Photo of the day – 04

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I can’t tell you how many road trips I went on with my dad; Dozens and dozens, possibly over a hundred. Not all I would consider vacations, but my dad loved to drive. That is certainly in my blood as well. I did a ton of road trips with my daughter.
In the 70’s drinking and driving was commonplace and I’d bet every trip I took with my dad, he was somewhat drunk. When people would ask him how long it took him to get from point A to point B, he would answers with the number of beers he drank on the trip. For instance, “How long does it take you to get to Little Rock, Arkansas?” ”About eight beers”, he’d reply.
My mother got really mad at him drinking and driving with me and my sister in the car. She told him we wouldn’t be able to go on trips with him anymore if he didn’t stop. The next trip after that, when we got back, my mom asked me what he drank while driving. I replied, “He was being really healthy. He drank gallons and gallons of orange juice”. She got so pissed off. I didn’t know what a screwdriver was until that day. She called him up and they went at it over the phone.
One of my favorite road trip memories, I was either 12 or 13. We were going to visit his parents in Arkansas, something we did about once a year. It was a 6 – 8 hour drive. He wasn’t aloud to smoke or drink at their house, so on the way he smoked and drank a lot, until about an hour from their house. We stopped and he changed clothes and washed up at a gas station and we rolled down the windows to air out the truck. I could tell it was a trip he was not particularly looking forward to.
The first night at his parents’ house, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to sneak out to his truck and see if I could find a way to listen to my Survivor, Eye of the Tiger cassette. It was about 1 in the morning and when I opened his truck door, he was in there drinking and smoking. He wasn’t mad and just said, get in. I got in and we sat and listened to my Survivor cassette, not speaking very much, just enjoying the moment.
My dad was a kid at heart. Whatever we did he did like a kid with a lot of money. Before road trips or camping trips I’d go to the grocery store with him and we’d literally load up on 3-4 hundred dollars worth of junk food. Any snack I wanted, I got. He kept a cooler in the seat of his truck. Back then they didn’t have trucks with back seats. I’d sit on the other side of the cooler and in the cooler were our favorite snacks. Usually a couple of blocks of cheese, lots of Three Musketeers candy bars, soda and beer. Next to the cooler we had Ritz and Triscuit crackers and a bag or two of Keebler chocolate chips cookies. On the way to camping trips we’d each take out a block of cheddar cheese and take a bite, follow it with a cracker. We could easy go through a pound a piece and a box of crackers a piece, quickly. We’d follow it up with polishing off an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies.
In this photo we were at Disneyland in California. On that trip I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. We took a detour to see the Petrified Forest as well. A trip I also did with my daughter, except I took it to the next level. We drove to LA, then to Vegas, then to the Grand Canyon, then through the Petrified Forest and swung over to Santa Fe, all in 9 days. I love a good road trip, thanks to my dad.

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