I don’t know about you, but roadtrips were an integral part of my childhood. Whether it was us hopping into a rental car to go to Memphis, TN to visit my Granny Blackburn, or heading west to Denver, CO to visit the Royal Gorge, we always seemed to be in a car. I know that I had my first airplane ride at four or five, but NOTHING was more amazing to me than sitting in a car with my dad at the wheel and trying to remember all fo the scenery that we were passing.
In full disclosure, Illinois isn’t that scenic – well, anything on 57 South isn’t scenic, so it was always a treat when we took 55 to Memphis instead. We were able to see the St. Louis Arch, and so much more architecture because of all of the larger cities that we passed through. Sure it added a bit more time on a roadtrip, but what was time when you were making memories?
Let’s not forget the all important stop at Boomland. If you didn’t stop at Boomland you knew one of two things. The driver was just torturing you, or you and your carmates weren’t not behaving properly, and therefore struck the most important stop on your journey down south off of the trip. If you were exponentially horrible, it was taken off from the return trip too.
Roadtrips were full of the smells of fried chicken that my mom would prepare for us to eat in the car. Along with a loaf of bread and some drinks, we were always in heaven. There is just something so comforting about those memories. Being in the car with my sister and laughing at silly things. Trying to see over the bottom of the window ledge because we were too short to see from a seated position. Begging for big rig drivers to honk their horns for us, with the universal fist pump up and down. Falling asleep to the gentle rock of the wheels traveling all of those miles over the highway. Wondering when the next rest stop was going to come so you wouldn’t have to stop on the side of the road because you didn’t take advantage of the last stop. While those may sound HORRID for some, it is what makes me smile a lot of these days. Especially when I am packing my houseful up to go out on roadtrip adventures of our own.
To date, I’ve taken two roadtrips without Mr. Houseful, alone with the kids. We went to Milwaukee last year to see Walking With Dinosaurs, and had a blast, and we also drove all the way to Branson, Missouri to check out Castle Rock Water Park & Resort. Roadtripping is exhilirating, and sometimes exhausting, but if done right, you are left with so many great memories, and even suggestions for those who may want to do roadtrips more often than not. We tend to do them, because overall the cost of the trip is significantly less than airfar/car rental/gas. It’s a personal choice, and one that Mr. Houseful and I will always stand behind. You do what is comfortable for your family.
With that being said, I will be doing a series about roadtripping – yes, even in the fall and winter, that will give tips, or suggestions, and include all of the places that we have gone. It won’t be a weekly thing, because we don’t roadtrip weekly, but look out every month for it! This month, we’ll be reviewing our trip to Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Oklahoma, and how we liked all of the options available to us. I’ll give you our route, and places that we stopped. Maybe I can even get Mr. Houseful to pitch in with this series as well, since it’s not weekly.
So, tell me, what’s your favorite roadtrip that you’ve ever taken? Be sure to stay tuned as we share our roadtrips with you!