Monday, July 5, 2021

Hit the Road, Jack

DEBORAH CROMBIE: A friend of ours who lives in Seattle is setting off this week on a cross-country/no fixed destinations road trip with his college-age daughter. I can't blame them for wanting to get out of the terrible Pacific Coast heat, and when I contemplated road trips I had a huge rush of nostalgia. 

 


I spent a good part of my childhood summers in the backseat of a car. My dad traveled as a manufacturer's rep, and in the summers he'd find a good excuse to combine business with pleasure. Some of the trips were pure pleasure, like the year we drove from Texas to LA, then up the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Seattle, then took the ferry from there to Victoria. On the way back home we hit Yellowstone, then Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Other trips took us across the southeast all the way to Florida, or up through Kentucky and Tennessee to North Carolina. If there were ever reservations on these trips I don't remember them. I do remember many funky little motels, however. One of my favorites--I wonder if it might have been the famous Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona --had separate cabins in the shape of teepees.

 

 

I'm sure this is why I have such fondness for places like the Valley Ho in Scottsdale, and the Belmont Hotel in Dallas. I somehow doubt our friend's daughter has ever stayed in a small town motel, much less one with teepee cabins. I'm not holding my breath that she will love it.


How about you, dear REDS? Did you have cross-country adventures? Do you still feel the romance of the road? And would you set out with no reservations?


RHYS BOWEN: As I child I drove across Europe with my parents , stopping at weird and wonderful B and Bs and meeting such a variety of people. The biggest road trip I remember with our kids was when we lived in Houston and drove all over Mexico, spending Christmas in Mexico City. 


When John retired we drove coast to coast to promote my books, visiting small indie bookstores and once we drove coast to coast across Canada. That was fabulous. Now our biggest trip is twice yearly between our homes in CA and AZ. I’m no longer a fan of sitting for hours in a car!

 

DEBS: Rhys, I can't believe I left out Mexico! We made so many trips there when I was growing up, to Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara (where my parents had a house for quite a few years,) Puerto Vallarta. Such wonderful adventures, although the old Pan American Highway was pretty terrifying. Here I am in San Luis Potosi, which was one of my favorite cities.

 


HALLIE EPHRON: I never took a road trip until I was all grown up and our Molly was nine months old. Jerry and I (who grew up in non-roadtripping Brooklyn) packed her up along with a tent and a camp stove and took off for a 6-week trip from Boston to Nashville and back. Camping, it turned out (big surprise), was not for us. But roadtripping was, and we’ve taken many since, eating our way from diner to diner.


Whenever I think of road trips I think of miniature golf. In just about every tourist town there was at least one miniature golf course and it was a great way to wile away the hours between dinner and bed. I was terrible at it and cheated. 


LUCY BURDETTE: Ha Hallie, we have RoadFood also and have eaten much BBQ and fried chicken on their recommendation. My father was crazy for road trips and camping and my mother went along with it all, with four kids and a couple of German shepherds. We had these big green army boxes on top of our station wagon--instead of suitcases. On one end my mom had painted “California or Bust!” Once we made it there, the boxes were turned around so they read “Hatteras, NC, just for the fun of it!” We pulled a pop-up trailer behind us, and my dad had built a big box for the way back with all the cooking supplies. It was called the “big box” and it weighed a ton. It sure was an adventure, though I wouldn’t do it again now:). 

 

 

RHYS: These memories have reminded me of several food trips we have taken: the latest all over The Maritime Provinces with the sole aim of seafood twice a day.

 

DEBS: Yum, Rhys. I'll sign up for that one.


JENN McKINLAY: My parents’ idea of vacation was the mighty road trip, so much so that the only state I haven’t visited in the contiguous United States is Wyoming. Not sure how we missed it. I’ve also, like Rhys, driven across Canada, which was equally spectacular.

 

I still love road trips and have taken many with my own family. I have found that sharing the bounty of a roadside barbecue stand, stopping at a tourist trap to see the largest ball of twine, listening to a book on tape, and marveling at the wonders found at random stops like Seven Arches in Moab make memories to last a lifetime. 

