Hours in a car doesn’t sound like the stuff of great stories. Admittedly, the mind-numbing monotony of the passing miles might not make for interesting reading. Nevertheless, many good stories—if not pleasant memories—grow out of road trips. No doubt when good friends or family members get together, someone is going to bring up a story related to long trips.
Road Trip Memories with Children
Trips with kids are certainly memorable! “Are we there yet?” “Daddy, I have to pee.” “Mom, she’s touching me!” Sound familiar?
In his post Nine days in a mental hospital; it’s time for our family vacation, Ned Hickson remembers the dangerous sedative ef?ect of driving while entertaining kids with songs.
I suddenly realized I had no memory of the last 40 miles and was absently singing what can only be described as a hybrid-nursery rhyme that included a man named Old McDonald who had a farm. And on that farm he a dog named Bingo that climbed into a waterspout after drinking 99 bottles of beer.
I can relate. Because we spent ten days of driving around Alaska listening to Veggie Tales’ “Silly Songs” in 1999, no one in my family can speak the words “Where is my hair brush?” Fifteen years later, we still sing it. (If you’re not familiar with Veggie Tales, the lyrics are here. Spoiler alert: The peach has hair.) Now that our boys are mostly grown, the “Hair Brush Song” counts among our fondest road trip memories.
Road Trips as opposed to Vacations
Although they are often part of vacations, road trip memories are different. They made up of that time stuffed in a small vehicle with shared anticipation—and shared boredom. Shared circumstances can also make a trip memorable. One of my favorite road trip memories is a post graduation trip to the beach with my friend Laura, driving down the highway with the windows down. There was little conversation, but there was some sort of communion of spirits.
Regular Road Trips
You may not remember one specific trip if there was a regular trip you took to visit relatives. My husband loves to refer to the long trips in the back of a station wagon from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Louisville, Kentucky. It was an annual migration of sorts to see his grandparents. Though the memories of one year’s road trip often blur into the next, the memories of those long trips in the back of an un-air-conditioned car during the hottest part of the summer bond him to his parents and siblings.
Cross Country Moves
People love to tell the stories of moving across states or even across country. They tell them with the same drama as the Beverly Hill-Billies packing up their truck. Was there a time that your family made a move with lock, stock and barrel? Did you travel with pets? Sick child? Wife with morning sickness? These are the stories that later become family lore.
What are some of your favorite road trip memories? Most memorable?