Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Open Road

On the road again. Headed home after a great family weekend. Happiest of hearts! 

Driving has always been a big part of my adult life. I went away to college a few hours north of home, so I would find myself making the drive down to see my friends and family every month or so. I looked forward to this time- it was a few hours I could just unplug, not think about school, and listen to all of the new bands I was discovering during those first few years up at NAU. I'd burn CDs in anticipation of having that time to myself (so precious when living with 75 sorority sisters) while I made the trek down the mountain and back home.

And then soon after college my relationship with Hank began, and I found myself on the road once again. He was on tour with his band when we met, and we started writing back and forth while he was out, him sending me little updates and flirtations as we started to figure out what exactly "this" was, all while I was sending him descriptions of my days at home. When he got back and started to actually date, we were still two hours apart so there was always one of us in the car, to and from, here to there, driving, driving, driving!

We joke that driving is in Hank's blood. Because he toured from the age of 15 to 25 or so (and still now and again when he's able), he says he gets an itch to get out on the road if he doesn't do it every so often. And luckily Henry and I love to get in the car and drive too. We've been all over- made the four hours to the houseboat on Lake Powell many times, all over Arizona, California, Nevada, and up and down the East Coast almost every summer. We go down to Phoenix often too, and sometimes I think there's nothing better than getting in the car with my guys with a cooler of snacks and drinks, good music on the stereo, and lots of time to talk the hours away, windows down and letting in that fresh mountain air.

It gets me excited about the future and taking Henry on road trips all over beautiful Arizona and beyond. I have dreams of driving up the California coast and camping in the northern part of the state, surrounded by huge Redwoods and the bluest sky. I can imagine how fun it will be to drive through the small towns we always fall in love with on the way to here or there, but this time with our whole family along for the ride.

Did you ever take road trips with your family growing up? Or do you take them now? I'd love to hear about your favorite places and trips you've taken. We're hoping to head up to Yosemite sometime this next year and I'm so excited to experience it, and I'd especially love to hear about any of your trips up that way!

47 comments:

  1. Road trips are my absolute favourite way of winding down. When I was kid, we were always on road trips heading to Wisconsin (from Canada but we have family there). I would take tons of books and traveling games to keep me occupied.

    Now that I'm older, I still love road trips. I may not go as far as Wisconsin, but even the short trips to visit family elsewhere is amazing. I have an iTunes playlist titled, "Road trip" and I plug it in and go. Some people might not like traveling the prairies (where I live) but it's so beautiful and there's flat land for miles, allowing your mind to wonder "what could be on the other side?"

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    1. Okay your comment should be its own blog post! Such lovely words. Thank you for sharing! I feel the same exact way - it's odd to think driving winds me down but it totally does. Hank and I look forward to the actual drive to get somewhere sometimes more than the destination!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
      xoxo

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  2. I'm 23 and just learning to drive now! I can't wait to get my first car and drive all around Scotland and the UK. x

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  3. Oh, how I love my road trips! I'm sure I've already told you Danielle, but if I haven't, my husband and I are living in a travel trailer and traveling the country before settling down and then traveling abroad. We've seen 11 states so far, and just since May I've been in eight states already. I love all this traveling and can't imagine a life where I wasn't able to travel at least every few months.

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  4. We're getting ready to make a 12+ hour drive to the mountains with a one year old. I have hope that she's going to be a pro at traveling. My husband also used to travel in a band when we first met and we spent the first year of dating seeing each other every couple of months. I think it made us that much closer. This post makes me that much more excited for our trip!