 


JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: My folks didn’t do road trips; I suspect the constant moving in the military scratched that itch. Ross and I didn't do too many long roadtrips with the kids, but we did have one that was splendid. One summer I was invited to speak at the library on Mackinac Island; the gig included a weekend at The Grand Hotel for the whole family. We expanded the trip into a week plus: we went north to Montreal, then crossed Ontario to Sault Ste. Marie, camping and staying in cabins, came back to the US on the International Bridge and then spent a few days in Michigan’s Wilderness State park before finishing up with an amazing stay at the Grand Hotel. My kids still remember the trip - even Youngest, who was still in diapers, recalls the swimming pool on Mackinac Island!


BTW, Canadian friends, you have the BEST campsites in North America. Bar none.

  

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  My favorite part of our road trips was our family joke. Every time we would pack into the station wagon and head out on a journey, my father would stop at the end of our long driveway, and say: “How do you like it so far?”

And we would burst into peals of laughter. That brings back the sweetest memories.

We also had one incredibly memorable summer when my parents and a couple who were their friends,  bought some kind of crazy Fly -all-you-want pass on Frontier Airlines, which  let us go basically whenever we wanted, wherever we wanted out west. Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana. We went everywhere, and saw every mountain and saloon tourist spot and Pikes Peak and the Grand Canyon and The Tetons, and Glacier National Park,  absolutely every place.  This poor airline probably never could have imagined seven people in my family plus 4 people in the other couples family, flying around so much—, using Frontier as our personal (sort of) jet. I think they stopped at the pass option soon after. 
Does that count as a road trip?
 
DEBS: Hank, what a blast! Obviously you  came by your flying gene honorably!
 
Still chuckling over Lucy's Big Box!
 
READERS, favorite road trips? Or road trips in your future? 


 


58 comments:

  1. No road trips in my growing up years, and no favorite road trips even though there are some cross-country trips in my early adult life. I dislike driving [intensely], so I remember very little about my first trip from the east coast to California. The second road trip was wonderful because I didn’t drive at all . . . [my brother-in-law drove while Jean and I enjoyed being passengers from California to Missouri to visit the Precious Moments Chapel and then home]. On the last trip, I drove [a little bit] but John did most of the driving, again from the east coast to California, after we were married . . . .

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    1. I'm always happy for someone else to do the driving--as long as they are good at it. We made a horrible trip once from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, which in those days at least was via a very twisty and mountainous two-lane highway. My parents' friend did part of the driving, and at least half that time he was turning around and talking to the back seat. I thought I was surely going to die that day.

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    2. Oh, dear . . . what a horrible experience.

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  2. Growing up, I remember mostly our trips to Lake Erie, from Kentucky to the northern part of Ohio. And, we did go to Ft. Meyers, Florida for a month, but we basically weren't a road trip family.

    When I got married, the first year husband and I took a trip from western Kentucky to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona (about 15 miles from the northern border of Mexico). We took the northern route going out there, with stops to spend the night wherever we got tired. On that going out there trip, we visited Pike's Peak and stayed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But one of our favorite stops was at the Kit Carson Museum in Kansas, where a little old man was the only person there running it, a rather small operation. Once we arrived at our destination, we also visited Mexico (Nogales) and Tucson. What I can't believe is that we didn't go to the Grand Canyon. We took the southerly route back, going through Texas, which seemed to go on forever.

    Some friends just took the Route 66 trip, from Chicago to Santa Monica Pier. Philip and I talked about maybe doing this, but, like Rhys, I'm just not a fan of long car trips these days.

    Oh, I did take a long car trip with my friend Mary Susan when we went to our first Bouchercon in Albany, NY. I flew to Virginia, and then we drove from Virginia Beach to Albany, stopping at Longwood Gardens and Valley Forge. After the Albany Bouchercon, we traveled on to Niagara Falls, taking a slight detour to a bit of the Adirondacks, solely due to me loving Julia's books. Then, after about three or four days staying on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, we drove back to Virginia Beach. A great trip.

