Cool breezes and the Harvest Moon have me thinking about the Autumn road trips we took when I was a kid.
On many Fridays Mama would pack up some food and drink, road clothes, sweaters and car coats, my blanket, Lady-the-Wonder-Dog’s blanket, and some traveling clothes for us all. Then she would bathe Lady, after which she and I would get cleaned up. When this happened, Lady and I knew that that it was a Road Trip Friday!
Daddy (or Red, as he was called) would come straight home, pull up to the curb outside the house & we’d go barrelling into the car. Well, the dog and I would. Mama (who was known as Peg) seemed a little more calm about the whole thing.
We’d pull out and my parents would start speaking in Secret Parent Tongues. I guess Lady and I weren’t supposed to know this was going to be another great adventure.
After driving for a bit, Red would take a seemingly new route. His standard line was, “I wonder where this road goes.” This was always follwed by a really cheesy grin and a huge Vaudeville wink.
Sometimes we’d go overnight – often for a couple of weeks. We drove all over Southern California, to Nevada and Arizona and beyond. We went North to Big Sur, Monterey Peninsula, and Oregon. We went to Tijuana.
One time Daddy took Route 66 for as far as he could before time demanded that we head back home.
Some of my best childhood memories are of these trips. Although I am quite sure they were well-planned, they always seemed like such spontaneous jaunts. That’s what made them so much fun – for my folks, for me, and even for Lady-the-Wonder-Dog.
Join me as I re-visit California and Route 66 in the Fall of 1955. This blog was inspired by the beaded souvenir belt from Chicago where Route 66 actually begins.