Thursday, April 27, 2017

Remembering Road Trips by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the good ole days. Stay a bit and linger in your memories.
Remembering Road Trips by J.Q. Rose
My husband, Gardener Ted, and I just completed a road trip from Florida to Michigan last week. My how travel has changed since I was a kid.

No GPS, no four-lane roads, no fast food places, and no rest areas in the good ole days.

My Dad was an undertaker, so he was tied down 24 hours a day to his job. He also ran an ambulance service. We lived on Route 66 and he picked up a lot of victims of car crashes in those days--dead and alive. Hospital for the live ones...I guess our funeral home for the dead ones.
Even with so much responsibility every day, he managed to get-away for some great family trips. But there were rules. The main rule was "do not order hamburgers." He was scared of unknown meat at unfamiliar restaurants fearing the meat was tainted with bacteria. I must have survived on grilled cheese sandwiches and snacks in the car as we traveled.

I remember I had a LOT of sour chocolate milk on our travels. I guess the refrigeration was lacking at some of the greasy spoons we stopped at along the way. 

I actually don't recall any horrendous traffic jams like we experience now as we go through construction areas and around cities. Of course I was too young to drive, so I may not have noticed.
Road construction
But what did we do in the car as we clicked off all those boring miles on a trip? No tablets or DVD movies to watch. I remember singing a lot. Sunday School songs and songs like I Been Workin' on the Railroad or Oh Susannah and the Wheels on the Bus and probably more. We also looked for all the different states' license plates and to find something along the way that matches the letters of the alphabet like A=automobile, B=bank, C=cow, etc. 

Did you take road trips when you were a kid? How did you entertain yourselves along the way?


Miss Mae said...

Oh boy, this does bring back memories! Not of sour chocolate milk...ugh, I feel for you, kiddo, but I couldn't have stomached that! LOL

We had a 1952 Bel-Air Chevrolet and it was automatic with only high and low gears.

Once, while heading for relatives' house near Ft. Campbell, KY, we piled into that car...Dad, Mom, and Granny in the front seat. Myself, my sister and brother in the back. Boy, we were crammed!

Granny had made a pitcher of lemonade and sandwiches and brought 'em along "for the ride".

Good thing too.

Yes, traveling on two lane roads, about 60 miles out, that car wouldn't shift into high. Daddy managed to limp it into a service station and asked the mechanic on duty for help.

He, regretfully, said, "I'm sorry. I don't know anything about Chevrolets. I'm a Ford guy."

We had no option except to head back home.

Again, on two lane roads (and with no flashing warning signals either). Driving around 25 m.p.h., it took HOURS to get home.

Granny's lemonade and sandwiches were mightily appreciated, let me tell you!

Laurean Brooks said...

We played Riga-Riga-Marie, I see something that you don't see, and it's....blue. (Not sure I spelled that correctly.) It was a guessing game that kept us entertained most of the way to Grandma's house, 3 hours south.

Our road trips were few and far between, so we kids got excited over every one.

Love this post JQ. Thanks for hosting her, Miss Mae.

Laurean Brooks said...

Forgot to add: We had a 59 black and white Ford Fairlane, big enough for all 9 family members, if the youngest sat on laps. We were stufffed as sardines in a can, hot and sweaty by the time we arrived. But we didn't mind.

Lynn Worton said...

Great blog post. Our family road trips were a little different. We travelled to Durban in South Africa from where we lived in Zimbabwe for a holiday at the coast. It was a three hour trip to the border, two hours (or more) getting through immigration and customs and then another two hour drive to the caravan site where we camped overnight. The final stretch was another three to four hour drive to the holiday apartment at a hotel on the beach front. Then we'd repeat the process to get home. The distance was a little over 1,700 kilometres or just over 1,000 miles (one way) for a two week holiday. We did this every year from 1983 to 2001. It was exhausting but I miss it.

Miss Mae said...

@Laurean Brooks, we were hot and sweaty too! No air conditioning in those days, at least not in our cars. And no power windows. Remember the little vent window that you could angle to blow that rushing wind right on you?

Ahhh, that was sheer genius on whoever invented it!

Thanks for coming over to share your memory. :)

Miss Mae said...

@Lynn Worton, your trips sound like extremely "wild" road trips! A 1000 miles? Wow!! I bet you have fantastic photos from those years of traveling there. Did you need to know another language? I bet that beach was absolutely beautiful, and your family made some fantastic memories.

What a delight to learn more about you. Thank you for sharing!

Lady Vintage said...

Enjoyed reading your memory of the road trips!

P.L. Parker said...

We road-tripped practically every weekend during the warm months. Loved those family trips! We usually packed a picnic lunch and took off to the mountains to fish or swim or pick berries or look for watercress. So much fun.