Open Thread

Monday Night Flashback OT: Car Trips

Good evening, Persephoneers! I hope that your weekend was lovely and your Monday is off to a good start. My family declared this past weekend a three-day weekend, so my work week officially starts tomorrow.

This weekend we drove a total of about 12 hours, split over the course of three days. I won’t lie, we were happy to get out of the car tonight. My kids, for the most part, are good travelers, but after a few hours, they get restless. This weekend, I armed them with new things to color and look at, a few new apps on their iPods.

Here’s my question for you – what did you do on long car trips as a kid? I remember playing “the alphabet game,” for we had to find each letter of the alphabet, in order, as we drove by billboards. We also played the license plate game, for which, you guessed it, we kept a list of the license plates we saw. We were always excited to find the ever-elusive Hawaii or Alaska.

What did you do in the backseat of your family car for hours and hours?

18 replies on “Monday Night Flashback OT: Car Trips”

Ah, Cherbourg-Perpignan in 16 hours, fond memories.

We read – a lot. We had travel versions of Mastermind, chess, scrabble… we made up songs. We whined, I’m sure. I slept a lot, too, a skill which has come in useful on many long-distance journeys as a grownup. There’s also the classic “cow!” wherein the first person to see a cow gets to shout “COW!!” very loudly. It’s not very sophisticated, but it’s useful in Ireland where there are a lot of cows about.

GGGAAAAHHHHH!  Guise – the worstest thing just happened!

I went to take the garbage out and found two frogs between our front door and our screen door.  This is not unusual for this time of year where I live.  They’re about the size of a half dollar and are cute as a button.

Anyway, I was trying to get them outside when they both decided to jump inside.  Again, this has happened before – no big deal.  I got one in a jar and the other tried jumping out of the screen door in the gap between the door and the hinge.

Somehow during this time, the other frog got one of his little froggy toes stuck in the seal between the screen door and the wooden door jam!  I had the screen door open, so if I shut it, I would have squished the poor guy as he was right under the hinge.  I tried pulling his little toe out, but it was so tiny and he was so scared and hurt.  He kept puffing himself up despite my assertions to him that i did not, in fact, want to eat him and making himself look bigger was in no way helping his situation!

I had to call for my husband, which woke up the kid who is four and loves froggys.  Husband got a Letherman and pried the seal enough that I could pull poor froglett out.

His poor little foot guise.  It looked so bad!  Kid helped me get some water in the jar for him and we laid him and his buddy, who actually stayed in the jar during all this kerfuffle, outside with the jar at an angle where the water wouldn’t tip out, but they could jump for freedom if so inclined.

THEN I HAD TO LEAVE AND GO TO WORK.  I have no idea if little froglett is ok.  I live 17 miles from my place of work and can’t go check on him at lunch.  Even if he weren’t ok, there’s literally nothing I could do for him.  I can’t make a froggy splint that tiny.

So the kiddo is upset that poor froglett is hurt, I’m assuring him that he’ll be ok, and now I’m sure we’ll come home tonight to a belly-up froggy in the front yard.

GGGAAAAHHHH!  Horrible way to start the day!

If I were a bunny – this would be me at work right now.

Oh man, that sucks. I remember sometime around second grade there was a raccoon in our flower bed that had been hit by a car. He was all sad and weak. I left him some cat food and mom called the humane society to come get him after I went to school. It was awful, and I don’t even like raccoons.

My parents realized that the corn syrup in YooHoos would make my sister and I pass out. Every long car trip, we’d stop to gas up, and each get one as a special treat. It was the only time my parents would it them. My mom says it wasn’t to knock us out, but to keep us from whining about being hungry/thirsty, but….

Different perspective here. My family didn’t have a car when I was a kid. We were poor and living in the city mostly, with reasonably good public transportation, and we’d take trains or buses to visit grandparents or family who lived out of town. Neither of my parents had a driving licence, even. Dad had taken driving lessons while in college, but the instructor was so horrible and traumatizing that he quit (he’s a sensitive soul like that), and it was not assumed that women should necessarily need or want to drive. So we first bought a shabby used car in the 90s, when my big brother was old enough to drive. Also, when my mother lost her office job in her late 40s, she went to driving school to expand her options at the job market, and has never looked back.

I myself still don’t drive, actually. It was clear to me that my parents couldn’t pay for driving school when I was in high school, and ever since I’ve had more pressing expenses to deal with. Sometimes I wish I could drive/afford a car, but mostly do fine without it.

I actually kinda wish not driving was an option for me. There is little to no public transit in my area, but I would happily put the $700 or so a month I spend on my car to something else instead if I didn’t need it for work.

I remember thinking the one trip we took by train when I was younger was the coolest thing ever, simply because it was so novel.

I’m not sure what I used to do (I think I did the license thing or just looked at stuff), but my husband & I have a game now where we put the radio on ‘scan’ and try to guess the songs in the 3-5 second window it plays. It’s more fun in cities/areas with higher populations, as once you get too rural it’s mostly preachers and country music (which we’re not too familiar with). When my boys drive with us, we’ll do something like ‘name songs with [X] in the title’ or the thing where you say a band/actor’s name and then the next person says another name starting with the same initial. The song one is the easiest because everyone knows lots of songs, so we’ll do songs with places, colors, food, numbers, etc. that can go on for  bit.

My parents used to let my sister and I take whatever could fit in one cardboard box as car entertainment. The box went between us in the back seat of our Chevy Caprice and if we got bored, it was our own damned fault for not putting forethought into what went in the box. The box also doubled as The Berlin Wall for backseat territory division. Genius really.

We played an absurd amount of riddly-riddly-ree…which, come to think of it, is just my specific family’s version of “I spy.”

My husband and I drive the 18 hour trip home a few times a year and SHEESH I hate it. I 1) can’t imagine doing it as an impatient kid 2) can’t imagine doing it w/o my iPhone or Kindle. How did I survive without it?

We did a trip from Northern Michigan to California in 3 days.  Talk about crazy.  We drew, read, slept, argued, played: slug bug, I spy, and the alphabet game.  But you had to find a word that started with the letter you were on, couldn’t find it in the middle of the word.

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