Road trip memories

My family took a road trip…once.

My sister and I were early teens and our younger cousin was spending the summer with us. We had never been on a long road trip style family vacation, so my dad decided to make up for lost time. He had saved up a ton of vacation and with the help of AAA and a pile of TripTiks, he planned out the ultimate road trip making sure to stop at all major national parks in the western US. I don’t remember the exact route we took but there are pictures from Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon…there may have been others that I am forgetting.

Needless to say, it was a LONG trip.

I remember being VERY bored and getting creative with things to do in the car. There was lots of laughter at those creative things… we brought along an entire zoo of stuffed animals and put on a “puppet show” for the motorists following behind us. The dialogue was hilarious, but I’m sure it was even funnier for the people watching when they couldn’t hear the reasons for the antics in the window.

My younger cousin was a boy, maybe 10 years old, so my sister and I tormented him with girly things like pretending to kiss him on the cheek when we posed for pictures. We tickled him without mercy. He blushed a lot that summer.

I don’t remember what started this, but one day we all started talking with a lisp…the phrase that is burned in my memory is “How many thicknethes do you have?” I think it may have come from one of the puppet shows and it was supposed to be “how many sicknesses do you have?” I do remember belly laughing until my face and yummy hurt!

Not only did we take the longest road trip ever, we saved money by camping…every night…in a tent. Now, I’m a pretty adventurous girl, but we were setting up and tearing down that tent almost every night (sometimes we’d stay in one place for 2 nights). I don’t care how avid a tent camper you are, that gets old pretty quick. We did get pretty efficient in the pitching of said tent, but there was one night I will never forget as long as I live…

We pulled into camp and there was a steady gently breeze. As we started pulling the tent and other campsite necessities out of the car, the wind picked up a bit. We rolled out the tent on the ground and started putting the poles in. It took all 5 of us, with the wind, but we finally got the tent set. I thought the wind might be getting stronger, but I wasn’t going to be the one to say anything about it. The sun went down and the wind got stronger still. We headed into the tent to crash for the night. It was HOT so all of us planned to sleep on top of our sleeping bags. We unzipped the “windows” for some ventilation and still the wind continued to whip the tent. I knew we were in for a long night, but I had no idea just how long it would turn out to be.

I don’t remember if I had dozed off or not, but my dad was fretting over the tent poles possibly getting bent or broken by the wind. He came up with the idea of removing the poles and allowing the tent to collapse over us, so next thing I knew, we were inside a collapsed tent with the wind flapping it all over us. I was miserable from the heat and the flapping tent…we all were. But wait… there’s more… Remember those open “windows”? The wind was pushing sand over the tent and depositing it on us through the windows in little bursts, keeping time with the flapping tent. I don’t think any of us slept that night, not even my younger cousin. In the morning we looked like the sand people from some B flick movie set. I have not gone camping in a tent since that infamous summer road trip.

What about you? Any funny family vaca stories to share? Feel free to tell us your story in the comments!

PS I’ll pull out the photo albums and add some pics to this post when I get home…we are stuck in FL right now with this “Stay at Home” order.

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