Earlier this year Luke and Emily were planning a trip to Portland, to attend one of Emily’s friend’s wedding. They were planning on staying with one of my brothers in Idaho, and another in Portland. That sounded to me like a good excuse to see some of my siblings (especially as I have two in the Boise area now), and they were in need of a reliable car anyway, so I decided to take some time off and drive them in mine.
Shortly before our trip, Zack graduated from BYU, and didn’t seem to have immediate plans, so Luke spontaneously invited him to join us.
And that’s when I discovered the joy of traveling with adult kids!
I feel like I’ve already gone on and on about how much I love the drive to Idaho. Big skies. Rolling hills. Green and yellow checkerboard farms. The reassuring tsk tsk tsk of sprinkler lines. I drove it a few times with my mom in the last years she felt comfortable traveling, but not so much driving. And I’ve made the trip myself a couple of times. But it was enjoyable with a carful of family as well.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this trip was we didn’t really have an itinerary. We spontaneously stopped along the way to Boise to look down a deep river ravine on route to our planned detour to see Shoshone Falls. On the next leg we made a quick stop to see Multnomah Falls on the way there, and then drove through an isolated snowstorm to glimpse just the very top of Mt. Hood against a clear blue sky on the way back.
And instead of stopping at Wendy’s at every leg, we whipped out our yelp apps to discover new places along the way. Aside from one of my kids who would willingly eat at Panda Express in every town (the one kid who actually reads my blog, so please know I write this with love ;), there were no strong preferences to negotiate around. Just a lovely, chill “we’re game”-ness about everything.
It went so well that even though we had just arrived the evening before, everyone was willing and excited to pile back in the car and drive to Canon Beach the next morning. If you are thisclose to an ocean, you make the effort to go just a little further and dip your toes in the waves.
We enjoyed good music and good conversation. The baby traveled so beautifully. It truly was perfect.
I hope someday to see more of our country this way. Casually and without a set itinerary. Good people. Good music. Good conversation. And good food.
[Day 30 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]
[post edit: lest my two youngest feel left out, I did fly them with to D.C. last year, but it was not a road trip, so is a story for another day.]