Monday, August 3, 2015

Road Trip!!!

Road trip.

If ever there was a term that loses its spirit as we age, it's this one.

When you're younger, the road trip is an adventure defined by the tease of limitless possibility and fueled by equally limitless exuberance.

OK. So, not all road trips are care free. Mine
had far fewer divorced people.
You're supposed to be studying for an exam but instead, one of your irresponsible friends recommends you take an irresponsible trip somewhere cool.

And, because you're equally irresponsible, you say, "Yes," and jump in the car along with a couple other folks.

Together you ride off into the unknown, leaving the predictable in your rear view.

Along the way there are laughs, hijinks and the making of a few stories that you won't tell your children when they come along. Which, coincidentally, is when the meaning of "road trip" is flipped on its head.

It's then that "road trip" becomes less about the shedding of responsibilities and embracing the unknown as it is about assuming greater responsibilities and praying for the predictable, if not the uneventful.

When you're young, hopping in the back of your buddy's Mustang and heading toward the nearest beach, you fear nothing and you're accountable to no one. It is the definition of freedom.

When you're in your mid-30s, married and the owner of one child with another on the way, you adjust that view accordingly.

Instead of spontaneously jumping in the back of a convertible and heading to the beach, you're methodically loading the trunk of your sedan, ensuring that you'll have enough room for the stroller.

You obsessively check the weather forecast,  staying on top of what Mother Nature might throw at you on your journey.

The words footloose and fancy free you are not.

All of which is to say, Mrs. Blackwell, the boy and I are taking a road trip in later this month.

And, because I want to get my home robbed while I'm gone, I'm writing about it on the Internet. (Actually, a well-armed redneck from Southern Illinois will be in town on a drinking binge while we're gone. He'll be house sitting for me so, to any would-be burglars, you've been warned.)

Between now and our departure there's a lot to consider and as I run through that list, ensuring that everything is accounted for, I can't help but think back to those simpler times when big trips meant big fun.
Road tripping w/ Mrs. Blackwell in 2010. AKA
the "good-old days."

Mrs. Blackwell and I used to think nothing of jumping in the car and driving a couple hours and finding a place to stay once we got there.

We'd enjoy great food, great beer and cocktails and maybe some more beer and some more cocktails and just to spice things up we'd get wine.

It was just us and all decisions were made by this committee of two. If these were our good old days, I'm sad they're gone but we did pack a lot into them.

Thinking about it now, I'm reminded of a saying my mom and dad used to utter when I was a kid.

As strange as it is to consider now, there was time in their life when they too went places on a whim, just jumped in their canary Yellow Dodge Charger and went for it.

In reflecting back to those times, my parents would say that was, "back before we had kids, when we used to have fun."

Ever since I was a kid, I always knew they were joking. But now that I'm grown and a dad, I am learning bit by bit they were also quite serious.

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