The Open Road 

This past week was a scene straight out of the popular 80’s movie, National Lampoons Vacation. For years, I have joked my family is the modern-day Griswolds. Mostly due to our family road-trips and the events that unfold during the journey. If you don’t understand this movie reference, I will be the first to tell you ..  get your life together and watch this classic! ASAP.

Over the years, I have been squished into the back row of our families SUV more times than I can count. The destinations differ, one thing never changes. The memories and family bonding that occurs is better than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, there are times everyone wants to kill each other after being trapped together upwards of 7 days. Luckily, no one has been placed in jail for murder!  Each and every road trip, somewhere in the middle of it all, my family always grows closer. How this happens I can’t exactly say. I blame it on the magic of the open road.

At the old age of 23 and in college, I miss my good old April vacations.  Don’t get me wrong spring break in March is cool .. it’s just not same. My extremely relaxed schedule these days gave me a chance to relive the glory days. By accompanying my parents and two little sisters on their trip. I actually had no idea I was going until I FaceTimed them during a pit stop in North Carolina. After seeing how much fun my sisters were having I obviously got jealous.

I wanted in.

That’s when I booked a flight to Nashville, right then and there.  My dad being as awesome incredible dad he is, change the plans to pick me up. That was an 8 hour detour, in the complete opposite direction. But that’s just what dads do for their daughters. Right ?

That’s when the journey began.

First, I need to tell you, my sisters are both young enough to be in-car seats. This resulted in me sitting in the middle seat. This is smaller than a seat on an airplane. If you have flown in the last I don’t know maybe ten years you understand how small of a space I’m referring too. I am a small human thank the heavens. That seat was honestly to small for me. In the end, i sat over 3,000 miles in that seat. From that seat, I saw every state from Tennessee to Boston. Some sort of medal should have been awarded for that pain and tourcher in my opinion.

Of course, tourist attractions were a main focus. Who doesn’t love paying for an over priced souvenir. Hidden in those crowded rest stops and endless exit signs are the moments that I will hold onto dearly.

The weird conversation that occur after hours of looking at nothing but telephone poles zoom is the road trips bread and butter. Or in other words… the memories.

Hiking the Smoky Mountains was a nice little escape from reality. This being my sisters first experience hiking, they cried and complained the whole ENTIRE way up to the water fall. I honestly didn’t think they would make it. A Grammy should have been given to the two of them, honestly. Best acting I’ve seen. Somehow they did, and they were the first to dip their toes in the below freezing water like the two nuts they are.

Stepping out of the woods we headed north to Baltimore, to catch a Orioles vs. Red Sox game. They did loose after a very good game but it didn’t even phase me. This game was probably one of the best games of my life.

Okay I’ve been to a good amount of games, I was very fortunate growing up. This Friday night game will always hold the record of best.

My little four-year old sister managed to get a baseball from Robbie Ross JR. I try every game to somehow score a baseball and she manages to easy as pie. The real icing on the cake is the moment when a four year old asks for another ball for our middle sister. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye you’re an alien.

Of the many other crazy stops and experiences that we shared over the week-long excursion I sit here typing this post and am grateful for the experience. Doing so much traveling alone or with friends I forgot how fun it can be to hang with the family, especially road trips. There is an old fashion kind of charm that comes with loading up the car and taking off.

If that makes you think my family and I are corny just like the famous Griswalds. Well so be it! I would have it any other way.


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