My fascination with RV’s and motorhomes came at an early age (7 to be exact). My grandparents frequently traveled around the country (mostly up and down the east coast) for weeks at a time.They came from North Carolina to Texas to visit us, and I remember being so excited to just sit and have a snack in the motorhome “kitchen” while it was parked in our drive way. Tapioca pudding- that was my snack of choice.
One summer, they took me with them from Texas to North Carolina, and this triggers some of my absolute best childhood memories. My grandpa drove while we listened to music from the 1950’s. “Chantilly Lace” still gets stuck in my head sometimes! On long stretches of road, we would watch clouds form and sprinkle the road ahead of us for just a few seconds. We would drive through them, and be back in the sunshine singing all the while.
My grandma always had a map in her hands and a comfortable seat cover made out of wooden beads on her side of the motorhome. She wore her small-framed glasses and her bright pink lipstick that stained her travel coffee mug almost permanently. She was small and stern, but laughed and played a lot. She used to call me “Yeah-but” because every time she asked me to do something, I would reply with, “Yeah, but….” I remember even on this trip, asking all sorts of questions, not getting the answers I was looking for, and responding to her with “Yeah-but”. What patience she must have had!
We stopped at rest stops, and I faithfully carried with me my favorite stuffed animal named “Rainbow”, who accompanied me to every restroom and picnic table at every rest stop we visited from Texas to North Carolina.
During quiet, long-stretches of drive time, I curled up with Rainbow, a blanket, and my word puzzle games. Even at the age of 7, I became a whiz at the word searches and cross word puzzles! I took breaks to color pictures or eat more tapioca pudding, and would fall asleep at the calming hum of the big motor.
I can still remember the smells and the feeling of excitement and adventure I had as a kid. Once we arrived in North Carolina, I knew it was only a couple more weeks until our next adventure, and I could hardly contain myself!
I am so glad I was able to experience road trips at such a young age. Now as an adult, I take my own kids on travel adventures, and they create their own travel memories as we not only go across the country but across borders.