Mike, Echo, and I have a road trip tradition; before we leave town, we go to Zanotto’s. They have a ridiculous, awesome sandwich menu, and we make our little checklists and pick out a dozen ingredients. The person behind the counter always asks us three times if we’re sure (I guess our sandwiches are strange.) When the sandwiches are ready we pile back into our car and go.
It’s not sandwich time yet, though — it’s usually early in the morning, with Mike and I sipping coffees and Echo drinking a milk and pointing out little red cars or big yellow trucks. The sandwiches, wrapped in white paper, get shoved away securely to the absolutely farthest point of the dashboard, where they will surely soak up any and all available highway sunshine, keeping the meat warm and the cheese melty.
When we get hungry after a couple hours on the road, we rip into the sandwiches and pass around the warm, messy goodness. Echo likes bread and mustard, I get double or triple meat on everything, and Mike always picks fresh avocado. We make a big yummy mess out of the car and arrive wherever we’re going covered in crumbs and happy. And I don’t think, at this point, that I would know how to start a road trip without the sandwiches — it has nothing to do with ingredients between bread and everything to do with Echo, Mike, and the joy and security that comes from having these happy little rituals. Itty bitty pieces of repetition in the way we travel or wake up in the morning or go walking through the park on Friday afternoon that provide the foundation for our lives and our awesome times together.
I am happy, happy, happy.