Sometimes, we just get in the car and start driving.
With all of us home and hot summer days already here, we tend to look at each other around 2pm and go, “Well. Now what?” We’re on a pretty tight budget these days trying to pay things off, so our ‘now what’ has to be fairly cheap.
My very favorite childhood memories are of us kids piled in the car, taking a road trip – most of the time to California to see my grandparents and aunt/uncle/cousin. I remember laying on the floor of our van at night while my dad drove, watching us pass through a town and the lights flashing by, one after another, over the car and it lit up – went dark – lit up – went dark.
I loved seeing the different scenery when we woke up. I loved staying in hotels, trying different restaurants, meeting new people. I loved getting a Pepsi at the gas station and handing it all around the car while everyone took a sip and then reminded the person before to “take their friends” from the rim. I loved watching my Pop explain how gambling worked and how risky it was, showing us how and then winning big 😂 and my Mom sighing and laughing while we watched the money being handed to him and he would say, “Well now, that’s not what I had in mind.”
So the other day when we were all trapped inside and the wind was blowing hard for the 186th day in a row, I said, “Let’s just get in the car and drive.”
We piled the girls in our truck, filled up the tank, and went down the road. The first day we drove all over the back roads behind us, looking at homes and little places we didn’t even know existed. The next time we drove east so far we saw signs for Carlsbad Caverns (which is what made us go there the following week).
We took off and went to the #CarlsbadCaverns today. We took Bella about 5 years ago and wanted to go back. It was spectacular. The elevator was being worked on when we arrived so we hiked down. If you get a chance to go – hike down. For me it was the most beautiful part of the trip. Just amazing. Long but so worth it.
We also had a rock hit the windshield and take a chunk out that time. Sam called it our $400 outing that we are waiting to fix. #oops Once we passed the highest hacienda in Texas and that sparked a whole conversation. The other day we found the perfect little spot for homemade tamales and pork that was to die for, just a minute away from us that we’d never seen before.
At first Bella was baffled by it all. “But WHERE are we going?” We don’t know, we’d answer. Just – we’re going. Let’s get out. Char would play happily in the back and might fall asleep. Bella brought a toy and some paper to draw on, but mostly she’d just look out the window and ask us questions. Once she saw an antelope and informed us that, “Cantaloupes were out in that field,” 😂 😂 😂 and I grabbed hold of the sleeve of Sam’s shirt as we both died laughing silently while attempting to tell her in all seriousness that, indeed, cantaloupes were all over the place.
It’s different, but it’s also the best. We are determined to not let boredom/heat/and the mundane get in the way of what a unique opportunity we have in our life now to be able to find each other again. To make memories that aren’t filled with sadness and loss. It’s easy to slip into the “every day is the same, our life is so strange” thinking, but this is where we are. And both of us know that no matter what comes next, this time is going to be the one we look back on fondly.