Check out My Roots and Wings
I love road trips. I love just packing up the car and hitting the road. The possibilities are endless. I moved about 12 hours away from my hometown of Del City, Oklahoma, and our road trips have evolved over the years. It was different going alone and then in 1995, I added a newborn.
In December of 1995, I broke down in Goodland, Kansas. My alternator went out. A trucking couple stopped behind me to move me out of the way and saw that I had a baby. Shelby was three months old. They took me to the gas station while I waited for the tow truck. The guy came to get me and take me to my car and the wife of the couple told me I could leave the baby there because it was freezing outside. I left Shelby there (I KNOW!) and went with the tow truck driver to get my car. I thought the shop was at the truck stop and that I would be coming right back there. When the tow truck driver took me and my car and we passed the truck stop I started screaming that I had to go back and get my baby. He yelled, “You left your baby at the truck stop!?” Like I was the biggest idiot on the planet (I was). Of course she was fine, they were possibly the nicest people I had ever met; but I do realize that anything could have happened to her.
My girls learned early that road trips were going to be part of their lives since my mom still lives in the same house I grew up in. We discussed what to say when I tell them that we have 500 miles to go: “that’s not long at all!”, and that we never ask “are we there yet?”. There are rules for sitting in the front seat: no sleeping, no DS games, you have to entertain me, and you’re in charge of the music, but you also have to take requests.
On our spring break trip back to Oklahoma yesterday I was thinking of the evolution of our road trip. I started doing the drive in a 1981 Mustang that broke down at the top of Raton Pass in New Mexico. Then I moved to an ’88 Grand Prix, the one that had the alternator go out. I added a newborn in 1995; then a newborn and toddler in 1998; then a newborn, toddler, and kindergartner in 2000. There were three car seats across the back of my ’98 Dodge Neon. You know the car, you might think it doesn’t fit three car seats. It does, but not comfortably. Then in 2001, my dream came true, a brand spankin’ new ’01 Chevy Venture mini-van with a built in car seat. That made road trips not just more bearable, but pleasant even. We’re now in an ’08 Chevy Equinox, and while it’s not as big as my mini-van, someone can sit in the front seat so it fits us just fine.
Our music has even changed. I started with cassette tapes, then we moved to CDs, and now we’re on to an iPod plugged into the stereo. That has definitely saved some space and given us more variety. We don’t actually have to listen to the whole CD anymore, we can skip around. It’s instant gratification. We briefly had a DVD player, but I’ve lost the cord and it’s not really a lot of fun for the driver. Besides, can’t you be away from the TV for any amount of time? Do people really have to be entertained that much that you can’t drive across town without a movie going? Although I do have to admit that we plugged the video iPod in and listened to the movie “Twilight” at the start of our trip. I’m not proud.
The girls are so great on a road trip and I think it’s because they’ve done them for so long. We’ve gone to Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. I’d like to go more places, but we usually only go to visit family. As much as I enjoy road tripping, I have informed my daughters that they can’t move more than four hours away from me; and if they do, expect me to move closer. I just pray they all end up close enough to each other and in a pleasant climate.
Check back soon for our video of Road Trip Lip Synch, which we added when Shelby got a video camera. We’ve really come a long way.