My sons remember the driving trip we took to New Orleans. It was the summer before Hurricane Katrina hit. They were about eight and eleven years old, and they’d never been out of California. That first day, we made it all the way to El Paso, Texas! It was about a thirteen-hour drive, but we were so excited to be on our first interstate trip that we just kept driving.
That was the trip where we saw the Alamo, and a “cattle drive” down the middle of Fort Worth. We went to a rodeo, and the boys ran through a stockyard maze. They loved every part of the west, though neither has grown up to be a cowboy. But the trip wasn’t finished yet.
We toured the Revolutionary City in Williamsburg, and I fell in love with the area. I enjoy the colonial time period, and am dying to go back again. We drove up to Washington D.C. There is so much to see there! Arlington Cemetery, all the monuments, the Capitol building, even the White House! We scored tickets through our congressman to tour the White House. I loved looking at the china from each First Lady, and the boys were checking out all the secret service personnel.
We used the subway to get around our nation’s capital, and a lot of walking, which isn’t the greatest with the summer humidity. I can still remember how hot I felt. One of the funniest things we did was take what’s called a Duck Tour of the city, where we rode in an amphibious boat/bus that was yellow and orange, like a duck. Oh, and we were given duck whistles to blow at intersections.
While my younger son bought into the whole “quack, quack” routine, our older one, at just sixteen, felt childish. But he didn’t argue when the driver let him pilot the boat on the Potomac. He was downright eager to show he had a license in order to do so.
Now our sons are grown up, and family trips consist of my husband and me. Although we fly more than we used to, we still go on driving trips. We drive up to the central California coast, or maybe to Laughlin, Nevada once in a while. Just recently, we drove to Arizona to see our younger son in the Army. We pack a lunch and snacks, and eat on the road. And, perhaps, along the way, we might happen to say, “Do you remember the time when?”
Yes, road trips definitely bring a family closer together. And they hold it together, long after the memories have been made.
Have you gone on a road trip that you still remember? Drop me a line and tell me about it. I may just vacation there the next time I get the travel bug.