Road Trip

I love road trips. This love probably started when I was young. We would travel as a family from our home in the Chicago area to all sorts of places across the country. Florida. Michigan. Texas. Wisconsin. Washington D.C.

And then there was the biggest, longest, most anticipated road trip of all…. one month in an RV exploring the Western United States. That was a blast. Three couples and their kids. I think I was about 11 years old at the time. We would camp at a different campground just about every night. We probably stayed in Colorado a few extra. It was beautiful….. one day there wasn’t enough. And I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean. It was awesome, especially for a child.

I remember another road trip in particular. It was when I moved from the Chicago area to Las Vegas to attend UNLV (University of Nevada- Las Vegas) for its premier Hotel and Restaurant Administration program. I had just turned 18 and was leaving home for the first time. I had a car and a motorcycle then and I was wanting to get both out to Vegas. My step-father offered to follow me out on the motorcycle. He was 40 years old at the time and considered this somewhat of a personal challenge. We would be driving over 1500 miles in the heat of the summer. Me in the car, him on the motorcycle. On top of all that… we had to be to Vegas by a certain time so I could get things lined up for school. We had to make the whole distance in less than three days. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to do this. He said he wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, he had only one requirement: He got to ride the motorcycle the whole way. That, and a plane ticket back to Chicago.

Long story short……. we made it without any issues. Through a driving rain storm in Missouri, through the wind and heat of New Mexico and Arizona. Day and night, other than some quick naps at rest stops, nothing but driving. I would look back at him in my rear view mirror and almost feel sorry for him, me being in the AC and all. The conditions for him got pretty rough at times. But most times he looked like he was having a blast. I was glad we made the trip.

Our family just came back the other day from another road trip to Tucson. This is something we’ve done over the winter holidays for the past three years. 1400 miles in two days on Monday/ Tuesday and then 1400 miles back home on the following Monday/ Tuesday. Approximately 24 hours drive time each way (You’ve got to make a lot of stops when you’ve got 8 people traveling together). One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older…. Sitting in a vehicle for that long tends to make you stiff/ sore a lot faster than when you’re younger.

But for me this trip really seemed to go better than the previous two years. We had two vehicles on the way home. I did all of the driving in one of them. My wife and our 19 year old son Anthony drove the second vehicle. Anthony started out from Tucson but needed my wife to take over when he got tired/ fatigued. On the other hand, I was feeling pretty good throughout the trip. Could it have been because of the work-outs I was doing on the ROM Machine? I think that had something to do with it….. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my endurance. Or maybe it was the jumping jacks my wife and I did at the gas stations to get our blood flowing? (That seemed to get the attention of a lot of people). I can’t prove it, but…….. it seems like this fitness program is having some other benefits that I hadn’t even considered before. Like making road trips more enjoyable.

Here’s hoping your next road trip goes well. And don’t worry about those people that stare at you when you do those jumping jacks.