In Defense of Road Trips: Got None; Going Anyway; Not Sorry.

First of all, let me answer two questions. Yes, we are driving from Washington to Vermont in late November. And no, we don’t know what route we’re taking. (Mother Nature will let us know that.)

Oh, and a third question: Yes, Really.

Wing Son Two announced this fall that he intends to stay indefinitely in Vermont, where he’s been working since graduating from college in June. The Mate & I instantly thought about joining him for Thanksgiving, since Son Two is living on a beautiful farm which belongs to some of The Mate’s cousins, a huge, delightful clan of whom we are very fond.

This created a dilemma, however: Wing Son One is still in California, where we’ve been spending all our Thanksgivings since both sons gravitated there after high school. Which son to spend the holiday with?

Then The Mate added another twist: “If we go to Vermont, I want to drive.” (He’s not scared of flying, he just loathes it. I’m sure none of you can relate to this, right?)

I vacillated. Who road trips across the northern latitudes on the cusp of winter? We’re already committed to our annual cross-country pilgrimage to North Carolina in Feb-March; can I handle THAT much trippage? On the other hand…we have time. Road trips are always a bonding experience for us, a huge part of our relationship. But what about Son One?

Red Rover LOVES road trips!

Red Rover LOVES road trips!

Son One, in fact, settled the matter. When I hesitantly invited him to join us, he surprised me by accepting. His job is ending now, his new one doesn’t start till January, and he apparently likes his parents enough to spend two weeks with them in a fairly small car.

Did I mention that Son One is 24? And not real good with the whole staying-in-touch-via-email-and-phone thing? I’d happily spend two weeks idling at a traffic light with him, catching up.

I haven’t done the math on the carbon emissions, but I’m pretty sure that driving three people in one car still uses less than flying three people in a plane. Monetarily, though, we may actually be coming out behind. Yes, plane tickets are expensive, but this trip will entail a good two weeks on the road. Usually when The Mate & I go, we camp and stay with friends more than half the time, but this trip will be different: faster, darker, colder, and much less predictable. We can’t really make dates with friends; cold-weather camping holds no appeal. We’ll be seeing the interior of a number of Days Inns, I expect, paying for three people each time. It’ll add up.

(and that was in Arizona, yet!)

(and that was in Arizona, yet!)

7,000 miles. Three people doing 600-700 miles a day in a Subaru. Icy roads. Darkness at 4:30. Am I daunted?

Nah. I’ll be with my boys. I don’t care what happens. It just feels like Christmas came early this year.

Anyone else traveling this holiday season? How far, where to? Any mixed feelings there?