Road Trips · 17 July 2011
Road trips are wonderful adventures that I look forward to, but which my wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, dreads. Actually, it is not that she dreads them so much as she thinks I am deranged. Or more precisely, that I have this romanticized notion of what road trips were like when I was a child. Now that I have my own family, I still look forward to ours. Even if I do have rose-colored memories about my childhood road trips.
When my brothers, sister, and I were young, our family would take road trips. They were often short trips, but as we got older, we took trips to far off exotic places. Like Findlay, Ohio, San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington. We would jam ourselves into the car and off we would go to visit relatives in those far off places. After all, that was what vacation was for – seeing family and friends and creating memories.
Almost as soon as we were on the road, we would hear Dad say something like, “I can still reach you from the front seat.” (I am sure he even said it when we got our station wagon and we were almost ten feet from him when we were in the very back. Even then, we still believed him.) As I said in another blog post, I have visions of a hand flailing around from the front seat trying to reach us, but I am not sure the vision is mine. (I probably saw it sitting in front of the TV while we were visiting relatives in those far off exotic places like Findlay, Ohio.) Still, the thought of that hand reaching out to get us when we misbehaved loomed large in our minds.
Not that we misbehaved much in the car. We did not have video games, but we had other things to keep us busy like travel bingo and making up stories. Those were great pastimes when we no longer wanted to play cross the line or tag. (Like most kids, we tried to see how many times we could put our hands, feet, or other body parts across the imaginary lines into our siblings’ areas of the back seat. And in the cramped space of the car, we also played tag, which is most often referred to as “Stop Touching Me!”) We liked to play these games until the driver, Dad, told us again that he could still reach us from the front seat and we all had the vision of a hand flailing about to grab anything within its reach. (Nowadays, I have nightmares of a swerving car as the hand reaches back to flail and grab.)
Playing games, looking out the window as the scenery (often sagebrush and sand) passed by, being afraid of the hand, and wondering if we were there yet were all a wonderful part of road trips. Getting to our exotic locations was also great as we would get to see our relatives and do what we went there to do – eat.
While I remember going to King’s Island, Alcatraz, and the Space Needle, mostly, I remember hanging out with our family. We played cards, talked about shared experiences, and ate. There was always eating. We would eat and talk and eat and play and eat and go. It is no wonder that I have so many memories having to deal with food. It was a big part of what we did on those road trips.
Which brings me back to why The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi thinks I am crazy. She agrees with me that the journey is part of the adventure. She just does not think that eating and sitting around is. Be that as it may, I am looking forward to our next road trip. And when it is all over, I am sure I will look at it just as I do my childhood trips. With a few more pounds, rose-colored memories, and a blog post or two.
© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi
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