to carry on a family tradition

Part of what makes a large family unique are the vacations. While friends would go to far off and exotic places, we returned as a large troop to the same family getaway year after year in the summer. I get it now, traveling is expensive and I cannot imagine doing it with children. My sister went to Disney with her 5 kids recently and I thought, that trip could have bought us a new truck. But it is important to get away and make memories with your family, which is why I love road trips.

Well, love and short-term-memory loss might go hand in hand with this one. I enjoy the preparation and am in the process right now of not being so "destination driven", learning to relax and enjoy the ride. What I like most about road trips now is that I can bring whatever I want along with me. I may have told you in a previous post that we were often encouraged to pack as light as possible as children. It makes sense, 10 suitcases crammed into the back of a van take up a lot of space. But now that I am older and it's just me and the hubster, I can bring all of my nail polish if I wanted and it doesn't matter. (I don't though, because it's engrained in me to pack light)

When we were young we would get out of school and the preparations would begin. My mom would yell at us to pack our stuff, and remind the boys constantly to bring underwear. The ice packs would be frozen solid for two days before going into the cooler. We would pack it full and all learned before we could talk that you NEVER held the cooler open for longer than three seconds. You had to have a photographic memory before you were allowed to open it for fear that anything would melt. It would all melt, usually before we hit the American border crossing.

Because we did this same trip so often, a lot of my memories have sort of melted together. I'm not sure which year was which - they're all the same. I know the order of the major cities that we passed through by heart, and always loved Grand Rapids for some reason. We never stopped there but it is a border city and sticks out in my mind as a sort of half way point. I have never had cheese from Wisconsin, and no matter how much we begged, we never got to stop at the Mystery Spot. Don't ask me what's there, I have no idea, and, truth be told, it's a bit of a sore spot. What the heck is at that darn Mystery Spot? I may have to take a detour just to check it out.

Last year the hubster and I drove out to Beautiful SuperNatural BC (weirdest slogan to me). We drove 18 hours to hang out for three days on our SUP boards. A few people thought that we were nuts. I didn't understand why until I realized we were driving about as long as we were positioned at our destination.

This year, we are going south 18 hours, for four days. We've increased our stop a little.

But I'm learning to love the road part of trips. As I mentioned, I have been working hard to become a enjoy the journey person. It's not 'home base' for me, I like to dig in, drive hard, get there and chill out. But then, when you do a road trip like that, you never see the Mystery Spot, you don't get to get out at Grand Rapids. You just pass all of that for the sake of the next stop. And I get it, don't get me wrong, if we stopped at every spot along the way that each of us wanted to, we would have never made it and spent all of our gas money well before arriving and making memories with family at the lake. Sometimes, the journey is where the magic and real bonding happens...down the highway.

That's all.


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