Conversation today rolled towards road trips, and I got to thinking about some pretty epic road trips I’ve been on. The first, that I remember enough to write about here, is the vacation that Mom, Howie, Gramps and I took to Ireland in 1984. We spent two weeks, I think, or 10 days, but a lot of time driving around the country, stopping here and there and doing awesome things. I was only 11 years old, and I’m sure the driving part was way more stressful for the adults that were actually driving than it was for me, but it was my first big-time road trip.
Second, mine and Brian’s drive out to Boston in 2002. It was summer, and hot, and we were in a rush. The moving company picked up our stuff in Phoenix, and told us that day that they would see us in Boston in five days. We had been told to allow a 10-day window to get our belongings, so this shift was quite a surprise. We busted out of town super early the next morning, and made it to Boston in four days, driving 12 and 13 hours per day to get there in time. It was fun, to be sure, but way too stressful to really enjoy. Because my boss at the time would not let me quit my job before the end of August, I had to come back to Arizona, live with a coworker, and go on about my life after traveling with Brian and moving him into our apartment there.
Hence, the third big road trip, with Mom, moving me and my car from California to Boston, in September that same year. Yes, I drove coast to coast twice in a matter of four months. This particular trip was super awesome, and a ton more relaxed. Mom and I had a steady driving schedule of eight hours per day, had our itinerary of where we would stop each night, and had our plans for what fun things we would visit along the way. This is, no doubt, my most favorite road trip. That she fought tooth and nail to not go is amazing in hindsight, isn’t it?
Fourth big trip: the drive back to Arizona from Boston. Brian, Oliver and I, and my big-ass tummy with a baby in it. I was six months along when we drove back to the desert, and it made for a more interesting trip. That trip, actually, is mapped out on the blog, for your enjoyment, in July of 2006. But for the sake of conversation, I’ll tell you that we took our time with that one, driving down the East Coast on the 95 South until we reached the 10 East in Florida. We took a right at that point, and continued across the South, and Texas, to Arizona. It was a better trip than our trip out in July, 2002, for certain. Our stuff took eight or nine more days beyond that to arrive in Scottsdale, so we spent several days with Brian’s parents in southern Arizona.
The fifth big trip took us out to Houston, with a kid, two dogs and two cars. It sucked that there was no one we could share driving duties with, but we dealt okay, and enjoyed the ride nonetheless.
The sixth road trip, and last one so far, brought us back to Arizona from Houston. Mom, Sydney, Oliver, Daisy and I, all crammed into the Jetta, rocking along the highway. (Brian drove back to Arizona a couple months prior.) It was a different experience, certainly, with Sydney and the dogs, but we all still had a lovely time, and again, had our route mapped and figured out for every day.
My coworker doesn’t like road trips, she said. I love them, obviously, because if I didn’t, I’d be in a world of hurt. But I really do love them, because it’s fun to drive into a town, or away from a town, with a destination in mind. I love that with a road trip, it’s the journey that makes it so special.