The Open Road

I love road trips. There’s just something exciting about hitting the open road with the windows rolled down and your favorite tunes playing on the stereo. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 4 hours or 20-something, it’s the same feeling. I get butterflies in my stomach a few days in advance and barely sleep the night before because I’m giddy with excitement.

My love of traveling via automobile is probably because at least once a year my parents would pile us in the car either to see relatives or to go to a convention or both. It was usually early morning when we’d leave, with the sun barely risen yet, or occasionally not at all. I loved getting up early, and usually barely slept a wink before we’d embark on another trip. Dad would warm the car up and try and fit everyone’s luggage in the car. (Girls really do pack too much at times). Then we’d all pile into the car and off we’d go. Sounds fun, right? It’s amazing how cramped a vehicle with 5 people can get in such a very short period of time. It would often start with the need for each child to have a bag of items to keep them occupied, which cuts down on foot room, a lot. Then there was the arguing over who would have to sit in the middle, and most often that would end up being the youngest (Daniel). It’s amazing how much heat a small boy can produce. I remember so many occasions when we’d be driving along and just roast in the back seat because it was as though we were sitting next to the sun, and on top of that, the AC was not running because the parental units up front weren’t crammed next to each other. 😉 Ah, the good ‘ole days.

Sure, there was always some sibling arguing as is bound to happen when forced to sit in a car for hours at a time, but it never made me dread these excursions. You can’t really stay mad at your fellow prisoners for too long, so arguments generally ended within an hour or so. 😉

Eventually it got to a point where my sister and I could drive ourselves, so we’d follow behind like a shadow. I remember the first time we drove separately, blasting music with a backseat full of sugary snacks and entertainment, most likely bringing far more luggage than we needed, just because we could. Then eventually there were no more caravans as we’d all grown up… I have such fond memories of those road trips, though, and so many funny stories that come to mind and make me smile.

Thankfully I have married a man who loves road trips even more than I do. He can keep driving long after I’ve gone completely stir crazy and have to pull over before I begin to twitch and have a melt down after cackling maniacally, usually brought on by lack of food. I get grumpy in the car if I’m hungry or tired, much like a toddler, so Josh knows when it’s time to pull over. 😉

As we drive along on one of our longest road trips yet, I’m excited at the thought of torturing… er… sharing with our future kids the joy of driving to new (and old) destinations, stuck in a car with their family for hours upon hours at a time. How exciting to share our love of wacky places with them, our eclectic taste in music, our random and odd conversations that take place on the road as we drive through towns that are clearly inhabited by zombies and/or pod people.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin

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