Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Road Trips

On Saturday, most of my family (my brother couldn't make it) met up together at the Scottish festival, in Alma, Michigan, which is a couple hours away. I rode with my sister, Heather, and her three kids. It was nice to catch up with Heather and of course, I love spending time with nieces and nephews. Plus, my youngest niece, Samantha, is in the most adorable phase where she says "me" instead of "I." This conversation really took place, as all three kids were claiming they "didn't do it," though I can't recall now what the "it" in question was:

Paige: "I didn't do it!"
Ethan" I didn't do it!"
Samantha: "Me no did it!"

Melts my heart every time.

Anyway, the ride up was overall uneventful, with nice conversation and the normal kid antics in the back seats. When we got to Alma and met up with everyone, my mom asked me, "So how was the ride up?" I replied, "Oh, it was fun. Ethan and Samantha got on each other's nerves, and Ethan asked 'are we there yet' about 50 times. Oh, and Paige threw up." In the retelling of the ride, I realized it hadn't been as relaxed as I'd thought. But really, it hadn't been bad. With a van full of kids, that stuff comes with the territory.

In thinking of this, I've been reminiscing about road trips I went on with my family when I was a kid. We went on at least one per summer, but usually more - a lot of them were to northern Michigan, camping in a borrowed camper trailer, or staying in a hotel or cottages. We drove to the upper peninsula to visit my uncle and his family, then to Ohio to visit them when they moved, then to Maine to visit them when they moved again! We went to South Carolina, and all the states in between. We basically drove all over this side of the country.

We always had a mini-van, but not the fancy kind with a DVD player, thank goodness. (I don't know why I say "thank goodness" except that for some reason I feel a DVD player would have taken away from the experience. I could be wrong though.) Instead we were loaded up with books, walkmen, blankets, flashlights, and snacks. We sang together, argued (probably) and pretty much had the time of our lives.

I drew a picture of us at Niagara Falls - in the cave you can go into to be behind the falls - but then later I was able to find some actual pictures from that trip for your viewing pleasure. (Though for the record, I think the drawing captures the experience pretty well on its own.)

I didn't realize we had our hoods up and weren't totally in a cave, but other than that,
my drawing was dead on. Please do not go back to my
drawing to find inconsistencies. Just trust me.

Pretty sure my fly is down in this picture, but I was too busy with
my lollipop to notice. Also, were my suspenders awesome,
or what!?

I loved family vacations, and have very fond memories of them. Every place we visited was so full of possibilities and my parents did a great job of taking us to fun and interesting spots.

As an adult, I'm still a fan of the road trip. What's more fun than stuffing a trunk full of as many suitcases and sleeping bags as possible then hitting the road? That reminds me of a picture I took last summer on a road trip with Katherine, Amy, and Brian (see below). Oh, and the road trip I went out to Moab with Emily last summer? Such a blast. Road trips are just unique in what they have to offer.

I hope I didn't have to put the car in reverse at all...

I think it was on road trips when my brother and sisters and I really bonded. Did we get on each others nerves? Heck yeah, I'm sure we did. But we also started inside jokes (like the time the ducks ate Katherine's bracelet), we told stories, we helped each other out, and we met vacation friends together. And not to be totally cheeseball, but we also formed lasting memories that we still talk about. 

What are some of your family vacation memories? Do you like road trips?

Post script: The first year my brother and I decided not to go on a family vacation was a bit of an adventure too actually, since my brother took the opportunity to allow a couple of traveling artisans to live in our patio for the week before they moved on to their next Renaissance Festival. They burned a hole in the grass in our backyard with the kiln they used to make their ocarinas. My brother and I tried to replant the grass the best we could but the hole was glaringly obvious. The memory still makes me laugh.


Katherine said...

OK, first things first. I thought the bracelet-eating ducks incident was in the PAST! I'm still traumatized!! Oy.

Moving on, I LOVE road trips!! We really had some seriously awesome ones growing up! I loved not rushing, making stops along the way, etc. It seems like with flying you're missing the best part! The trip to your destination can be more fun than your destination itself sometimes! I took an awesome road trip through New England with some friends a few years ago, and we had the best time. I love to think of that trip and others when I need a pick-me-up! I really need to go on another road trip ASAP!

Also, your drawings are seriously awesome!!

P.S. I can't believe I ate that much of my huge lollipop. I'm guessing a stomach ache (stomach cake?) followed!

P.P.S. Sammy looks so much like Hedro in the pic of us in the raincoats! Those kids are so cute!! They melt my heart, too!

P.P.P.S. This is one of my favorite posts! :)

Maxabillion J said...

Your suspenders were awesome. That is all.

Heather said...

I love road trips. Last one was Texas to Niagra Falls with 4 kids and one in the oven. Next trip is Texas to LA Summer 2012.
We didn't go on many epic road trips when I was a kid, but I do remember this awesome inside joke that we still do.
"Do YOU wanna tell him? I'm not gonna tell him."
This was a convo we had in the back of the van (NO DVD) concerning our hunger after Dad had just had a temper fit about something or other! Great times!

lizzie mc.- said...

... and that's where you're easily better than me. I just want peace and quite and you enjoy the ride. Love you for that!

NOURNME said...

Stylin and profilin

karajean said...

I love this post! Now I am seriously missing road trips from my past. And I, like you, feel like a DVD player would have ruined everything!

Heather said...

My conversations with Samantha last night went like this:
Me: Go to sleep please
Sam: But Mommmmyyy, me sick.
Me: Oh yeah? What would make you feel better?
Sam: Me want (whispered) ccaannddyyy.

I think of the trip like this: no one lost an eye or peed their pants: SUCCESS! Ha! It was a lot of fun talking and getting to hang out.
Here are some of my memories:
*I remember when we went to South Carolina right after Hurricane Hugo had hit.
*I remember riding in the back of the van with a blanket over my head reading an archie comic while dad drove up the side of (was it Mt.St. Helens?). It was very scary.
*Laying the front 2 seats down and playing cards, us 4 kids.
*One of Mom's cousins or Uncles that had this huge marble things.
*Oh Katherine and her bracelet. Good times. Good times.
*The drive into Ludington
*Stopping in the Smoky Mountans and seeing bears.
Lots of great memories. I know I'll think of a ton more.