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The joy of napping

Las Vegas is behind us now, along with the craziness of the Strip and all the hubbub of the business we had to do there. Finally, Eleanor and I are off on our own for a week, cruising America as we head east for the summer.

This is the first time we've been on the road without our daughter for over two years. It's a strange feeling. I keep wanting to look in the mirror and see her in her car seat, but for once the seat is empty and there's just the two of us on the highway. No longer Mom & Dad, we are once again Rich and Eleanor.

So our avowed purpose along the way is to enjoy all those little pleasures that are often denied to parents on the road: fast starts in the morning, long quiet stretches in the car, movies with ratings above PG in the evening, uninterrupted adult conversation, and naps.

Yes, naps. I used to have a perfected technique for power-napping just a few minutes at a time, but with an active child around I rarely get to exercise it. When the car stops, she wants to get out and run around, and there's no chance for Dad to take a quick snooze even though we have a rolling bedroom in tow.

Ah, but now the opportunity arises. The past week in Las Vegas has been hectic and frankly we haven't gotten as much sleep as we would like. So today we celebrated the end of the week with brunch (with Brett and our friend Kelly) at Caesar's, then hitched up the Airstream and towed it about 200 miles north into Utah ... and then we took a nap.

It turns out that having an Airstream trailer behind you is the perfect arrangement for naps. Late in the afternoon when the conversation dried up, my eyes got weary, and Eleanor's head was dipping toward her chest, we pulled over into a truck stop somewhere in southern Utah and climbed into our extremely inviting foam bed.

You wouldn't think a truck stop was the perfect place for a nap, but it can be. This particular spot was surrounded by magnificent mountain ranges, and the sun was just beginning to cast a golden glow all around. There were only a few trucks in the lot, and we were able to find a quiet corner. Being up around 5,000 feet, the air had cooled from the mid-90s of Las Vegas to a comfortable upper 70s. We turned on the vent fan for a soothing backround hum and gentle breeze, cracked a few windows to let in the fresh air from the surround meadows, and settled in for 90 minutes.

This may not seem like much, but this was a perfect, sublime, experience for us. No one there to wake us, no schedule to keep, just a spur-of-the-moment choice to lie down and enjoy the familiar peace of home ... somewhere in Utah.

After the nap, refreshed but still sleepy, we cracked open a Starbucks frappucino, poured it over ice from the freezer, and picked up the trail again along I-15. Having crossed a time zone, we find ourselves reporting to you from somewhere near Provo UT well past 11 p.m. local time. For a day in the car, it has been very nice and I'm looking forward to another schedule-less day on Sunday.


That sounds like a PERFECT afternoon!! Naps rock.

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