Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Great American Road Trip Memories

summer vacation, moving, road trip

We are taking a vacation this summer by car which will encompass 5 states and several thousand miles with 2 kids.  Yeah, this could get interesting but we've done it several times before and survived with sanity intact ........ ok, partially intact.  If nothing else, we will make lots of memories.

We took our first road trip with our son when he was just 14 months old.  We were moving 700 miles, so it was going to be a pretty interesting trip with a very active toddler strapped into a carseat for 2 days worth of driving.

We left the deep south late in the afternoon, headed for our new home in Texas.  I had our son strapped in his carseat in my minivan, with my husband following us in his pickup truck. 

Our son was having a grand time making the pulling down motion and getting the truckers to honk their horns.  Scared the beejeevies out of me a few times, but that's better than listening to a crying child for 700 miles.  As we crossed the Alabama/Mississippi border, the sun set and darkness started to creep in on us.  This was the part of the trip my husband and I were the most nervous about.  Pitch black, a baby who's afraid of the dark, and strapped in a carseat for hours.  Yeah, this could get dicey and very uncomfortable ....... for both of us.

The darkness really set in and boy, you couldn't see a thing outside of the car windows.  It was very creepy, even for me.  But having driven this before, and knowing how dark it gets, I had thought ahead and brought our son a little kid-proof flashlight to entertain him and light his little area.  I had shown him how to use it the day before, so when I reached back and handed it to him, he giggled with excitement.  Haha!  "How smart am I?" I thought to myself.  "Why - I am BRILLIANT!!!!".  Famous last words.

Our son was having a grand time trying to find alligators, bears, and lions outside the car windows as we drove through the forest.  That was fun for a while but when he didn't find any wild animals, he quickly lost interest.  He started looking all around the car with the flashlight, entertained with how the light could bounce around on the ceiling and floorboards of the minivan.  After a while, he quieted down and relaxed with the darkness that enveloped our car. 

I noticed as we continued to drive that several passing cars  must have some tired drivers, as they kept hitting those grooves in the pavement which alert you to your vehicle leaving the roadway.  After a number of vehicles had crossed onto the grooves as they passed us, it dawned on me that something might be wrong with my car and maybe they were giving us a wide berth.  As the next car drove past, I looked in my side mirror and discovered the reason.  Our sweet, beautiful, little innocent baby boy, in his eagerness to see who was driving the car passing us, was shining his flashlight directly into the unsuspecting driver's eyes and creating a beam of death!

Considering that we were in the middle of a forest preserve with all sorts of wild animals, I was not stopping to take back the flashlight for fear of being eaten by the alligators, bears, or lions my son had been looking for.  All I could do at that point was to ask my son in my nicest June Cleaver-like voice, to please not blind the helpless unsuspecting drivers with his flashlight because he will cause them to all crash and die.

We reached our hotel and my husband walked over to our minivan laughing hysterically.  Before I could say a word, he told me that our son had been blinding drivers for over 100 miles before I'd noticed.   Welcome to the great time-honored American family road trip where the best laid plans usually go awry.........

by: Christie Bielss

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