Life Lessons of Road Trippin’

As I planned this cross-country move with Little Sir, I knew it would involve a cross-country drive.

Now, I should preface this with some context. I do not enjoy driving. I’ve made this drive from California to Texas (or vice versa) a couple of times and it’s looooong. And I usually had a second driver to share the chore with.

Since Little Sir is seven, that wasn’t really practical this time. Though I did think he could probably handle some of those really long straightaways in New Mexico and West Texas… just kidding.

In conclusion, there was no way I was going to be able to muscle it out and make the trek in 2.5 days or whatever other people are able to pull off. I could use Little Sir’s age as an excuse, but really it was my tolerance for daily driving. So, our move across the country became more of a road trip.

Life Lesson #1

I think this is something I’ve gotten wiser about. You drove to Texas in 20 hours straight existing on Red Bull and Cheetos? How nice for you. I’m not doing that.

I have come to know the limits I am willing to push beyond and those I am willing to accept. I don’t consider it brag-worthy to be exhausted and shaking from caffeine and fake cheese overload.

Life Lesson #2

And I was grateful we didn’t have to push. I didn’t have a hard start date for Texas so I was able to allow 4 days.

My goal was to make the journey as much of an adventure as the destination.

Little Sir turned out to be an awesome co-pilot managing the ice chest and atlas. After the first day, it became necessary to redirect his “Are we almost there?” to looking for the green mileage signs and estimating miles-to-go with miles-per-hour.

I used the site RoadTrippers to find unique stops along our route: Bottle Tree Ranch, the Grand Canyon, New Mexico’s Blue Hole and Cadillac Ranch.

Life Lesson #3

I’m not by nature a spontaneous person, but I have worked to become a person that does try to swim with the current. And the current of this trip was no different. Day one was too many hours in the car. We didn’t push that hard again. And when it turned out the Petrified Forest was less than 10 minutes from our route, well, we can do that.

Now, that “quick detour” to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert kept us from getting as far as I hoped that day. So we stopped relatively early in Gallup, New Mexico. I was able to shrug off the frustration at our lack of progress that day. The guest laundry facilities at the hotel helped. I hate packing dirty laundry.  And we woke up early the next morning and hit the road. We were in Albuquerque by about 8:30am.

Well, Albuquerque has a huge hot air balloon fiesta and our trek overlapped with the dates and they launch early mornings. So we got to see at least 50-60 hot air balloons against the backdrop of New Mexico’s red rock formations. One of those really nice moments where what seemed like a frustration just all worked out.

We’re headed back to California for Thanksgiving.

And yep, we are flying.

Life lessons are great, but let’s get real. That is one long drive.