Posted by: chlost | March 28, 2011

And, at the top of today’s playlist, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Willie Nelson!

I want to drive.  To get in the car, take off and just keep driving.

I’ve loved road trips ever since I was young.  As a child, my family drove back and forth from the East Coast to the Midwest several times. That was in the years before interstates. You had to drive through every little town. Gas station bathrooms-no rest stops. Diners for dinner. My father wanted to Make Time. We didn’t stop unless we had to. Little girls’ potty stops were not a reason to stop. During one quite memorable trip, we had a coffee can in the car to use as a potty. On the fly. Other times, we stopped along the roadside, and used the two car doors to shield us from view as the ditch grass tickled our bottoms.

Now I stop at restaurants, rest stops and gas stations at regular intervals. I imagine that even the most remote roadside would not be safe for a grown woman’s bottom to be tickled.

Right now, I don’t care where I’d go. The idea is to just to somewhere. Anywhere. In any direction, just away from here.

The weather is part of it. We still have snow on the ground. It is “unseasonably cold”. Even though the sun is shining, it is still winter. No grass, no flowers, no buds, no leaves,  no color.

Almost anywhere else (except to the north-I won’t go north) would be better.

I suppose I would take my husband along. And the little dog. But I wouldn’t mind going alone. We have a GPS in the car. I would also bring along the Rand McNally. Maybe I would make some hotel reservations. But I won’t know where I will be until I get there. Maybe I will want to stay someplace for several nights, maybe I will want to take off the next morning.

Or maybe I would sleep in the car! We have done that a few times, mostly in a rest stop, with the whole family, when my husband just couldn’t drive any longer. We are infamous for taking long trips of 20 hours driving straight through, with no overnight stops.

If only I didn’t have work commitments, doctor appointments for my mom, physical therapy appointments, a babysitting date (which I don’t want to miss), a wedding shower I am hosting.

Never mind.



  1. My husband told me that he had long road trips with his family when he was young. This is all foreign to me. In France we have wonderful railways and public transportation. We always took the train – it was faster and cheaper and we did not have to buy gas. When you think that you can take a train from Paris to Brussels and get there in 1 ½ hour, or go to London via rail from Paris in 3 hours – it is faster than going to the airport, through security then getting at Heathrow and back to downtown London. The trains also have all kind of special tickets – once we took a 3 way ticket, which included rental car for 2 days and stopping at two places (we stopped in Monaco and the Alps.) Shame on the US for being bullied by Big Oil and have no fast railway system. If you had one, you could take a train south and be there in one day. Someday there won’t be any more gas – then what. But I understand your wish to go on a trip – I go on them all the times, but not so much on the road as I am scared on the road – I much rather fly or go on a ship or a train.

    • I wish there was a decent public transportation system in the US. But there is just something about a road trip that I love. Can’t explain it.

  2. I recall traveling each summer from San Francisco to my aunt and uncle’s place in Santa Monica (they had a backyard swimming pool). Like your experience, US 101 was a two lane highway make of concrete pads. The 1957 Chevy station wagon would make a rhythmic “ca-thunk ca-thunk” as it rolled over the highway. It usually was a two day trip so we would stay in some funky motel in a little place like Paso Robles or San Louis Obispo. If we were lucky, the motel had a pool. I never remember rest stops being a problem, we would get out and sight-see the tourist traps along the way which, fortunately, had bathrooms. Interesting memories.

    • Wow! A swimming pool at a motel, then a swimming pool at your relatives’ house. We would have been in heaven. There was just a time and a certain population that did road trips. I’m glad I did. My siblings, however, do not enjoy them. Weird.

  3. It’s time. Pick a date – pick a whole week in fact. Carve it in stone on your calendar. Put a sleeping bag and a pillow in the back seat. Put an ice chest on the passenger floorboard. Gather a bag of snacks (some healthy some guilty pleasure) Put some clothes and shoes and coats in the trunk. Fill the vehicle with gas.
    GO GO GO.
    If this old Granny can do it – anyone can. GO!
    The world is waiting for you – go.
    Don’t forget your camera. Your going to want to remember.

    • You are right. I am working on it. I’ll keep you up to date. I will definitely take the camera!

  4. I can hear Willie singing now…. “On the road again…..just can’t wait to be on the road again……” If you do take a trip, watch out for some fat idiot on an exercise bike along the shoulder of the road! 🙂

    • Beep Beep! Get that little weenie exercycle off the road!!!! Where do you think you’re going on that thing, anyway???? New York City?

  5. You do NOT want to come north. Other than along the big lake it is still very white looking up here. And its been a little below zero for the last 5 or 6 mornings.

    • I will not venture north until about July. Love the lake in July.

  6. Oh how cold it sounds!
    I echo Rusted Granny, make a date with your diary and keep to it. Even if just for a couple of days. Windows wound down, CD playing, no one else to worry about for a little while. Just you and the experience. Or how about a long train trip? Music on the Ipod, camera ready, good book in the bag.

    • That does sound so wonderful. I am making my escape plan…….

  7. Oh, boy – lately I’ve had an urge to just GO somewhere. But not an option right now.

  8. What, are we related? My father, too, Made Good Time. To this day I blame him for the reason I don’t drink enough water. Who, after all, wants to be responsible for us having to pull over?

    But I’m like you. I love road trips and wouldn’t mind going alone — and I don’t even have a GPS…


    • You have talked about several things that have made me wonder if our dads grew up together. And who needs a stinkin’ GPS anyway?

  9. Oh, dear, you’ve got the itch–bad. Come here, to the beaches of SC. I’ve got a lovely house for sale on a lake in a spit of land between big rivers and the ocean. We’ll walk in the gardens at Brookgreen Plantation, dawdle beneath the Spanish moss, listen to the bull alligator’s mating roar in the swamp.

    That wasn’t exactly fair of me, was it?

    I know what you mean about those commitments, though. Physical therapy? Scared to miss it at this use-it-or-lose-it age!

    • Oh, I think that sounds heavenly……………well, except for the alligators. I am working on a plan, but unfortunately, not for a nice long trip like that.

  10. Back in the 1980s my parents and my aunt and uncle took a train trip west across Canada and then back east across the US – it was the thrill of a lifetime and they saw many of the national parks in both countries.

    When I was little there were our monthly trips to visit my grandparents on Cape Cod, through every little town as you describe. And every couple of years we traveled to Florida the same way. Tim & I went to Florida by train once – I loved it!

    I hope you find a way to make your trip soon! It sounds like you need it desperately!

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