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    1. Kathy, driving anywhere in Texas always feels like forever:-) It takes 13 hours to drive from Texarkana to El Paso!

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  3. I love these stories! Growing up we did a day-long road trip every summer up to Sequoia National Park to camp for two weeks (four kids, no dogs). We had the same big square boxes on the top of the Dodge station wagon instead of suitcases.

    I've had some epic road trips as an adult, often solo. Indiana-California-Seattle-Idaho-Indiana. And Indiana-Boston-Maine-Quebec-Indiana.

    We did a big road trip when my husband and sons and I lived in Burkina Faso. We drove the length of Ghana, over to Togo, and back. Christmas on the coast in Ghana, New Year's Eve halfway up Togo. Some pretty bad roads and one really sketchy beachside hotel in Ghana. But we stayed in a game preserve halfway down Ghana and went walking with a guide, browsed some amazing open markets, saw the place where the enslaved people were shipped out from, and in Lome visited my Togolese friend Edith, a professor I hadn't seen in twenty years since we'd been in grad school in Indiana together. It was a great trip and just what we needed during a year that was hard for all of us except my always-happy younger son.

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    1. Edith, what a wonderful experience, traveling in Africa. I've been watching High on the Hog on Netflix, Stephen Satterfield's documentary about Black food in America. The first episode is in Benin, and he visits the place the enslaved people were shipped from. So incredibly moving.

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  4. Road Trips! Yes! The most memorable was the first trip from NJ to Miami, Florida. I-95 hadn't been built so it was US 1 all the way. Through towns and farms, wherever it wound we took it. We made the trip two or three times a year after that, always staying in little motels along the way. My mother would fill my school thermos with martinis to sip and would sleep with her bare feet out the front passenger window. My brother and I thought that was hilarious. It was a great way to see the south, eat at mom and pop restaurants, and make new friends. We would make side trips to towns that caught our interest. After I-95 was built we would take the Blue Ridge Parkway for variety. It was magical.

    My husband and I have been semi-commuters from one end of US 1 to the other during our marriage moving back and forth from South Florida to far northern Maine. He's an engineer and more interested in getting from point a to b in the most expedient way. I'm all about seeing the sights. our last trip was in a rented camper to avoid having to stay in motels or visit restaurants during the pandemic. I loved it, and if we hit the road again, I'm thinking camper is the way to go.

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    1. Your mom sounds like quite the character, Kait!

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    2. I agree with Karen. What great memories, Kait.

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    3. Martinis in a thermos! Brilliant!! My husband is a "fastest way from point A to point B" person, too, while I am a "take the back roads and stop at every diner and cafe" person. I want to stop at every historical marker, too--not to mention every bathroom...

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    4. Mom was unique. Her favorite thermos was the "Fifi" one. Said it was colder than the others. These were the days when small thermoses came in lunch boxes.

      Deb - yes to the bathrooms! But that's the beauty of a camper - potty on board :)

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  5. Road trip! Cleveland to Cape Cod was 13 hours door-to-door. Atlanta to Cape Cod was a two day run, three kids crammed in the back seat. The trip was all about the food and motel pool...the pancake house with dollar pancakes and fried chicken, all you could eat. Our more recent trips from Cincinnati to New Orleans were adventures: Memphis, Oxford, MS, Natchez, and LA plantation country, with food to match.

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    1. Margaret, you've made me hungry! And reminded me that I haven't had pancake house pancakes in way too long!

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  6. When I was a kid my family went camping all over New York state as well as all the northeast states and part of Canada. We started out tent camping and then my father built a truck camper. After I left home my parents continued traveling the country, by then in a motorhome. Even when my father was on hemodialysis they continued traveling, my mother driving the motorhome which towed a small pick-up truck that held all of my father's dialysis supplies. That was more than 30 years ago and i still shake my head, marveling about that.

