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Sunday, June 05, 2005

holy cow. i somehow managed to miss the publication of melissa's latest domestic disturbance, which is all about road-trippin', a subject near and dear to my heart.

when i was a kid, my parents took us all over the country by motorized vehicle, first in our trusty old' 1980 pontiac catalina, then in Mack, the ford F250 with truck camper on the back, onto the hood of which someone had bolted a brass mack truck bulldog. aw yeah. from san francisco to niagara falls, from disneyland to disneyworld, we travelled in style, always with the yellow samsonite luggage separating my brother and i in the back seat (to keep us from killing each other), and the cooler of tepid canned orange juice and warm apples redolent of car trunk ready for snackage. that was the way to have a childhood spring break!

as a young child, the parents decided we needed to know All There Is To Know About Texas (even though we lived in northern NM), so we travelled, gradually, over many spring breaks and thanksgivings, to every part of this ginormous state, tasting oranges in the valley, admiring the rose gardens in tyler, camping in the Chisos Basin out at Big Bend. there were the two or three two-week long trips to various parts of california, where we spent valuable time at magic mountain, disneyland, knotts berry farm, and of course, watching the whales off the coast in San Diego, among other things. the year (9th grade) we lived in MD, my parents went overboard with the whole car trip concept and determined that us kids WOULD visit every historical marker within a 500-mile radius of bel air, MD, so every weekend we were off to visit the smithsonian, mount vernon, historic sturbridge village, or gettysburg.

'course, i'm not sure how well all that historical learnin' stuck, as the only thing i remember about gettysburg is that my brother paul threw up in the parking lot and it was REALLY gross. still, i'm sure i was at least somewhat edified by the experiences i had as a child. for one thing, i've learned that i must never read comic books or magazines in the car, as i will become violently carsick (which, luckily, is not true for regular print books without pictures). i know how to gage the fuel indicator so as to keep unnecessary stops to a minimum. i am the master of cross-country car trips without cruise control (never had it). i will not hesitate to jump in the car at a moment's notice to drive to lawrence, KS, for no especially good reason. yes, this i inherited from my parents, my love of the great, epic car trip.

y'know, greg t.'s also got some great car trip thoughts and memories, if you're in the mood for more...


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