Monday, July 13, 2009

Toll Charge Ahead

When heading out on a trip, it's usually a good idea to have some cash in your wallet.

I know what you're thinking. Annie, we come to read your blog because you promise tips to help us travel with kids better and this is what you give us? That may seem like an axiomatic statement but I frequently leave home with ZERO cash in my wallet. Case in point, our recent Philadelphia jaunt.

I had thought earlier in the week that it would be a good idea to go ahead and withdraw some cash for our trip since we use a local credit union and chances were good that we would need cash at some point during the weekend even though most places take credit/debit cards now. (And paying ATM fees makes Will's head spin around faster than Linda Blair's.) The thought flitted out of my brain and as we launched on our trip that early Thursday morning I comforted myself by remembering that my dear husband Will almost always has a few dollars in his pocket. So with no worries, we zipped out of town.

Hours later, when we zoomed past the "Toll-2 miles" sign on I95, I suddenly turned to Will and said "You have cash, right? Right?". To my dismay, his answer was NO! We quickly polled the kids riding in the back seat and between the four of them, we were able to come up with enough change to pay the $2 toll. I'm still wondering what would have happened if we got up to the toll booth and didn't have the cash.
Would they send a bill?
Let me write a check?
Make us stay in Maryland forever?
Who knows?

But we did find the nearest exit and located an ATM because there were even more tolls ahead before we reached Philadelphia. I should have listened when Jack warned in his proper English accent "Toll Charge Ahead" but I was too busy updating my Facebook status to make sure that everyone knew we were leaving on vacation...not because I wanted to rub it in or anything...because really, who besides me thinks that being in a minivan with four kids is anything close to a vacation?

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