Unexpected Fun

We're use to traveling on long road trips and usually equip ourselves accordingly with a road atlas, food and beverage, CD's, DVD's and any other digital device that our two, lovely offspring have suckered us into purchasing over the years.

We travel up and down the eastern corridor enjoying the sights and each other's company between showings of old favorites, like Cheaper by the Dozen and Agent Cody Banks until we arrive at our destination and the DVD's are saved for the return trip home. So when our home-bound airline flight was recently canceled by mid-Atlantic blizzard conditions, we had a choice: sit tight for a few days for the next scheduled flight or drive the I-95 corridor from the most southern of eastern states. We chose the latter.

First, we upgraded our little rental car for one that could handle snow, a sturdy SUV with all the bells and whistles, including the soft-as-your-baby's-bottom leather and Satellite radio. Choices galore--customized rock 'roll! But the kids were in the car, and I couldn't check-in with Howard Stern, so I am unsure if he's grown up in the years since I've listened.

Once we were on the road, each child equipped with a book, riding cofortably side by side, time passed unnoticeably. When they came up for air, we talked about teachers, friends, famly, the stuff of our life, and what we might expect heading back into our neighborhood, buried in three feet of snow. We had been given a 1990's traveler's version of Trivial Pursuit and shared some laughs at the expense of the California's Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Conan the Barbarian our kids know happens to be a jelly-rolled coifed comedian, named O'Brien.

Our dinner stop became a family memory when Hubba Hubba confused a restaurant's logo for a duck. As the rest our family informed him, it was clearly a chicken! After refusing to succumb to the overwhelming majority vote, he actually took his case to the evening shift of a convenience store across the street. The night crew politely, but firmly, told him the picture was of a chicken, and he had been "driving too long."

Once we hit our area, the lateness of the hour made it a real adventure. Trading the rental car for our van at the airport, maneuvering around huge plows creating snow-mounds, treading lightly on icey roads and sidewalks, we made a much needed pit stop at our 24-hour grocery store. Who knew that at 2 a.m. an alarm goes off every time the front door opens, signaling the graveyard shift that another early-morning shopper has arrived? Once in our neighborhood, we trudged through the snow, luggage and groceries held high, overhead. At last, home.

The Blizzrd of 2010 may have altered our travel plans, but I found the best preparation for a successful road trip is a good attitude, one mile at a time.