There are few things in life that can shake us to our core...family vacations are right up there for some folks.
The idea of spending hour upon hour in the confines of a rolling box, driving endless miles of freeways, turnpikes, back roads; it can become a living hell for the passengers and the task of Sisyphus for the driver!
Ah, summer! With its smoldering days and in the case of some vacation bound, smoldering tempers.
I spoke recently to a neighbor, a lovely woman of a certain age, who created a mental picture for me of her much anticipated journey through one of Dante's circles. That would be the one marked "Vacation Hell! This Way!"
I felt true compassion for her plight as she described how she and her husband would take a non-stop trip to a popular souther state. She assured me there would be no loitering along the way to take in the sights. Rather, they would likely qualify for the Indy 500 Pole Position!
It seems her husband, an ardent road warrior, enjoys giving a running verbal tour as likely points of interest flash past.
This can be viewed as an educational experience and it certainly beats counting cows...though at those high speeds, they likely appear as billboards for "Drink Milk".
After listening to my friend's litany of travel nightmares, I decided there must be ways to eliminate the possibility of doing the driver bodily harm at one of the infrequent rest stops permitted.
Here are a few suggestions if you find yourself in a similar vise of car confinement:
1. Take along a nice bottle of wine and lots of plastic cups. Be sure to uncork before entering said vehicle, replacing the original cork with a fanciful wine-stopper that will bring a smile to your face whenever you open the bottle.
2. Purchase lots of on-line games for you phone, iPad, Kindle...whatever...you won't miss a thing as you play Solitaire and Dolly World blurs into a blob of color.
3. Pour a small glass of wine and admire the taste, bouquet, and gentle sloshing in the plastic cups. All very Zen-like and can help you to find your "happy place"
4. Research ear plugs as armor against bunk mates that rattle the windows with their snores and other unpleasant nocturnal noises. You will be able to tune-out the monologue from the driver, and won't be embarrassed by any whimpering you might experience over the long hours.
5. Reopen the bottle of wine and have a party in your head. You do not have to feel compelled to invite the jerk driving like Mario Andriette on steroids!
There really isn't any way, short of a jail term, to stop a determined driver who is fixated on going from point A to point B, as quickly as possible. It could be they fear the oxygen in the car will give out before arriving...who can say.
My parting advise? Make it two bottles...there's the return trip don't forget!