    On my own now I don't go much of anywhere but when I was married we did travel and see a good part of the country.

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    1. Your parents really must have had the travel gene, Judi! What wonderful stories.

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  7. Like Margaret's, my road trip was the annual trip from Pennsylvania to Cape Cod, back in the Stone Age, when it took eight hours. As soon as school was out in early June, my four siblings and I would stuff pillow cases with our clothes for the summer, which my mother would then cram under and in between the seats of our Volkswagen bus. At this point our dachshund, Lily Marlene VonWaddlehousen, would figure out what was going on and leap into the car and refuse to get out. Then came the two cats, Barney and Bathsheba, my cage of white mice and one year, an acquarium with my brothers' pet snake. Finally, Mom would supervise the entry of her three boys and two girls and a cooler full of tuna fish sandwiches (there were no McDonald's to stop at in those days). Then she would proceed to drive the full eight hours up to the Cape, while her charming children created mayhem in the back of the van (there were no seatbelts in those days either, so we were free to roam and pinch at will). At the border to Rhode Island, we would all sing the University of Rhode Island fight song because we thought it was hilarious ("I'm Rhode Island born/I'm Rhode Island bred/and when I die, I'll be Rhode Island dead."). At the Sagamore Bridge we'd sing "Cape Co-od here we come" to the tune of California Here I Come, and Lily would start to whine and not stop until we pulled into the long sandy driveway of our tiny cottage on the edge of Pleasant Bay. My mother was an amazing woman...

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    1. What a wonderful memory to have, Amy!

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    2. I love that story, Amy. I especially love hearing the URI lyrics. When I was a freshman at UCONN, URI was our biggest rival (Yankee Conference) and I lived in the girl's aggie dorm (Grange Hall). THe guys in the male aggie dorm drove to URI, stole their goat and paraded it out onto the field just before the UCONN URI football game. Those guys pulled the most outrageous pranks, ever. (Sorry Debs, I know this is about road trips, but that is nostalgia, too.

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    3. Amy, what fabulous adventures you must have had every summer on Cape Cod! And your mother was truly amazing!

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    4. Amy, it cracks me up that your family traveled with a veritable zoo!

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    5. Amy, we had "first to see the bridge" and as we approached South Chatham, "first to see the radio tower" in the Forest Beach marsh (built after WW2 and came down in 1999-2000). The anticipation and joy!

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  8. Sign me up for a good ol' road trip. I have two favourites -- one with my family when I was about 12. We rented a truck camper and drove all through British Columbia up to Barkerville that was a town that re-enacted the Gold Rush. Camping in those wonderful campsites, Julia, was fabulous. Even when the bear visited! The other trip was as a young adult. A girlfriend and I drove from Edmonton, Alberta all the way east to New York City and home again. Camping and the occasional motel and lotsa lotsa miles. So much fun! A cross-country road trip really shows the country to you...

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    1. Amanda, having now read all the Lane Winslow books (all to date!) I'd be really interested in making a trip across British Columbia.

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    2. BC's licence plate reads "Beautiful British Columbia" -- and it is very very beautiful indeed!

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  9. Rhys, we so want to do that Maritimes road trip. We've been talking about it for years, renting a camper and starting at one side of Canada and driving to the other, then going to the last state on my list, Alaska. Alas, the border is still closed.

    My family rarely had a car, so the only road trip I ever was on as a kid was to DC with my aunt. When I met Steve in 1978 he had been giving Audubon lecture tours for several years, and he had already driven to/through 48 states. I started going with him while we were dating, whenever I could, and have so many great memories of epic road trips together, including when we got married in Vegas in the middle of a seven-week lecture tour.

    We took our kids all over California, up the Pacific Coast, Nebraska most summers to visit family, the Upper Peninsula, and New England. I've driven by myself all over, too: Cincinnati to Hartford, to Miami more than once, NOLA for Bouchercon, Colorado/Wyoming, Charleston when our daughter was at The Citadel, and from Seattle to San Diego. I met Steve in San Diego on that trip and we took our time coming home together, stopping to see family and friends.

