Because of our trip as a child, I have been inspired to make sure that my children go to all 50 states before they graduate. Thus far they have made it to 49 in which we have spent hours as a family learning about America and its numerous beauties.
Our favorite was our trip around the West Coast to see the big trees, to Crater Lake, up through the Dakotas, Glacier Bay National Park and stopping at every 'Little House' museum along the way! We love to travel so much as a family that our theme song has become 'On the Road, Again' by Willie Nelson. We love the closeness of being together with our family and the vehicle is the perfect opportunity to be together and learn about one another.
- Marie McKeever, Seligman, Missouri
Conversations and laughs...one morning, sister wanted to hold brother's hand, but he had on his visor and was practicing piloting a plane. When asked if he could pilot with one hand and hold hands with the other, his response was, “I wasn't trained for that.”
- Melissa Stirling, Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Being attacked by sand crabs my dad had it in the car on a beach trip. [Mom] went after them with hairspray. It was so funny!
- Misty Turner, Coker, Alabama
Driving home after football practice in the summer with four incredibly stinky teenagers in the car. Even having the windows all open didn't help! I loved every minute of it and miss it terribly.
- Linda Tramel, Arnold, Missouri
Every ride in the car with my daughter is memorable because that is the moment she picks to ask every major question: “Where do babies come from, how come I have an outy and you have an inny, why is the grass green?”
- Emily Barrow, Tallahassee, Florida
Having my son tell me to “bust a U-turn” so that we could go over the train tracks again so he could “hunt for Thomas the Train.”
- Mistelle Abdelmagied, Palmdale, California
Riding back from Santa Cruz after releasing my husband’s ashes and having my six-year-old talk about the seals, steering the boat and how happy Papa was now. My 18-year-old said, “Yeah, and that one seal followed us like Dad's spirit had jumped into him and he was happy to be free now.'” There was no sadness, only joy.
- Kim McKenzie-Campbell, Oakland, California
We are a military family and each time we move, I feel that we get closer (in the car). The heartbreak of leaving friends and family at an old duty station is so hard to get over, but we try to focus on what we have to look forward to at a new place.
- Melanie Hutchinson, Edinburg, Texas
When my oldest was about four, she asked questions about the causes of storms. We often responded that Mother Nature made it rain, or that the storms were caused by God. One day in the car she asked, “Is Mother Nature God's girlfriend?”
- Melissa Colby, Salem, Oregon
I was a college-aged student and after driving a long stretch of desolate road after completing our routine errands, [my mom] agreed that I could join a branch of the US Military. She thought one of us should have some exciting memories and world adventures and that decision altered my life forever.
- Julie Huisken, Niceville, Florida
“Don't pull up next to the cow mom!” It was Chick-Fil-A night for my Sixth Grader's middle school and the cow was walking the drop off point on the sidewalk in front of the school. Though she'd asked me, rather frantically and emphatically, NOT to pull up next to the cow, of course, that's where we ended up having to stop.
While I apologized she saw her chance to make a quick run around the cow while his back was turned so she was rushing to exit the car. Not quick enough though, because just as her feet hit the pavement, the cow turned and held up his hoof for a high five! I was proud of her that she did offer her own hand back to return the high five, however half-heartedly.
- Debra Jackson, Valrido, Florida
Myself and my two daughters were just hopping around town, shopping, eating, browsing…there was this man in front of me going so slow, it was illegal. I said out loud, “Come on, grandpa!” I finally was so irritated, I passed the man and both of my daughters said, “Look, Mom, it is Grandpa!” They waved and we had a good laugh and they still remember that.
- Sharon Shope, Rome, Georgia
Driving from Boston to Montreal. We stopped at Ben and Jerry's in Vermont where the kids got to see how their favorite ice cream was made. We then went exploring the local Farmer's Market in Montreal. The kids learned how to say 'how are you' and 'thank you' in French; tried delicious fresh made apple syrup and even found a geocache!
- Brenda Abbott-Shultz, Boylston, Maine
Driving my daughter to school every morning is the best way to start my day. Seemingly a repetitive routine task, she is sweet, engaging and I never tire of hearing her singing in the morning as we are driving to her school. No matter what my morning has started like, those minutes together help me start my day in the best mood!
- Lori Schneck, Henrico, Virginia
My favorite time in the car with my daughter was when we dared to drive to Illinois by ourselves, no navigation system, just our clothes, a few bucks and our pride. I told her that I was the pilot and she was going to be my co-pilot...we were off on our adventure.
We laughed constantly…had drawn smiley faces on the bottom of her toes and would wave them at the truck drivers going by us. We made that trip from Mississippi to Illinois in fourteen hours, but they were the best fourteen hours of my life with her in the car.
- Carol Mendoza, Little Rock, Mississippi