Road Trips Are Where the Memories Are Made
There are things that people tell you when they find out you are expecting a baby. Then there are things people SHOULD tell you when you are expecting a baby. They tell you, "Sleep now while you can!" but they SHOULD tell you, "Sleep now because you will NEVER EVER sleep again!" People tell you, "Say goodbye to being able to do whatever you want whenever you want!" They SHOULD tell you, "Hey! You can go on vacation all you want, but you better make sure your destination is within a six-hour radius."
Or is that just us?
Alexis came equipped with a ticking time bomb. She will happily soldier through road trips, but only for six hours. The minute we cruise past that six-hour mark, the cranky starts. When she was tiny, that cranky took the form of inconsolable crying. Now that she's older, it takes the form of endless whining. Regardless. Six hours. Get there or listen to her turn into Grumpy McGrumpster.
It's a really good thing we happen to live in Pittsburgh. That six-hour radius can get us to some amazing places. In the past few years, we have road-tripped to:
~ Visit family here and there.
~ Get away from all signs of civilization.
~ Ride bikes along miles and miles of wooded wilderness.
~ Find adventure in a big city.
~ Ride roller coasters up and down.
~ Sit quietly on a beach sipping a cool drink.
~ Explore an insanely huge Christmas store.
~ Dine at a tiny little diner with some amazing food.
~ Swim just feet from a stunning waterfall.
Enjoy the company of thousands of other people as we cheered our team on to victory.
We have road tripped to twelve different states with Alexis buckled safely into a car seat. She has experienced a lifetime worth of adventure in just seven years.
And yet. AND YET.
There is one road trip she remembers better than any other. It's the road trip that she mentions every few months as she wistfully remembers the sock.
Yes, THE sock.
It has been well over four years since a toddler Alexis stuck her sock-covered hand out of a window just west of Columbus. It has been well over four years since that sock blew away and was abandoned in the middle of the highway. It has been well over four years since Alexis first lost her cool because TURN AROUND AND GET THE SOCK, PEOPLE.
She remembers THE sock each and every time we venture to Indiana to visit family. Each and every time we drive through Columbus, she somehow remembers the exact spot where the sock ran away in the rain. She asks us to pull over and she begs us to find THE sock.
I have looked for a replacement sock. There is no such thing. Only THE sock will do because apparently it is the most magical and fantastic sock in the whole wide world.
When Alexis is all grown up with kids of her own, I'm going to tell her about karma and about how she will probably never sleep again. I will also tell her about time limits on road trips and how they don't really matter. The important thing about road trips is that you have fun traveling the highway and then have fun again when you reach your destination. It's the together part of the road trip that is critical, really.
And I'll tell her that socks that blow away as you're traveling down the highway at 70 mph are worth turning around to retrieve.
This post is part of BlogHer's Family Fun on Four Wheels editorial series, made possible by Mazda CX-9.