Ah, the bus. You're either on it or you're off it. If you're a little slow on the uptake it's said that you ride the short bus. In the sixties we had, at one end of the spectrum, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, painting an old school bus psychedelic, naming it "Furthur" and [road]tripping their way across the country amid billowing marijuana smoke and sheets of Owsley's finest. At the other end of the spectrum was the squeaky-clean Partridge Family, a made-up family-turned-singing-group on TV, painting a school bus a suburban version of psychedlic and traveling to gigs in it.
Doreen Orion, a "pampered Princess from the Island of Long," and her husband Tim, who embarked in the summer of 2004 upon a yearlong road trip in a converted bus, fall on the Partridge family end of the bus spectrum. Their bus is a marvel, a home on wheels, with a twelve hundred dollar handblown glass sink in the bathroom and cherry cabinets in the kitchen. The only music to be heard are the many ringtones on Doreen's cell phone (unless you consider her whining to be a sub-sub-subgenre of music). And while there are drugs involved on Doreen and Tim's road trip, they are of the potent potable variety (in fact, each chapter begins with a funny recipe for a mixed drink).
Queen of the Road is the fairly delightful memoir of a neurotic psychiatrist and her well-grounded husband. Although Doreen Orion's voice is often grating and frequently self-centered (it's been many years since I've been away from the greater New York area, but how well I remember those Princesses...), she's also always funny. I'm not a drinker, but was sorely tempted while reading to try some of her recipes (in particular, I like the "Love Me Bender," which consists of passion fruit liqueur, champagne, and raspberry liqueur, and ends with the instructions, "Rest shaker on hip, gyrate, drink. If you can still recall that the love of your life is making you live on a bus, repeat.")