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  5. My boyfriend of 5 years is living seven hours away right now. I don't get to make the trip often but when I do I really enjoy the long drive. I have 7 hours to myself, singing (badly) to all my favorite songs. :)

    Loved this post
    -K

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    1. Wow, go you! I drove four hours by myself the other day and realized the furthest I'd ever driven by myself was only two and a half hours. I listened to a book on tape for part of it but found it hard to focus on it so switched singing badly. =]

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  6. We love going on road trips, especially in the northern va/DC area. We are literally 15 mins away from the hustle and bustle of DC and yet an hour away from the beautiful farms out here in Virginia. We love to get in the car and get lost, find a farm to pick apples or peaches or find a hidden park for Judah to play. We also love our drive to connecticut. Something about entering New England makes everything stop around me, its this beautiful sacred silence filled with memories from childhood.

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  7. I love road trips, but I am a jerk on them, because I'm 30 years old and have never had a drivers license. :P

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  8. When I was two years old, my parents bought a condo in Ocean City, MD. We'd visit every summer for a few weeks (with the occasional trip during the year) and rent it out for the rest of the time. The trip took about five hours and it became a really special event for the family. Of course I didn't realize it at the time. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. We had to sell the place about ten years ago, so now we vacation in Florida with my grandpa, but I miss driving to Ocean City. I miss the landscape and the stops we used to make (the same ones every year!).

    I really love driving so I try to get out whenever I can. I just recently hung out with my boyfriend's family on their vacation in Ocean City, NJ! Funny how that worked out. I went down a few days after they had already been there and had a lovely solo three-hour drive. It was exciting to have an adventure on my own and to see what there was to see. I loved blasting my music and singing along as I cruised down the parkway. I also get a kick out of people-watching (safely, of course) and seeing if folks in the next car are listening to the same songs I'm listening to.

    I'm the kind of person who doesn't mind getting lost either, so I deviated from my route a few times to check out things I thought were interesting.

    My next road trip will be in October to the boyfriend's brother's wedding in Maryland! It'll be our first time traveling together for more than an hour. I'm stoked. ♥

    www.cristinamoreno.com

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  9. I grew up taking road trips. They are so American, aren't they? I remember at the time hating the car, but my memories are fond ones full of family fights and laughs and crazy things happening.

    I haven't been on a road trip in 5 years (since we moved to California). Everyone we are related to is on the other side of the country or in Europe, so I have become a frequent flyer.

    Loved this post! xoxo

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  10. I was practically raised in our camper. Me my parents and my two 9 and 7 year old brothers going through Europe after daddys incredible knowledge of places worth a visit. Denmark, Prague, waterfalls, cableways, hitlers summerhouse, venice, etc.

    Me and my fiance both loves roadtrips and are constantly planning the next one. We´ve gone through western europe last summer, nor-cal this summer and south of sweden oh so many times on our days off. We listen to the local radio, make up stories and talk about how it is living in these villages we pass. We Love it!

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  11. I have dreams of driving up the California coast too. It sounds like so much fun!!! I've been craving a road trip. My hubby + I are going to plan one hopefully in the next year to Austin, TX. We live in Memphis, TN so it's not too far. I've heard it's a cool city. We always took road trips to the beach growing up. We would always stop at this place called Peach Park for peach ice cream + fried pies. Yum! We always got boiled peanuts along the way too. Haha. Of course my memories involve food. ;) ♥Lindsay

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  12. I feel like a bit of a road trip veteran. I've been a part of many drives from Indiana to Florida for spring breaks and the like. Then, my husband and I drove (separate vehicles) when we moved to AZ from IN and again when we moved back! Even those really long drives seemed to go by pretty quickly. I, too, enjoy that time alone to blare the music, sing my heart out, or just to simply be alone with my thoughts. :-)

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  13. I'm nearly 21 and I still haven't bothered to learn to drive. This post made me kind of want to :)

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  14. I drove the coast of California with my dad. We went hiking in the Muir Woods (our original plan was to stay on the decked part, but we saw a sign for "Ocean View." We were both in flip flops, and we ended up hiking over two hours in flip flops and no water. We never even saw the "Ocean View," but the hike was beautiful and worth all the stubbed toes we got!). Driving the coast of California is beautiful, and there are so many small towns to visit.

    hope all is well!

    blake
    steadythreesixty.blogspot.com

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  15. I love road trips. I've never actually DRIVEN during one (oops...), but I just love taking them, talking to friends and family or my boyfriend, listening to music, and just discovering new places that I never would've come across otherwise. I find it so relaxing. I actually road tripped Northern California a few years back, ending in Yosemite. It was so stunning. You guys should definitely do it!

