Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Road Trip Realities

In June of 2017, my husband and I flew to Ohio, loaded up a U-Haul van full of 
family treasures, and drove it 2500 miles back across the country. 
These are our adventures along the way. 

* * * * *

I hope this news won't shock you but the truth is that our Streicher family road trips are not always fun and games.

There are moments of tedium, boredom, and restless routine.

This cannot be helped. 

So it's only fair to recognize those moments and to share a few stories about how we combat the realities of the road. 

A few days into a road trip I always crave veggies. This helps. 

^ For the most part, we picnic out of the cooler for our midday meals. But somewhere around the onset of Mountain Time Zone, the cheese is sitting in water and the peaches are all squished, and it's time for a change of plan. Sub sandwiches, either from a local shop or a Subway franchise, are a sure sign that we are desperate for a fresh menu. 

You think I'm going to use the restroom here? Uh no. Keep driving. 

^ Bathroom stops are easy when our route takes us along major interstates. Even in relatively unpopulated stretches of the wide open western states, we can always find freshly built and sparkling clean restrooms at either a gas station or a Starbucks.

But when we are traveling on the back roads, the issue becomes far more precarious. Through experience, we've learned to carry a variety of tissue products, hand wipes, and antibacterial gel to get us through the worst of the worst. But even so, as the trip goes on, my patience with gnarly facilities grows thin. 

On this trip, my husband tracked the time, location and beverage order at each of his Starbucks stops, and sent a photo of each drink to his sister back in Ohio. 

^ And speaking of Starbucks, this is an issue of vital importance for my husband. I don't drink coffee but he runs on it. Every morning before dawn he rises to plot our route for the day, including the all-important Starbucks stops. As we pass through the middle of the country, the Starbucks stores thin out considerably, and he compensates for this by increasing the number of shots in his drinks. On the really rough days, he orders a quad venti to see him through. That amounts to a serious dose of caffeine, but whatever it takes to get us home, I'm for. 

I thought about taking a photo of the truck while it was still full of stuff, but honestly, I was in no mood for photography. I just wanted to get everything unpacked as soon as we possibly could. 

^ Eventually, every road trip ends in our driveway where we must eventually face the onerous task of unpacking the car. Or in the case of this trip, the rental truck. Along with our usual suitcases and backpacks, cooler and picnic basket, this time we also carried a full load of furniture and family memorabilia. We broke quite a sweat getting all that cargo unloaded but when the last furniture pad was folded and stowed, we knew that we had made it home. 

Another real-life road trip was in the books. 

And as I walked into the house to start the mountain of laundry, I was already looking forward to my next adventure on the road. 

* * * * *

Here are all of our adventures from this summer road trip across America:

Off Again

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