A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Road Trip!!!

Tomorrow Ed and I leave on a road trip to Tucson. We're taking it in two days this time - stopping near Palm Springs for the night. We planned this before Ed hurt his leg and now we're really glad we did!

We love road trips. First of all, you can carry all your shit with you in regular sized bottles and regular hairspray! And a bag o' shoes so we don't have to try to make it on one pair that will fit into a suitcase. We can hang our clothes up in the car, carry both laptops, and food - we can bring food and drink!

When I was a kid, road trips consisted mostly of driving from Tucson to Southern California to do the Disneyland - Knotts Berry Farm - Sea World circuit. Almost every summer. We always left at 4:00am because back in those days we didn't have air conditioning in the car and the rule was that you had to make it to Yuma by 8am, have a quick breakfast, and be back on the road by 8:30. If not you would simply die because Yuma is a thousand degrees in the summer.

I remember so well as a kid my mom would wake us up and toss us in the car in our pajamas. That eliminated the whole ordeal of us getting ready at 4am. We'd be sleeping in the back seat (this was pre-seat belt days) and mom and dad would talk in low voices. I would periodically open my eyes and see all the lights from the truck stops and it made me so happy because I knew that on the other end was California and Disneyland. Mom would always bring a thermos of coffee. When they were ready for a cup, she would open a dishtowel on her lap and pour. It smelled so good and to this day the smell of coffee in the car reminds me of those trips.

We would stop in Yuma for breakfast and then in Pine Valley (which is closer to San Diego) for banana cream pie at the Hobart House. Tradition! We always knew we were close to the ocean because the trees were slanted from the breezes and we would see orange juice and date stands popping up. This was also pre-freeway days so there would be vendors on the side of the road.

Of course, there was the usually chorus of "are we there yet?" followed by "Stop asking! I'll tell you when we get there!!" We'd usually have a picnic lunch at a rest stop and several bathroom stops.

When I grew up and had my own family, we continued the tradition of leaving very early in the morning. It just seemed like the right thing to do. And there's something very special about being far away from your home and watching the sun come up from inside the car. Magical. The kids and I took several trips back to Tucson after we moved to California and many times we would leave as soon as I got home from work and drive all night. That way we could have breakfast with my mom! She loved it and so did we.

I've never outgrown my love of road trips and my daughter is the same. Not sure about my son - I think he's more of an airplane guy. Luckily Ed is a road-trip kinda guy, too. So we're excited. Tucson will be very hot. But who cares. Maybe we'll catch a monsoon or two. And we'll visit with family and enjoy the desert.

On the road again.......

4 comments:

Mellodee said...

You left out my favorite thing about road trips....you can take your very own pillow!! It might look a little (!) dorky carrying it into the hotel, but that is infinitely better than trying to sleep on ANY hotel pillow anywhere in the world. :)

Have a great trip!

judypatooote said...

What a nice trip....and I love your blog sight...makes me want to go to Italy....

Your memory of your road trip sounds so familiar...I too would sleep in the back seat, I was the only child, and I remember looking at the lights as we passed them by... when my kids were little we would go to Blissfield Mi. to grandmas house which was about an hour away (now with expressways 30 min.)...but then we would pack the kids in the car, with pillows, snacks and things to do....you would think it was an all day trip, instead of an hour...I have to laugh when I think about it now....

I enjoyed your memory Sandi....
judy

the thrifty ba said...

drive safe! and take care of old ed!

Luz said...

OMG, while reading this I thought I was reading an excerpt from my family trips-only ours were to Corpus Christi to go and vist grandma. Yep, I remember being thrown in the back with our PJ's and I remember the thermos of coffee for dad and incessantly asking, "Are we there yet"? Years, later as an adult driving to Cali from Tx & I remember stopping in Yuma as well because of the heat! I thought Houston was hot! Jeez, Yuma takes the cake! Wishing now, that I knew about Hobart's then, which seems better than the fly ridden McDonald's we stopped in for their cool AC--except the AC wasn't working properly. Needless to say, I lost my appetite and just drank very large soda. Enjoy the trip and looking forward to hearing all about it on your return.