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  16. My husband and I just finished a 2,000+ mile move from Indiana to Idaho. It was a beautiful trip plagued by awful luck balanced by awesome strangers. We had to drive separately to bring both of our cars, which was kinda a bummer, but I was able to bring an audio book and some new music which helped so so much. On a different note, it was nice to spend time reflecting on my ever-changing life, almost meditative in a sense. Saying goodbye to the old while welcoming the new.

    Also, for our honeymoon we road-tripped from Indiana to New Orleans around to Georgia and the Carolinas. It was such a fun and relaxing trip I would hop back in the car in a heartbeat. :)

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  17. i love a good road trip! i think since my husband and i have been together, we've only ever flown twice. even our honeymoon was a road trip to disneyland.

    we live up in northern california and driving up to mendocino county is always awesome. the roads on the way there and back are pretty twisty, but once you come through the huge trees and see the ocean - it's totally worth all that nausea.

    and we live right off of highway 5 so i kind of feel like both disneyland and seattle are "just down the street" from our house... <3

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  18. I love road trips too. I'm originally from Texas so I'd take all sorts of road trips when I was a kid. My favorite were the trips deep in Mexico. I took plenty of road trips when I lived in Cali during undergrad too... That's one of the major drawbacks about living in Hawaii. I miss just getting in the car and going.

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  19. We LOVE drives too. I'd like to think it's in our blood as well. When I was a kid, we took so many drives. It was an easy way to get out of the house and put our minds on the road when things were rough (or not so.) It was the same for Brian's family too. The car has always been our choice transportation for trips as well. Many of my childhood Summers had trips from Phoenix all the way to the tip top of Montana. Nowadays, things are the same. Every single one of our family trips has been by car. We love the open road. I make a new playlist of locale-appropriate songs for each trip we go on and we'll blast it on loop. Taking your car with you on trips is like having your own little home base, wherever you go. We take drives around town every couple of weeks too. Usually we'll go at bedtime so the kids can drift off, then we'll grab coffee, drive, chat, and enjoy being having some pseudo (kids in the back seat) us time. We've had some of our best conversations in the car.

    One of our family dreams is a trip up and down the West Coast. No time constraints, small town diners, tents, campers, unique hotels peppered in, plenty of good tunes and family sing-a-longs, the sights, the cities, the wilderness, the weird, and pictures snapped every step of the way. I can't wait.

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  20. I love road trips. My husband and I used to drive up the coast every month during summer. This year we have a brand new baby boy and plan to do the same! I haven't got my drivers license which is terrible especially as a new Mum. I'm terrified of driving but am just getting ready to sit it :O

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  21. I love road tripping. No one I know really likes it and they even sometimes fall asleep while I'm driving but I love the time to myself to just listen to music and relax and even sometimes sing. I even like sitting in traffic for this reason! People think I'm weird but I just love being on the road :)

    http://www.teenyhippie.com/

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  22. Our family never did road trips when we were growing up, we went to the same place, year in year out for our holidays.
    I got my licence early and loved the freedom it gave me. So when I went on my second holiday overseas to America and Mexico, I just knew it had to be a road trip. Tamika (my daughter was 5 at the time) and I started our trip in Orange County, L.A. We, ok I, bought a huge old Dodge Cornet and off we set, spending three month travelling and getting to know the East Coast. Up to San Fran, across the Navaho Desert, down into Mexico, then back to LA.
    I loved it! Taking time to explore a country, I recommend it, especially when travelling with a child. I have now done this several times with Tamika, last time was when we drove around Spain when she was 16. She is an amazing travel companion.

