July 02, 2010

fixation friday: road trips

This week's fixation is all about road trips. Can I just say how much I love a good road trip. For many years I did some road trippin' all on my own. My parents divorced when I was 19 years old, it was the summer before I turned 20. My mother moved to a small island in North Carolina called Topsail Island. She was overseeing the renovation of our beach home after a huge hurricane had really ruined it. During this time she decided she wanted to leave my dad. It wasn't an easy time for my father or myself, or my mom for that matter, it was however a great time for taking trips every other weekend to see her at the beach.

via google

My childhood home is located approximately 6 hours driving time from our old beach house. Every other weekend I had to work at the hair salon doing nails so this was perfect. Weekend one of the month I would get off work on Friday and drive 6 hours that night to arrive in North Carolina early in the AM. I can't tell you how many times I took NoDoz to stay awake. It was ugly and I probably should never have been doing that kind of driving at my age, alone at that time of night. Needless to say I had a lead foot and acquired so many tickets that summer that my license was no longer valid in Virginia. OOPS!

I also would spend alternate weekends going to visit my bestie T in Ocean City, MD. She was living and working there for the summer at her parents beach house. This worked out great for me. I was tan, well fed, having the time of my life and loving it. [Note: Hanging at the beach every other weekend with best friends and partying is a great way to work through divorce issues - awesome therapy IMO]. During this time I met a guy who was stationed at the local Marine base in Jacksonville, NC. He had a free weekend every three weeks so when I would go to visit my mom I would see him, and when he had his off weekend he would come see me. He was originally from Baltimore so this made visits super easy on us and super cheap. The relationship didn't last but all the driving was fun and worth it. I was able to visit my mom and get in time with my then boyfriend and hit the beach.  I put a ton of miles on my 96' Eclipse "Duke" that summer. My marine and I didn't last, I wasn't ready for a relationship. After my ex-fiance dumped me I was pretty upset and dating Mr. Marine only reminded me how much I wasn't ready for a serious thing. We dated for 6 months and after that I sort of just enjoyed being single. The road trips however, continued to NC and back so I could visit my mom.

Looking back I did a lot of road tripping from the age of 19 and beyond. I've driven from Maryland to North Carolina, from Maryland to Florida (lived there for 6 months and did the road tripping thing there for almost 6 years, while dating one of my ex-boyfriends) and from Maryland to Alabama and back may times. Yes, I'm sure you're noticing a trend, 3 out of the 5 major relationships I've had in my life have been or started out long distance. Issues much? I have a lot of fond memories during these trips as well.

Favorite Road Trip Things:
  • Blasting music and singing a long the whole way there.
  • Gas station pizza - yes I eat it and frankly I LOVE IT.
  • The sights and landmarks you get to see.
  • The sights and people you get to see - wow!
  • Taking the same stretch of road over and over you start to see differences in surroundings and while sometimes it's awesome others it's a bit sad to see nature being taken away.
  • I love the drive from Alabama to Maryland - going through the Tennessee Mountains and seeing all the back country areas that I don't get to see on all the main highways rocks.
  • Getting to hit up certain rest stops - you start to remember the exits and where you can find not only a clean place to go to the bathroom (SO important) but also great places to eat.
  • Truck Stops - I like to go to the public truck stops where anyone is welcome to eat. We call these Choke and Pukes, or at least Snowman does (aka Bandit's side kick). For the record my jeep is named after him "Snowman".
  • The anticipation of heading to a place and all the fun when you'll have there!
  • The celebration of knowing you'll be home in your own bed soon on the way home.
  • People watching - you can see a lot of nose pickers when you're on the road.
  • Road Snacks - my mom always packed the bet treats on the way to the beach every year. I think we'd polish off an entire box of twinkies in 6 hours. So bad but so fun!
  • Healthier Road Snacks - at least this time around I'm telling myself I will enjoy this. Sorry Twinkies.
  • Seeing if you can beat your best time, every time. Mike and I do this a lot.
  • Leaving early in the AM and making it to the destination before the sun goes down. This helps with not needing No-Doz to stay awake. I wish they would have had red bull when I was in my early 20's!
  • Catch up on reading - if I don't get sick from doing this in the car, it's always a great thing.
  • We don't have a lap top, a video game systems that is portable (anymore), we only have the open road, our music on our ipods and sometimes we watch movies on Mike's ipod.
  • Smokey and the Bandit is the best road trip movie ever - I know it word for word so I can listen to it and drive while Mike watches it. This makes the time fly by SO fast.
  • No road trip to Maryland from Alabama and back is complete with out hearing "East Bound and Down" or "Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crüe on the way there or "Sweet Home Alabama" by Skynyrd on the way across the state line returning to Alabama.
Do you love road trips? What are your favorite things to do while on one?

