I wake up in a parking lot, my arm numb from cuddling baby back to sleep in the early hours. The Husband sitting on the spare bus seat (wedged between the dog and infant car seat) staring into the glowing light of laptop glory. The once vacant floor space, occupied with a way-too-big-for-the-van baby jumper, a large heavy roll of sandy fake grass, a table top BBQ grill, and a couple pieces of firewood.
I push the surfboard further over on the bed, shimmy to the edge, pull a long skirt out of my closet box, and wrap my salted hair back in a messy bun. Carefully balancing, over and around, the obstacle course of our belongings, I make my exit through the driver’s side door. The sliding door would of been easier, but it only opens from the outside. We avoid using the passenger door, as its serving as storage space for dog food, tennis balls, towels and a baby swing. All of which would surely spill out, if that door were opened.
I walk through the parking lot, purse in hand and snowboots on, feeling confident of blending into my surroundings. The doors to Whole Foods automatically open, welcoming us into its fresh shining world of organics, pressed juices, rows of organized dry goods, fancy wines, spices, fluffy coffees, and beautiful delicious things.
Grabbing a complementary lavender sanitizing wipe, made of organic cotton most likely, I freshen my hands, then pull out a few more and casually slip them into my purse, while making my way towards the restrooms for further freshening.
We sample a juice, a cube of aged such and such cheese, a blend of almond milk and natural protein mix, and then order a couple latté concoctions. For baby, a piece of chicken, slice of watermelon, and cantaloupe from the serve yourself prepped bar. Just $2, and so much more food then a packaged organic baby purée.
Moving towards the the skin care section, I grab baby a couple local, all-natural, fun baby toys, to tinker with in the cart, while I plunge into reading the backs of expensive beauty promises. Organic firming potions of blue algeas, sea minerals, honeys, Argan oils, and rose hips now moisturize and soothe my unrested face.
Baby plays happily in the cart, giggling at other people as they wave, and smile at her. We pick out a few fresh items, a couple muffins for tomorrow morning, and 2/ $5 slices of pizza for later.
Refreshed and replenished, we push our cart back towards the large, windowless, unmarked van at the end of the parking lot.
Other ideas for freshening up on the road
Coffee Shops – best, because you can get coffee and wifi too
Walmart – 24 hours
Department Stores- fancier the store, the nicer (and usually vacant) the restroom
Target/ Grocery Stores
Baby wipes “shower”
Hotels – if they have a spa, there will usually be an unguarded shower nearby, and many times the pool gate won’t be locked
Campgrounds – sometimes outside, sometimes inside, sometime $0.50 for a 3 minute shower
Lakes & rivers – unless you’re in those southern gulf alligator states, jump in
Beaches – if it’s a populated spot, there is almost always an outdoor shower
Kids Splash pad – fun for the whole family
Water bottle, soap, and a good secluded parking spot
Truck Stops- $15 per shower (not per person)