I’ve always been a fan of road trips. I guess this is strange, given that it was a road trip that resulted in my family’s near-fatal car accident. But there is something about a long road trip that I just can’t resist. Growing up, we never really had a tradition of family vacations. But when we did go on a trip, it was always by car. Flying was simply too expensive for us. Maybe that has something to do with my love of long distance driving.
Every summer, we pack up our car to overflowing, load everyone we can fit, and head off to Michigan for a two week camping trip. Sure, we could camp somewhere closer – but let’s face it – camping in the Texas summer heat is not something any sane human would attempt. And I like to consider myself moderately sane.
So what does a sane person do? Drive 22 hours (give or take a few) without sleep, that’s what! We play music and I do my best to roust everyone into an obnoxious sing-along. This normally doesn’t work, but I sing my little heart out, and I’m pretty sure that’s obnoxious to everyone else, so I still consider a win. The boys play video games and strange invented card games to pass the time. The Littles squabble over toys and draw pictures and ask, “Are we there yet?” so many times that my ears bleed.
And I love every minute of it. Because at the end? At the end, we’re surrounded by family and the unbelievably gorgeous Traverse City forest in Michigan. We spend days tubing down a freezing river (and some nights, too!) and baking in the sun.
It’s a tradition I never want to end.
And it all starts with a road trip.