Road trips are one of the fondest memories I have as a kid. We drove EVERYWHERE. From New York, we drove to Atlanta, Knoxville, Fort Lauderdale, Disney World, Virginia, Vermont, Quebec, Nashville....and pretty much every other state on the east coast.
This was before carseats and seatbelts were the law.
When my dad would put me on his lap (kinda like Britney) and let me put the token in the basket to pay tolls.
We spent a lot of time together. In very close quarters.
Maybe this is part of the reason why my family and I are so close to this day. Rarely does a day go by where I don't speak to my mom, my dad, or my brother. And if I'm telling the truth here, rarely is there a day when I don't speak to each of them multiple times.
We did lots of stuff to pass the time. The thing about my family is we're what you call "gamers" - super competitive over everything. This was (still is) true for our car games as well.
We played some 'normal' car games like Concentration or Geography (person says a place and you have to name another place with the last letter of the first one...ex: Canada...Australia... Austria...)
We tallied the license plates we saw from different states, getting points for finding "new" states.
Then we played our infamous License Plate Poker. You look for license plates with good poker hands - like four of a kind, or a full house, or two pair. We still play this game now. I even have my husband hooked. We'll be driving and he'll yell out "I'll take that car - three nines" amd I'll be on the search for something that will beat that. It's addictive. Try driving right now without sizing up the poker hand of the license plate in front of you.
I loved our road trips. I loved how we would switch seats around when my brother and I would start fighting in the backseat and I would sit up front with my dad and mom in the back with him. I loved laying across the backseat, taking a nap. I loved looking at all the South of the Border billboards heading down I95. I loved staying in random hotels on the way, because we were never sure how far we would get on day one of our trip.
I guess it was vey Griswald-esque. But it's what we did. Every summer of my childhood, we packed up the car and went somewhere.
Some people (my husband being one of them) can't imagine being in the car for that long. But it worked for us. We made it fun. We didn't have Nintendo DS or DVDs to keep up occupied. We had conversations, imaginations and games.
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