    We also drove in France and Australia, but that was more fraught with anxiety than fun. It took all our combined concentration to stay in the left lane in Oz.

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    1. That sounds so romantic, Karen. Now, I think I need a road trip this summer. Not going to any states where vaccinations are an afterthought, though. Maybe drive up to NY or Maine.

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    2. I know a lot of people are on the road this summer, after so many months of being cooped up at home.

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  10. I learned at dinner last night that my stepson and his family – – one12-year-old 118-year-old and there darling mom – – are headed on a road trip this summer! Driving from Brooklyn to California! Yikes. They are absolutely thrilled, with a set itinerary and going Villa Virginia, Memphis, Mississippi Oklahoma Arizona… Something like that! The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Taos New Mexico. they are very excited!

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    1. that is a long road trip.

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    2. Wow, Hank! What fun. You should give them the Roadfood book!

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    3. That's going to be epic! I hope they blog, or make a documentary or something!

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    4. This sounds soooo fun! I desperately want to spend more time in Memphis!

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  11. I don't do camping. Ever. More on that another time.

    I love road trips although we do make reservations along the way. The last one was to Montreal and then home by way of the Eastern Townships with a several day stay in Three Pines (Knowlton). My daughter went along as she often does on our trips to France. But this trip was quite different, and I'd return to Three Pines in a heartbeat. Louise Penny is a whole economy there, and when I asked a few townspeople how they liked that, they all said Louise was the reason their little town was booming instead of dying as so many towns and villages do. She is revered.

    On another note, Danielle expressed interest in our Rochester drone light show instead of fireworks for the Fourth. Here's a link, just for you Danielle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBTaUmlscGY

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  12. I loved reading about all of your road trips. I laughed at Lucy's big box and at Hank's dad's comment. I always ask if we are there yet when we get to our first stop light in town. Ha.

    My only cross country road trip was when I was very young, about 4. We drove from Tucson, Arizona back home to Connecticut. We had lived in Arizona for about 9 months for my mother's health, but I think my dad couldn't make a go of it out there. We stayed in motels and we did sight-seeing on the way home but there is much about the trip that I don't remember. It probably wasn't much fun for my parents. There was a moldy motel room in Shreveport, Louisiana that my parents referred to as the ulimate horror and laughed about for years. I think we slept on top of the sheets.

    Irwin and I have taken many road trips, but over shorter distances. We used to fly to the West Coast for a family event (wedding, bar mitzvah, etc) rent a car and then take off exploring. One summer we did the Pacific Coast Highway. Another time we drove from Portland, OR up through the Olympic National Park over to Port Angeles, stayed on the San Juan Islands, day-tripped to Victoria, etc. On one visit to Portland, OR we did a hiking trip visiting three of the volcanoes in that part of the west. We did that type of road trip on Hawaii, too, visiting 4 islands, 4 rental cars and many drives to see this canyon or that volcano. From Connecticut, we have traveled up into Canada, visiting Montreal and Quebec, and one summer we flew into Nova Scotia and drove around that amazing island for 10 days or so.

    When the kids were little, I never left anything to chance. We packed up the car for camping, but we had a reservation somewhere, Lake George, N.Y., White Mountains, New Hampshire, Acadia, Maine. We'd hike and boat and visit the sights once there, but I always knew where we were going to sleep at night before we went anywhere. The free and breezy road trip is just not my kind of trip, it seems. Hm-m-m, is that a flaw.

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    1. Your kind of road trip sounds like a lot of fun, Judy.

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    2. I'm not sure I'd do "no reservations" now, either, Judy.

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  13. Living in the city without a car - no road trips until I was an adult and went with a friend from NYC to Vermont. All I remember is tall green tree and those small food stands.

