Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Memory Lane: My Favorite Road Trip

Did you take road trips as a child? My son has no idea how good he has it traveling. With all the great portable DVD players, electronic book readers and portable gaming devices, there is no way my little man can get bored. When I was a child it was so different. I keep thinking that with the airline situation right now, epic road trips will be making a come back. Since our family lives nearby, we will be staying close to home this holiday season. That doesn't mean I don't have some fabulous memories of my child hood trips. Of course our trips were usually taken during the warmer summer months, but they were still memorable.

While I was growing up, we traveled to Utah every summer to meet up with family. We lived out on the West Coast while my Mom's family lived in Indiana. My grandparents had the idea to find somewhere we could all meet... they chose Utah because it was roughly half way in between for everyone. When I was little, we all drove there. It took everyone at least 2 days of driving each way and became half of our vacation adventure. It was just about the destination. The journey there is still a big part of my memories. I can clearly remember the giant (or it seemed so at the time) mustard yellow Matador that my father drove. I could stretch all the way across the seat without touching. Before mandatory seat belt laws the back seat was my play room. I passed the time playing and watching the scenery roll by.

One particular year we had just horrible car trouble. The Mazda we planned on driving died before we even  left town. I was probably 7 at the time so I can't tell you what exactly was wrong, but it was not a quick repair so we transferred back over to the Matador. That car was a tank on wheels. As an only child, what I took along had to help me stay occupied for the long drive. I remember I took along a Bobbsey Twins book and Cindi Lauper's True Colors was popular on the radio. To this day, hearing that song reminds of the trip.  Going through Eastern Oregon, which is high desert, we encountered many "pot guts" a rather prolific rodent seen everywhere along the eastern border. More often than not, we spied them as "flat guts" along the road. That was a term we coined on that trip and chuckled about for years after.

Not long after that, we encountered more car trouble and ended up staying overnight in a tiny little spot along the border of Idaho and Oregon. There was one restaurant and of course one mechanic to help us out. As a child I thought it was a great adventure. I can only imagine what my parents thought of our detour.

Don't worry, we made it to our destination. A little late, but we made it. That was one year the journey is all I remember. I am sure I had a great time seeing my cousins and being spoiled by my grandparents, but what sticks with me today was that road trip. We saw so much and just getting away from home became the real vacation. After that year, I was a very careful packer and even today I tend to over pack things to keep my family busy. You never know when you might get stuck along the way.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season this year. If you are embarking on your own road trip, be safe and be smart about it.  I want to thank Discount Tire & TwitterMoms for the great topic and opportunity to blog about one of my fondest trip memories. I wish I had some photos to share with you all, but alas, I don't have many photos from my childhood.

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*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here
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