Thursday, November 6, 2008

On The Road

This week's e-mail book club book, is Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion.

From the book jacket:

A pampered Long Island princess hits the road in a converted bus with her wilderness-loving husband, travels the country for one year, and brings it all hilariously to life in this offbeat and romantic memoir.

Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She's a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman. When Tim suggests "chucking it all" to travel cross-country in a converted bus, Doreen asks, "Why can't you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" But she soon shocks them both, agreeing to set forth with their sixty-pound dog, two querulous cats--and no agenda--in a 340-square-foot bus.

"Queen of the Road" is Doreen's offbeat and romantic tale about refusing to settle; about choosing the unconventional road with all the misadventures it brings(fire, flood, armed robbery, and finding themselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few). The marvelous places they visit and delightful people they encounter have a life-changing effect on all the travelers, as Doreen grows to appreciate the simple life, Tim mellows, and even the pets pull together. Best of all, readers get to go along for the ride through forty-seven states in this often hilarious and always entertaining memoir, in which a boisterous marriage of polar opposites becomes stronger than ever.

So far, I'm enjoying this one quite a bit and think its pretty funny. It is also, I fear, a look into my future. Here's a little story about my in-laws (who I love):

Many years ago, my father-in-law bought a Unimog that had been converted into a camper. [FYI, a Unimog is a Mercedes-Benz truck originally built as a German missile carrier (or something).] Since then, he has tricked it out with everything you could imagine (including a wind turbine for off-the-grid electricity) and it is one serious RV on steroids. I wish I had a photo of the finished product. Here's a photo of a virgin Unimog:

Even though they are retired, my m-i-l and f-i-l both volunteer and keep busy, so going off for a year isn't in the cards for them. But still, the in-laws, God love 'em, have taken this thing all over, including to Alaska. I don't imagine that this was my m-i-l's first choice for summer vacation, but she's a great sport and this was a dream of my f-i-l's.

And, like father, like son. Though my husband's dream isn't to spend extended periods of time crammed into a truck, cruising the roads of America. No, no. His goal is to some day spend an extended period of time crammed into a boat, sailing the Pacific. We occasionally sail and pretty much every time we do, my husband suggests that we throw it all in for life living aboard a sailboat. In my more delusional moments, I agree, but then I get home, and look at my closet and our bookshelves and I think, I could never live on a boat.

So, if author Doreen Orion and my mother-in-law are any indication, I'll be packing up my belongings and moving to a boat in about twenty years. Yay!

Buy Queen of the Road on Amazon.


  1. You might enjoy "Dolphins Under My Bed" about a woman whose husband convinced her to go off for a year at least on a sailboat. I reviewed it here.

  2. Tim and I saw a unimog while we were in Alaska on our bus. Wonder if that was your mother-in-law's?

    I've caught Tim recently surfing the net on sailboat sites. Problem is, we know nothing about boats. I keep asking, "Why can't I have a normal husband who just surfs for porn?"

    Hope you continue to enjoy the read.


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