    Then another road trip with several authors from NYC to Bethesda, MD. I remember the coffee shops, the gigantic road stops and bridges.

    I did take a train trip from Penn Station to the Hamptons - 3 hours long, but the view was magnificent.

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  14. When I was a kid, my parents would take us on an annual road trip/vacation to Vermont. But that's really the only kind of road trip we ever did. These days, the only more hellish thing I can imagine than having to watch TV with other people is to embark on a road trip, solo or with someone.

    Thanks very much but I'll stay home if you don't mind.

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  15. I love road trips, and I drive what I believe to be the ultimate American Road Trip car: a Mustang GT. Rosie (the car) and I love the open road.

    When I was a kid, my father would often pack us all up to go somewhere. One time we revisited his childhood places in Oklahoma, and once we went out to Colorado where he scoped out a university he was considering for his doctoral program. But Dad wasn't really a sight-seer. We always had to "make time" rather than stopping to explore the various roadside attractions.

    Warren was a grand roadtripper, though, and loved to stop at every snake farm and peach stand. Our epic trip was from our home in Texas to my mother's home in Missouri, then north to I-80 through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California, ending in San Francisco. On the way home we took the southern route through Arizona, and New Mexico, with stops at the Grand Canyon and all the pawn shops and tourist traps of Gallup, NM.

    As a solo driver, I drove from Texas to North Carolina and back to pick up an amazing piece of artwork. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to stop at all the battlefields and historic homes of Tennessee. Maybe I'll go that way again sometime. I do enjoy planning road trips in my mind.

    But I'm not quite sure anything will top the road trip Debs and I took in my first Mustang, through Oklahoma and Kansas. I have to say, if you ever decide to lock yourself out of your car, do it in El Dorado, Kansas. The people there could not have been nicer.

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    1. I will testify to that, Gigi! That whole trip was so much fun.

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  16. Your trips inspire, especially you, Edith. No wonder your sons are adventurous! I grew up with "staycations" before that was a word, family outings to Zoo, Jewel Box, other St. Louis attractions. We did camp at Jack's Forks River when I was a teen, and there were weekends at Uncle Jake's cabin, but mostly homebodies.
    I made the drive from Minnesota a couple of times in the ten years I lived there, but mostly flew, and we drove to Boundary Waters and to Mackinac, but only saw that lovely hotel from afar as we biked past. ;-)
    If bus trips count, there were college activist trips to NYC and Washington D.C., frequent enough to learn to carry granola and avoid greasy food. I drove to NOLA, Nashville, Fayetteville, N.C., and K.C. to teach study skills, and I've driven to storytelling events in TN, Ohio, and Texas . . . oh, and the most fun, because I took nieces, Springfield, IL (New Salem) and to Louisville, KY to board the Delta Queen. Seeing a pattern, my trips seem to need a purpose, though now that I have an official License to Mosey, maybe I won't wait for a reason.

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    1. All those trips sound great, Mary!

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    2. Thanks, Mary. My boys are travelers now, for sure!

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  17. I did not grow up on road trips, but they were a mainstay of vacations from the very beginning with my husband. We stopped for a few years when our son was very small (after one disastrous ride home to Ohio from Florida where I think the 13-month old wailed most of the way.) But when he got a little older we resumed the tradition. My very favorite memory, I think, was of a trip the three of us took when he was about 10. We went to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Not only did we see a bunch of amazing sights, but my son was just the right age to travel well and still show unambivalent enjoyment of the experience and our company.

    My husband and I still enjoy road trips, but we have had to make some of those age-related adjustments. For example, we can still sit in the car without breaks for hours on end -- just don't expect us to be able to straighten up and walk well if we do. In other words, we now schedule regular short breaks just to keep things limber.

