Every family vacation I ever took – except when we went to Hawaii for logistical reasons – was via automobile. I think this is fairly normal.
These were so much easier when I was a kid. I didn’t worry about driving, I didn’t worry about which of my parents was driving, I didn’t worry period. My biggest concerns were 1) where we were going to eat 2) how I was going to survive yet another Julio Iglesias album and 3) how much of the back seat my sister was going to allow me to use.
My sister (you remember her, right?) is older than me. When I was very young, this would sometimes mean that I had to sleep on the floorboards so that she could take a nap. No, I’m not kidding. I would curl up in the floor board and put my pillow over the hump in the middle. I don’t know how I fit there, either. And I’m sure today you’d get a ticket if your child was not in a proper seat with a seat belt.
She was also able to save her babysitting money to buy a walkman and tapes, so she didn’t have to put up with Julio Iglesias. I was quite jealous.
Most of my early childhood was spent in California. Our summer vacations would either be to return to Texas to visit relatives or camping. One year we did both in what I can only assume was a three week vacation – we went to Texas, then to Yellowstone and then to a dude ranch. It was awesome. I think I was too big to sleep in the floor board by then, too.
After my sister went to college and started working during the summer, I got the backseat to myself during road trips. It was so nice – I understood why my sister had banished me to the floor boards. Plus, by then I had discovered how much I liked to read, so I didn’t care what music was on the stereo for the most part.
Enter college. Ah, college road trips. How I loved them. Bored one weekend? Wake up early, go somewhere and come back late that night. Pack as many people in the car as you can. Or better yet, caravan with a group of cars and have Chinese fire drills. Lots of sing-a-longs. Also lots of 2am serious conversations. And no Julio Iglesias.
Post-college, I’ve had a couple of road trips with friends, but not too many. I’ve been able to fly for the majority of my travel (unless I’m going to visit my parents, who live in the middle of nowhere).
But I just returned from a road trip. It was much more difficult than I remembered! Perhaps it has something to do with getting older, or maybe I’m just spoiled by air travel.
However, there was no Julio Iglesias, so I consider it a success.