Nothing beat loading the sleepy kids into the minivan and beginning an adventure together! They would climb into our old grey family-mobile in their PJs with sleep still in the corners of their eyes while clutching their pillows and trying to contain their excitement, not at the days ahead but at otherwise forbidden road food for breakfast.
OK, maybe I romanticize it a little bit. We did love road trips, looping through provinces, camping and staying with friends. Once, my sister and I decided to take the kids to Tijuana for lunch; don’t get me started on that one!
I built beautiful memories on those holidays, but most importantly, I built a love for road trips in my kids. My youngest son and his cousin, (yes, one of the crew that went to Tijuana) threw a tent and a camp stove in the back of an old Honda Civic and drove from the western coast of BC to the furthest East they could get in Canada. Next week, my youngest daughter starts her trip to Whitehorse, following a northern highway west from Alberta and heading into that magical place where cell phones don’t work, and problems must be solved on the fly. This trip is to celebrate her first wedding anniversary, and it closely follows her birthday. This is where ‘Mom gifts” come into play. Man, she sure had a list!
One of the most rewarding things of instilling this love of road tripping into the kids is that they are better at it than I was. Or maybe, there is just more available to them. I am so proud at how well my daughter plans the important parts and is willing to ‘wing-it’ for the parts of her trip that just can’t be controlled. She plans to travel smart, and prepared. Both things I am not so sure I pulled off so well during my road trips! She has installed a tracking app on her phone so, while she is in a service area, we will keep updated on her general area. This way, if anything goes sideways, we will know where and when they were last tracked. She also packed: a candle, a water jug and a gas can, as well as a backpack full of necessities. It is one of the many things on her birthday wish list (which she received from mom!).
She has decided that the ReadyWise 64 piece survival Backpack in Camo is a must have for all her coming road trips. It is one of those things that you never really want to use but sure appreciate that you have if you need it - kind of like having a spare tire. I can see her now, slinging it into the back of their pick-up like an afterthought and heading on their way. Her hubby will be driving, and I hope she is sleepy and clutching a pillow.
I also hope their journey brings joy, memories and fosters their plan of annual road trips. I can see that beautiful new Camo Backpack getting slung into a closet on their return, to be forgotten until next year’s adventure when it will again be thrown into the back of a truck, camper or boat and get more beat up, covered with the dirt of years of quietly accompanying them on adventures to the furthest corners of our vast and beautiful country.
Happy anniversary to my daughter and her husband. May my grandkids (when they come) learn to love road trips as much as you do!
May God bless you and your families,