Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the Road Again

When I was in grade school, my parents and another couple with small children bought a travel trailer together, and for several years we rattled around the country in it during summer vacations.  It was nothing like the gigantic, comfortable motorhomes that people buy now.  The propane stove was a tiny, two-burner hotplate and the "refrigerator" was just an ice box.  The miniature sink had a pump rather than faucets, and the trailer had no electrical outlets or bathroom facilities.  In addition, one child always had to sleep on a stretcher-like hammock hanging over our parents' bunk - talk about a romance killer for them!  Still, we had great time eating strange food, touring museums, and exploring exotic new scenery.  We never stayed in a big city because Dad hated driving in metropolitan areas with the trailer bobbing and weaving behind the station wagon, but we visited so many of the nation's national parks that between those trips and my later travels I've seen every state except Alaska.  I've had itchy feet and a love of travel since our first trip in that beat-up little tin can on wheels.

Since Barry and I have been together we've never taken a road trip longer than one day's drive.  This is partly because he doesn't care for driving and partly because his older daughter works for an airline, so he can fly practically anywhere for free as long as he's willing to go standby.  On Sunday, however, we're loading up the car and heading for Omaha to visit (and start spoiling) his new granddaughter.  The drive should take 3-4 days in each direction and I'm pretty excited about it.  We're staying over one day in Oklahoma City, which I've never seen, and if the weather stays good we'll be coming home by way of the beautiful Rockies.

Despite his usual dislike for planning ahead, Barry went to AAA for the maps and guide books we used to plot the route, and he researched and made reservations at the hotels where we're going to stay.  Together we planned the sights we're going to see along the way and the stuff we're going to pack to keep the ride from being too boring.  We also agreed, for everyone's sake, to stay in a comfortable hotel once we reach our destination rather than camping out in Barry's daughter's basement.  This doesn't mean we won't at some point be tired and touchy, but on the whole, this should be a fun trip.

I'm actually thinking this could be better than my childhood vacations; after all, we'll be staying in places with private bathrooms, and no children will be suspended over our bed!
image of a tomato with a hobo bundle

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."  ~St. Augustine

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