    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/

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  23. i love road tripping too! back when i was doing my undergrad my boyfriend & i drove from vancouver to new mexico and back in a big circle. it was amazing! then when i moved to australia a few years later i drove from sydney to cairns with a group of friends, an epic, epic road trip. there's just nothing better :)

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  24. I love road trips! I drove a few hundred miles to meet up with my family and then we all drove around the entire state of Louisiana a few months ago and visited all the places we used to live, go to school, etc. It was so much fun and a very special time for us. I even made a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ-N827j2_k!

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  25. Like a lot of us writing here, I feel like road trips are in my DNA. A lot of them didn't even feel like legit "road trips" when I was growing up, they were just what you do when your family lives a couple hours away, but I see them more that way now. In the beginning of June my boyfriend and I drove 13 hours to Chicago and I loved it! I feel like the key is keeping it fresh, like switching between music and podcasts every couple of hours when your eyes start to glaze over, and stopping at rest stops to stretch the old legs for a minute. We're taking a considerably shorter (4 hour) road trip to Washington DC this weekend and I can't wait! Henry's going to have a fun childhood on the road and it looks like he's gonna be in good company from the comments!

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  26. In 1989, when I was 8, my mom,dad, two brothers, my grandmother and Uncle, hopped in a van for 3 weeks and drove across country from Boston -Las Vegas, it's an expierence I am forever grateful for and will always rememeber. I am getting the itch to do it again, and my family and I have talked about it often, now that we're all older and how much fun it would be to have our nieces/nephews tag along as well. If not, I'd definitely love to take part in another trip like that.
    My favorite places were Arizona, New Mexico and California.

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  27. I spent the better part of age 12-20 in the car! Ok, well maybe not the better part, but a lot of time, haha. My parents and I moved a 7 hour drive south of my hometown (Auckland, New Zealand) for my Dad's work. We're such family people and I was homeschooled so my mum and I would visit Auckland every 2-3 months or so. It became such a huge part of my life that, once we all moved back to Auckland in '08, I found it really weird to not make that drive anymore. I'm thankful that I don't have to (being minutes from family; it was so long also that it got boring after awhile), but I do miss regular roadtrips! It's nice to just get away and go for a drive and it's something I would like to do more of.

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  28. Road trips sounds so much more appealing in the US though! The weather is always so good. It's impossible to hop into a car in the UK and take a road trip without predicting what the weather is going to do, the weatherman could say sunshine and blue skies and it will p*ss it down instead!! Lets swap locations please? haha :)

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  29. I know this is weird but my favourite thing is not necessary the destination but just the time I spend in the car with my family. Sometimes it's very quiet and everyone is doing what they want and sometimes is loud and three of us laugh and talk about most stupid things. Some of my best memories:)x

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  30. Sometimes I find myself on the road and heading for a nearby destination and I just want to keep going. Keep driving. It's a wonderful thing. Loved reading this. If I weren't already in Scotland I'd be tempted to hop in the car. =)

    Kacie

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  31. My husband has been touring since he was really young too and I love getting to travel with him. Now that we have kids, we take them with! When he goes to play a show I take them back to a hotel to swim and order room service :)

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  34. Chris and I had a very similar start to our relationship. I was living in Las Vegas and he was living in San Diego - one of us was always making that six hour trip through the desert... Sometimes even in the middle of the night on a whim.

    Later we moved to Portland together. It made for a gorgeous road trip through the northern CA mountains and southern Oregon. Then, on another road trip, moving to Chicago, Chris proposed in the mountains in Idaho.

    I definitely look back on all that driving fondly.

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  35. The only time I would possibly consider enjoying a road trip is if there were other people around who could amuse me, lots of 90s music, and plenty of snacks, and numerous stops along the way.

