Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Road Trip Memories in a Purple Kia

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When I think about taking a road trip my first thought always goes to the first road trip my sister Laura and I took without our parents, our first grown up road trip. Our parents had moved to Washington right after Laura graduated high school, while my sister and I stayed behind in California to continue our own lives. About 6 months into them being gone we were having withdraws from not seeing our family, we missed them and thought it was a great way to see the great states of Oregon and Washington! So on a whim we decided to hop into my car, which happened to be a PURPLE Kia at the time, and headed out on our first road trip together. Before we headed out we called out parents to tell them we were on our way, this was before there were cell phones so we told them we would call them when we got to our next stop and a payphone. How funny is that to think about? No cell phones, must have been the dinosaur ages! Back to the start of our trip, we started out so confident in our decision to pack up the car and go. We played all the classic car games, like the License Plate Game, the Alphabet Game, the Going on a Picnic Game, you get the point, we played a lot of car games. We were singing to the radio and cassette player, hey I told you it was before everyone had cell phones. Things were going great until about 3 hours into our 12+ hour trip, I was starting to get really tired, I was starting to fade. At the time I was the only one out of the two of us that was driving, Laura was too scared to get behind the wheel of a car. So here I am only 3 hours into the drive and I felt exhausted. I felt like I couldn't keep my head up, like it was taking everything in my to stay awake, and it was only 2 pm!! Laura started to worry, she was pumping me full of red vines to stay awake, asking me questions, rolling down the windows, everything you could think of to keep a person awake. It worked but only temporarily. It was the weirdest thing that as soon as I would start to drive I would just fall asleep. Car Narcolepsy? The seats in my car were too comfortable?

We managed to make it 3 more hours and I needed a nap, a real uninterrupted nap. We pulled over to a rest stop, we were planning on driving all the way through so a hotel room was not in the budget. The sun was starting to set so it wasn't totally dark out. I turned off the ignition, tipped my chair back and went to sleep. Laura was freaked out by all of the people passing by so she hung up blankets and clothes in the windows to give us more privacy, we must have looked ridiculous!

An hour later we were back on the road, I was feeling refreshed (sort of) and we were getting back into the road trip groove. Flash forward 2 hours and here I was tired again, no energy, head bopping, car swerving tired. NOT AGAIN. We needed to gas up the Kia and by now it was dark and we were in the middle of nowhere. We finally found a gas station at a questionable turn off, in a questionable area. If anything was going to wake me up it would be the idea that there maybe some animal or God forbid person lurking in the bushes of this out-in-the middle-of-no-where-we-could-be-killed-by-a-serial-killer-at-any-moment gas station. Laura stood watch while I got out, swiped my card, put the gas pump in and jumped back in the car as fast as I could. Then we waited. While we waited for what felt like forever for the gas to pump we sat there in silence, listening to the dead of the night. The nozzle clicked, we both jumped. I thought about just driving away and letting the gas nozzle fall out as we took off and attach the gas cap later, no issues. That could happen right? Then I thought about my car and being a starving student, if something happened to the gas tank because I was being a chicken how would I pay for it? Darn it! I needed to buck up. Laura and I listened, looked around and I got out. When I was done I jumped back in and we took off, not looking back.

Needless to say I drove the rest of the way bug eyed, freaked out and thankful we were still alive. It's so funny to think about it now, I'm sure it wasn't as bad as we thought it was. I'm sure the road wasn't as long as it seemed. I'm sure there was someone working there watching the place making sure no serial killers were in the bushes. I'm sure it was a quiet little town and not a scene from Scooby Doo with zombies and ghosts around every corner. #kiasocialclub

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Where was your best road trip destination? Did you travel with children at the time? Do you have any advice for a successful road trip?


* This post was written in partnership with our friends at Kia.
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