I grew up taking long road trips. It was pre-seatbelt laws so I was all over the backseat. It was pre-video days so we played all sorts of travel games. It was pre-cell phone days so we had to pre plan it all and stick to it, or miss a reservation or be late to a family member’s home. It was pre-GPS days so we had to read maps. At least my mom and brother were always reading the map. My map skills are lacking but my mom knows every highway and my brother drives over 100,000 miles a years so I just use GPS and we’re all good.
A week ago we set out to drive from Houston to St. Paul, Minnesota to see our eldest daughter and her husband and help them move into their first home. We stopped at my parents in Kansas on the way and even were able to make a quick stop to see Robert’s brother too. Did I mention all of our family went? Yes, that was six adults (or four adults and two pseudo adults) and one dog with bad breath. Our new son in law was smart and had to fly home for work on Friday. Here are some observations I made along the way.
- Your children will text you questions late at night even when they are next door and have a hotel phone, so just text them all the instructions–don’t assume they heard you while you were sitting two feet apart in the car for six hours.
- Don’t let your husband carry his wallet in sport shorts lest you have to turn around and go back to Starbucks to fetch it and the nearest turn around is five miles farther down the road.
- If you are watching the movie “Cars”, you have to stop at Route 66 diner, even if you are behind schedule.
- The driver should always choose what to listen to.. After all, they need to stay alert, especially when the rest of the car is asleep. This rule apparently never applies when mom is the driver and then the entire car feels the need to watch a movie or play particular music mother doesn’t enjoy. Thankfully, this mom never travels without headphones and a dowloaded Audible book or good podcast.
- Your hotel choices are very limited when traveling with a pooch. Thankfully, Grammy and Libby’s houses were Miles’ idea of heaven.
- You cannot see everyone (or everything) you are passing. It is really hard to pass by friends/family who are somewhat on the way, but you cannot do it all in one trip, especially when people have to get back to their jobs.
- In this age of technology, don’t forget to look up and see the scenery! I don’t know how many times I had to tell the carload to look at a beautiful scene, the architecture or a series of cool billboards that say things like, “Rock,”” Chalk,” “Jayhawk”. Ironically, my own daughter told me several times to quit looking at my phone. I have a bad habit of researching everything I am seeing along the way.
- Bringing good snacks and a sandwich is a good idea. I always balk at making sandwiches before we leave because I am always scrambling to get everything done. When we do make them, I am always thankful we have them. They taste so good on the road, don’t leave you with eater’s remorse, and it saves some money! Three good reasons to bring your own food!
It has been a great trip (yes, I am still in the car as I write this; will post at home tonight.) We have never been together this much since adding our sons in law to the family. The last three years have made for interestng family gatherings. We have needed to change up some of our family traditions and travels due to the foster boys’ football schedules, the budget and the differences among children.
I am very blessed and thankful God gave us this widow of opportunity. What road trips are you making this summer? Post a response and let us know.
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