We're on our way back from spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans, which is due for a longer post…later.
But this post is on the magic of road trips.
First of all, we know we are incredibly lucky. Beatrix is an awesome traveller, especially on road trips. In her life, we have driven to New Orleans twice and the East Coast twice, plus numerous smaller trips. We load up the car, we put some good snacks in the back seat, Patrick drives, I navigate, and we get there. We talk the whole way. Beatrix does have iPad time, but she also plays, and reads maps, and talks to us, and complains about our proclivity towards NPR, and it's great.
We're pretty good at scoring hotel deals. Holiday Inns (and the nearly-indistinguishable Holiday Inn Express) are Priceline favorites; Drury Inns, on the other hand, have free dinner (including a full free bar) and big breakfast buffets. We swim, we jump on the beds (shhh), we have great breakfast buffets with eggs and grits. The other night I had a late night tweet from the comfort in a hotel room while eating a Krispy Kreme and drinking beaujolais nouveau. Now THAT'S living.
They always have weird situations, though. Our Byram, MS hotel (where we spent a couple of days doing research) abutted a Christmas tree tent and a not just a mobile home sales location — but one that specialized in repos. Tonight's hotel is full of an extended family drinking Coors Light tallboys in Missou sweatshirts. Takes all kinds.
As we drive, we have wonderful experiences as well. Ice cream in Hannibal, jumping jacks in rest stops, lunch at our favorite Iowa City cafe, crossing the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway. One year we headed down to the St. Louis Arch at about 11:00pm, and it was beautiful.
As we drive, I flip through the AAA-TripTik. I'm told they are going away, replaces by a more google-like version. That means I'm holding on to this one. There's something about turning each page as you go.
I hope our family never outgrows road trips.