Since writing my last column, I’ve been asked quite a bit if we went anywhere for Fall break.

And the answer is yes, and it didn‘t involve any camping gear!

Instead, we went to Chicago. The trip was filled with museums, the zoo, shopping Miracle mile, and bike rides on Lake Michigan. It was perfect, except…. that due to the fact the trip was planned at the last minute, (by me) we decided to drive.

And that meant 7 hours, 20 minutes, 42 seconds, in the car…with our children.

One way!

When I was growing up, we’d drive to the beach every summer.

No stops! That was Dad’s rule. And he wasn’t kidding.

Sometimes, however, if he was particularly generous, he’d stop at Stuckey’s – to get my brother and I each a game book. You know – the kind where you’d write in invisible spy ink. (I lived for those books!) And for 8 hours straight my brother and I would play hangman while munching on whatever my mother had packed in the picnic basket that was sitting on our laps in the backseat, along with pillows, blankets, blow up floats, towels and goggles.

Our children, however, are not  knowledgeable in the ways of a “road trip”.

For most of their lives, they have flown to their destinations. And have mastered security checks, carry-on restrictions and convincing the air line stewardess to give them an extra bag of snacks.  

So, when we told them they were driving to Chicago – they had NOOOOOO idea what that really meant.

We figured that out the first hour, when driving through Lafayette, our youngest asked “Are we there yet?”      

Getting to the destination is never as bad as coming back. Only problem is that on the way there, they watched all their movies, read all their books and used up all the battery power in their iPods, iPads and Game Boys.

So after spending five, fabulous days bonding and enjoying family time in Chicago, …it took 9 hours, 30 minutes and 33 seconds to pretty much ruin every moment of that!

First of all – getting out of Chicago – in the rain, in the dark, when your GPS is as confused as you are – is not a good start.

Neither is somehow getting yourself on a toll road and realizing your cash is limited. Thankfully, our teenager – didn’t spend a dime of her money on the trip – and was grudgingly willing to lend us a few dollars. (Yes, Madison, we remember, we have to pay you back.)

So, after getting out of Chicago and back on the road – the torrential rain coupled with the fact that “there is nothing for us to do!!!” resulted in ….memories.

And not the good kind.

Instead, the kind that will be brought up in therapy one day, when our kids disclose all the horrible things their parents said to them growing up.

Did I mention, the two hour detour through the Amish country of Kentucky?

Their father and I made lots of memories for them during those extra 2 hours as well!


Good times….

by Angel Kane

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