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Anonymous said...

I LOVE road trips! Stopping at gas stations and having to find your shoes, driving with the windows open and singing songs! LOVE them!!!!

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

FINDING YOUR SHOES! Yes! I always was so groggy when I road with my mom and could never find my shoes - thank God she never let me pull a Brittney Spears and hit up the bathrooms barefoot!

Ms. Chyme said...

I do love road trips.. Listening to music while traveling is so cool.

Zeahnna said...

I love this post. Make me want to have road trips too.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

Love me a road trip. When the hubs and I where dating he was in NYC and I was in south NJ, not bid trips but all the same. Now we enjoy visitng family, telling sex stories aka the good, the bad and the ugly. So much fun!

Funny, I was just going to do a post on my Dad and one of his "things" on road trips was listening to Julio Iglesias, over and over again!

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

oh I forgot, going to CT on a road trip and finding Ripley's Believe It or Not! "The World's Largest Dairy" ... The store is in Norwalk, Connecticut. Amazing!!!

Natalie said...

Were you reading my thoughts this morning? I've been semi-planning a trip to Chicago to visit my mom & wanna take the boys on the US66 path.

I lived with my grandparents as a kid & my grandfather was an over the road truck driver. It seemed he could drive for days. We always left at night- great as a kid. I just slept the whole way! Even now, one of my fave things about road trips is watching the scenery. And blaring music- DUH!

We gone from Memphis to Chicago; Memphis to Savannah, GA; Nashville to Pensacola.
When I was only 18, I moved to Biloxi MS shortly. One trip home b/c of a warned hurricane, I ate so many no doz & drank so much coffee I think I started hallucinating. I swear I saw little pink bunnies next to the highway.

LiLu said...

I DO love road trips... as long as someone else is driving. I'm a total narcoleptic at the wheel ;-)

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

LiLu I'm the opposite - I pass out at the drop of a hat in the passenger seat sometimes!

Nataline NoDoz are NO joke!!! I've had that feeling before and the shakes...OH THE SHAKES!!!

Shana said...

I haven't been on a roadtrip in years, but I'm dying to go on one. And I want to go solo - just me, my loud music and my car.

Have a fun trip!

freckleonthenose said...

Ohhh, I love this entry, Kelly! I love solo road trips - it's about as free as life can get. I like to listen to books on disc (dorky, I know) and crank up my music loud enough so that I drown myself out. That way, I sound like I'm BETTER than the lead singer. :)

And I know what you mean - I got a ticket in Virginia that still haunts me. I cried and everything. No sympathy in that state.

KLZ said...

I love truck stops and diners. The best. Forever.

Amanda said...

I love road trips so much. Every other summer we drove to Florida from WV and my sister and I would have the best time in the back seat, playing games, listening to our Walkmans, eating little boxes of cereal. We love road trips now, too....our dream is driving across the country, the old Rt. 66 and seeing some sights!

Allyson said...

I still have your post from the other day up because I need to comment on the awesome of your body! You are ROCKIN' P90X. And don't worry, I'm drinking all of the world's Firefly for you so they won't think that nobody likes it and quit making it while you're going all virgin on the alcohol. ;)

Anyrandom, I LOVE roadtrips!! Although moreso before I started making them to KY on an almost monthly basis. I like them much more when we're actually going on some sort of vacation. If Neal would let me, I would only eat Flying J pizza and drink double shot espresso cans from Shell gas stations. But he makes me eat vegetables and deli meat sandwiches. BARF!! And if I don't have a good mix on my iPod, I might as well not go. And it HAS to start with "Jessie's Girl"...because that's how we roll around here.

Dezzy Lou Where Are You said...

I like road trips so much too, my favorite thing to do is stop for snacks =) and READ!

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Anonymous said...

I big hearty heart road trips. As a kid we were usually too poor to buy airfare so we just drove, even if it meant a 10 hour drive, which is nothing compared to a 4 hour layover in an airport. I've always loved them though. When I was little I just liked that we weren't at home and that I got to spend time with my mom. As I got older I loved the driving and scenery. Gas station nachos are the bees knees. When I did them alone I loved that I could listen to whatever music I wanted to. (16 hours of blasted stereo from Michigan to South Carolina was AWESOME.) I love playing the license plate or alphabet games too. SO fun. Ah... memories...

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