On the Road Again

Sorry I haven’t been on my blog for awhile.  Last week we got a phone call that our sister-in-law, who lives in Northern California, had passed away.  It was a sad time for us but we knew Eleanor had been ill for a couple of years and she was better off with Jesus than with us.  Even so, we knew it was important to go and be with our family so we shifted into high gear to get a week’s worth of work done in four days….thus, my reason for not blogging last week.  (Watch for my next blog on the sweet visit we had with our family)

As we considered our travel options we decided to drive, rather than fly to the Bay Area.  Call us crazy but Mopar Man and I rarely pass up an opportunity for a road trip.  Maybe it’s because we grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when families were use to taking long road trips together. They didn’t think twice about strapping luggage to the roof (back then you strapped in the luggage not the kids) and piling kids into the back of the family station wagon (which in our day was as big as a small cruise ship).  Dads poured ice into huge coolers full of cold cuts, condiments and soda pop while Moms stuffed picnic baskets full of bread, chips, apples, Cracker Jacks and oatmeal cookies.  The rule of thumb was to get up at the break of dawn and head out while the kids were still sleepy and drive as far as you could before they were fully awake and needed their first, out of 250 potty breaks.  Around noon everyone started looking for a shady rest stop with picnic tables and a grassy area for the kids to play and release some of their pent up energy.

And if you were a really, really lucky kid your Dad occasionally stopped at one of those gloriously fascinating tourist attractions whose billboards advertised “The World’s Largest Chair” or “Sam the Alligator Man” or “The Caves of Mystery”.  But best of all were the gift shops.  Oh my goodness….the gift shops, where you could buy a gen-u-wine shark-tooth back scratcher with the words “I survived the Podunk Fish of Prey Museum” etched on the handle.

So, after work last Thursday, in keeping with our rich American Baby Boomer heritage, we headed south on the interstate for the beginning of a three-day 1,200 mile round trip.  I know it sounds like a recipe for exhaustion to some of you but for us it was just another great adventure on the open road.  We cranked up the Beach Boys on the car stereo and started pickin’ up “Good….Good….Good Vibrations”.  I must say after 45 years of marriage and with hundreds of road trips under our belt we have come up with some great tips for making road trips fun and enjoyable.

Here are a few of them:

Start with a good ride...and yes, for you car guys, that's a Hemi under the hood.

Make sure you have a good navigational system. It prevents a lot of stress and ensures that you arrive at your destination with your relationship in tact.

Pull over at rest stops which have scenic attractions.

Take time to enjoy the beauty all around you.

....And sometimes you need to just look up and let yourself be awed. He's a big God folks and His masterpieces are all around us.

Besides enjoying the scenery here are some other ways to entertain yourselves:

Look for interesting signs along side the road like this one that reminds us that at one time there were some folks in northern California who wanted to form their own State of Jefferson.

Whoh Nellie! Stop the car and get out your wallet Honey, Mama's goin' shoppin'!

One of the best forms of entertainment, and a great way to pass the time is listening to audio books. You can check them out at your local library. And oh yes, be sure to put some water and sodas in the ol' ice chest. Don't get stuck paying rediculous prices for cold drinks at the Mini Markets where you stop for gas.

One of the other things Mopar Man and I do when we’re road tripping is to alternate between low budget and medium budget motels (we save the higher end accommodations for when we reach our destination).  For instance on this trip we stayed in a Motel 6 the first night because we knew we’d be getting into Yreka around 11pm and getting up at dawn.  So why spend the money on a really nice motel when we were just going to jump into bed for a few winks and be gone?  On the return trip we treated ourselves to a suite at the Holiday Inn.  We did the same thing with restaurants.  One day we went strictly economy (McDonalds and Subwaywere our best friends on these days) and the next day we treated ourselves to something a bit more upscale.

We  are happy to report that after following all of our own tips we are home safe and sound after a wonderful time with family and each other. ……screen fades to Roy Rogers and Dales Evans singing, “Happy trails to you until we meet again.”  And if you don’t know who they are….start watching some of those old reruns on Nick at Night.


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4 Responses to On the Road Again

  1. Lizzie says:

    Very sorry for your loss, but I celebrate your sister-in-law’s new life…and what a wonderful life it must be with Jesus in the house! Really enjoyed the part about a sweet ride and Beach Boys tunes…what a picture that made for me. Tim and I liked Doobie (sp?) Bros and their Jesus freak songs for road trips. We used many of those same strategies you and Mopar Man employ…high-low stays and dining. Can’t beat that.
    love you!

  2. Kathleen says:

    I can’t wait to hear more. Aw. I sure do like travelling with you two. I’m sorry I missed it this time.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane! How I remember the 3 day road trips to Amarillo, Texas in my dad’s station wagon, trying to lay down in the back seat , fighting with my sister over space to lay down, pillows, no seat belts, moon pies, snacks, etc and my sister sneezing all the way with her hay fever. It seemed like she would never shut up!!! I remember some of the highlights were reading the Berma Shave signs along the way. My dad would only stop for gas and then you had better potty then or wait until he stopped at the next “filling station”!!!

  3. Cheryl Rebman says:

    How fun you guys!! Every year as a child my parents made a road trip from Stettler, Alberta, Canada to the United States. It was vacation/shopping!! New school clothes – yipee!! The picnic lunches along the highway – I can relive it right now – sometimes just a big picnic blanket and my Grandma always had a thermos of great coffee – lots of cream and sugar!! After the shopping trips, we would spread out all our treasures for all to see!!! Happy, happy days!!
    And for our kids, it was our trips from Washington, home to Alberta. We would leave at night, bed them down in the “station wagon” – we called the “lellow twailer” and drive right through – hitting Banff, Alberta at daybreak for breakfast!! It was 23 hours to home – Ed did all the driving and I kept him awake and laughing while listening to “Love Song”!!
    Don’t think we’re up to that anymore – but certainly some great memories. My Dad drove from Alberta to Arizona every year until he was 89. Finally decided it was time to fly!!! Can you imagine – but those road trips were an important part of life and for you guys – still are!! We just drove to Houston a couple of weeks ago to see our Youth at Campt and that was enough for us – about 5 hours!! Happy Trails!!!

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