireland ten years ago. And it was wonderful, but it was also a little overwhelming — so much family, so much to do, so little down time. And then last year she came to Jamaica with me for a week. That trip was heavenly. Not only because going to Jamaica is always soul-filling for me, but because it was the first time I’d gotten to just hang out with my mother and relax in that way. To be in that beautiful setting, to have nothing to do but whatever we wanted to do, to have gorgeous weather and lovely people around us and lots. of. time. As I said: heavenly.
I knew the New Orleans trip wouldn’t be the same. She was there to work, after all. But we had every evening and morning together, and it was great. My mother, for someone who is actually quite finicky and particular, is also easy going. I’m not surprised to know this because I’ve known her a long time and all, but it bears saying as it makes her an easy person to travel with. As long as she’s treated well and folks don’t try to cheat her, she’s up for anything.
We didn’t do anything crazy in our few days, mostly just walked around and found places to eat. But like our Jamaica trip, it was the hanging out that had value (of course, the amazing jambalaya, fried chicken livers with pepper jelly, shrimp creole and chicken andouille gumbo had plenty of value, too). Such a luxury: night after night of talking and talking and talking with my mom. Again with the”heavenly.”
Her job, though responsible for bringing us to town, really got in the way. There were many things I would have wanted to do with her that were daytime-only things. And, too, staying out till all hours wasn’t an option when she had to be at the conference first thing in the morning.
And that tells me we need to look at planning more travel together, real vacations rather than me tagging along on her business trip. Why did it take me so long to realize how nice it would be to travel with my mom? I’m traditionally a solo traveler, and that’s surely part of it. I don’t really think about traveling with anyone. And I’m not saying I never want to travel alone again. Of course not, but how silly that this wouldn’t have occurred to me. I can see us going anywhere.
Stay tuned. This post might turn out to be “Travels with PJ, Part I” …