16 June 2011
Road trips with my father are always a unique experience, and the only thing I can expect on them is the unexpected. Most drive to go to a place for vacation. For my father, I believe the drive is his vacation. Even though I complained nonstop about his constant side trips and stops, it seems like the majority of my enjoyable memories of vacation are always ones of us on the road.
Most kids on a road trip would either sleep, play a game, or maybe stair off into space to pass the time, but my father didn’t approve of any of these activities in his car. His approved activities included writing papers for him, listening to NPR, and discussing current events, not kid’s ideal activities. Another rule of his was no eating until we were on the high way. This does not seem like a big deal, but at the time it used to infuriate my sister and me. He would hold our McDonalds breakfast hostage in the front of the car, the wonderful smell wafting to the back of the car only fueled our rage as we futilely tried to convince him to give us our food. It was these little things that I remember most about our road trips.
One thing you could expect about my dad’s road trips was that it was never about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible. Every trip was accompanied by about three or four side trips. Any sign that advertized some attraction was a must see in my dad’s eyes. I must admit some of the places were fun, we often would stop at lakes to swim and I loved that. But other side trips were not so fun. We often went to many deserted towns with no more than a few hundred people living in them, and they always gave me a depressed feeling. Overall my father’s little excursions gave me a better insight into how people live, those small towns harbor a different kind of lifestyle and culture that often left me feeling alienated and foreign.