    If I'm on my own, I absolutely hate driving more than 2 hours - and even reconsider trips that are only half an hour. I get bored by myself in a car! So guess I'm on the non-love side of road trips...

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  36. I grew up in Montana but never really appreciated the beauty of the state until I was older. So last year when I graduated college, I quit my job and went on a big road trip. I went all over the state including Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Highway... it was incredible. I'm hoping to do the same with Washington and Oregon soon!

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  37. I have always said that driving's in my blood. If I haven't had an adventure in a while, I'll get the itch. =)

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  38. When I was young my parents took me and my brother on a car journey round Germany and France, from the UK. Me and my brother had so much fun, playing games, making up songs and like you said gives us all chance talk to each other as a family. We were camping and we had so much stuff packed in the car our feet were horizontal resting on all the luggage!

    I loved it and I'll never forget it, I hope to do it with my little boy. We already do a fair amount of driving, with plenty of CD's, hopefully soon he'll be singing along too and we'll see a bit more of the world!

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  39. Ah, I get the itch to run all the time. As in run away. I always try a litle road trip or move around all the furniture in the house. P.S. I love your tattoos. Just gorgeous!

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  40. such a fun post! i love a good road trip - and just like you i def love burning those CDs and creating playlists esp for those long drives. :)

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  41. You must head up to the Ahwahnee Hotel! Regardless of the drive (roads have always made me carsick), it's the best hideaway hotel (but very pricey) to explore inside and out. It's a great place just to get away for the day. My family and I had lunch out on the deck, captured by the most beautiful scenery. You can take a walk on the grounds and there is a small lake? river? creek? to put your toes into. Anyway - great spot for pictures and a mini day trip. Hope you consider it! xo

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  42. When I was a kid we road tripped up and down the coast of New South Wales, Australia to go caravanning or holiday house renting a few hours away. The holidays we took were mainly overseas to see family. Nowadays with my own family, road tripping is part of every Australian holiday we take. Our favourite destinations are Byron Bay, Northern NSW and Fraser Island, Queensland. These destinations are 2 hours and 4 hours drive respectively, from where we live now. Camping is our regular holiday activity. We love creating playlists for our trips. Our anthems for our last Byron Bay camping trip were Birds of Tokyo and Angus & Julia Stone. The Temper Trap is also another favourite. These are all Australian bands as it turns out : )
    The best overseas road trip I've ever taken was in a Kombi van from Belfast, Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, through the Ring of Kerry and back up to Dublin, onto Belfast, then catching the ferry across to Stranraer, Scotland and travelling through the Scottish Highlands, across to Aberdeen and back down the middle of Scotland down through England to London. I long to do that trip with my family. Sure it rained a bit in Ireland, but it added to the atmosphere and I wouldn't have changed it. It was awesome and something I highly recommend to anyone if you get the chance!
    I love reading everyone else's road trip adventures. I hope to do a little trip to the US one day to a few places - of interest to me are Oregon, Idaho and Washington : )

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  43. I grew up in the states and we would take a road trip camping every summer. My favourite stops were always the national parks (I remember Yellowstone and Arches pretty fondly). They had a junior park ranger scheme which involved filling out an activity book that taught me about the plants and the park and encouraged me to explore. When you were done you'd take the book back to the site office or whatever and they'd give you a badge and a certificate to say you were a junior park ranger! It kept me (and my sister) busy, and I always felt so proud to get a badge. I think I actually still have them, too...

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  44. My husband and love road trips!! When our daughter was born, we decided we would take advantage of my time off work and plan a nice road trip. We travelled an average of 5 or 6 hours a day, visited boston, salem, portland (maine) and little places in between. It was our first time driving through the white mountains and it was absolutely breathtaking. This was one of the most beautiful weeks of my life, driving kind of aimlessly with our new family of 3 (Mathilde was 3 months old). We were all so relaxed and it was just so amazing. I miss it :)

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