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    1. I totally get that. I have to limber up after a trip to the grocery store:-)

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  18. The car was the way to get out of heat in the summer. We would pack up the station wagon for a day trip to the coast to cool off. It's only a 30 minute drive so it was an easy distance. We drove from southern California to Santa Rosa the two summers we lived in Covina. If Mom didn't put her foot down, we wouldn't stop unless Dad needed to stop. When we did finally take real vacations, it was to visit my grandparents in Washington but we tent camped along the way. Overnight at each campground only, US 101, up and back. There one year though, we did travel the interior to Crater Lake and through the Dalles. That trip took a bit longer and we did stay longer outside Crater Lake, maybe two nights. But we went back by US 101. My mom just "loved" camping. Now a car trip is to Eugene to visit my sister's family. I leave early and get it out of the way. As much as I dream of taking a trip, I'm a bit leery about traveling alone.

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  19. I am loving everyone's stories. My daughter and son-in-law have an RV and they love it. And they're creating loads of fun memories for my granddaughter.

    While may parents may have been adventurous travelers, campers they were not, so I'm a little envious of some of your cool camping vacations.

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  20. Great post! Growing up, I remember the road trips all over California. Once we took a road trip from Los Angeles to Arizona and back to California to visit relatives in LA and Arizona.

    My favorite places on many road trips were places like Solvang, a Danish Christmas town, and places like the Nut Tree where they had a little playground for kids. There were pancake houses in parts of California. I remember once when we drove up to Mendocino and we stopped at a farm to table restaurant in Kentfield years before it was a trend. My former babysitter became a chef and she owned a restaurant in Mendocino. She sold the business years ago.

    When I was living in England for several months, I was visiting friends in Edinburgh when we took a road trip from Edinburgh to visit the Glamis Castle and Balmoral Castle. That was fun! It was more like a day trip, though.

    Diana

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    1. Charlotte, the Nut Tree was one of my favorite places as a child. It was more like a day trip, though. However, we did stop there on long road trips.

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  21. I have two favorite road trips that immediately come to mind. The first was with my birth family when I was five years old; we drove from central Pennsylvania to Key West, Florida. My father was a mathematician from Penn State working under a Navy contract on the Mark 48 missile program. We spent 6 or 8 weeks in Key West the summer of 1958 and that was the beginning of my love affair with Key West. My husband and I now spend 5 weeks in Key West every winter (except when there's a Pandemic). The second fabulous road trip was a big circular trip around England, Scotland and Wales with my husband for my 60th birthday. We had a reservation for the first night only then thought we would wing it each day. But the TIC (tourist information center) reservation system had changed dramatically since my previous visits and the ease of strolling into a TIC to locate a B&B for the night was not what it had been! We ended up spending many a night over the two weeks in Premier Inns which offered affordable, clean accommodations. It was a glorious trip and one I'll always treasure.

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  22. When I was a kid the road trip was the only way we took vacations! I still remember being carried to the 1950 black Ford in the dead of night for the un-airconditioned trip from Houston to my grandparents in Big Spring. Dad would have gotten home from work and taken a nap so he could drive through the night when it was cooler. Big brother and I would sleep in the back seat. That was a 450 mile or so trip back before interstates. His parents were retired and living in Independence, MO and I remember one trip to visit them. We spent a little time on the way in the Ozarks; one of my favorite memories was fishing at a trout farm at Roaring River State Park. The Ozarks were pure magic compared to the coastal plain Houston sits on. In early 1961 Dad was posted to Long Beach, CA to help with a company his employer bought. It was a temporary situation but we all piled along for the seven months he was there. The drive there and back was an eye opener for scenery. And every weekend they could manage it we took road trips and explored California. Pure magic! There were four of us kids by then, and one on the way. Mom would buy a loaf of white bread, a package of bologna, and that would be our picnic wherever we stopped. And our dachshund Corky was along for that trip. Good times.

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  23. We did road trips to see family, so often going to the same places year after year, but still lots of wonderful memories. (No camping though.) When Dad could get time off work, we'd add extra destinations to the family visits. One year, we went to Colorado and on the long drive home through Nebraska we heard on the radio that Elvis had died. An odd, but shared and not forgotten family memory.

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