MIAGD: Spontaneous trips

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Spontaneous trips.

Some of the best memories and experiences of my childhood. I guess my childhood has lasted 53 here because I’m still very spontaneous.

It was nothing uncommon for my family, on any given weekend, to quickly pack up for a surprise excursion of 2 to 3 days.

Our spontaneous trips.

I can remember sitting down to breakfasts on a Friday morning in the summers and someone would suggest, “hey, let’s go to St. Louis,” or “we should go visit Holland Michigan.”

And, we did.

What I loved most about these trips was when my grandfather pulled out the propane grill to cook breakfast. I must say, they were some of my most favorite breakfasts. There was absolutely nothing more delicious than eggs and small sausage links prepared on this grill while enjoying the surroundings of a state park or even a a rest stop by the interstate.

My spontaneous trips extended through my college years. I loved nothing more than to gather a group of friends to go explore something interesting and fun.

After moving to Dayton Ohio in August 1990, I was blessed to find several friends who, like me, were just as adventurous on the spur of a moment. My dear friend and teaching colleague, Susan Cook, was my best partner in crime for these adventures. I would barely have the first few words of a “let’s go” sentence spoken before Susan would blurt, “I’m already packed.”

Fatherhood did not diminish the spontaneous trips as I feared it might. In fact, it only heightened the need for more spontaneity. The boys loved these trips and I felt they were vital, not only for quality family time, but for the extended education I believed my sons should have in exploring things that interested them, individually, and as a family.

In the summers, I only taught my private lessons on Mondays , Tuesdays and Wednesdays, all the students packed into three long days. It was worth it because I had my Thursdays and Fridays free, along with my weekends.

It was not uncommon for me to say during supper a Wednesday evening supper, “Plan A.”

There were only 30 minutes to implement this plan.

  • The boys knew what to pack for themselves.
  • Someone knew their assignment was to grab the food tub which contained a toaster, napkins, paper plates, and and endless supply of plastic silverware. Even on planned vacation/trip, we almost always on the go.
  • Another son made sure that the dog items, also kept in a travel container, were in their rightful place in their car/van.
  • Another son attended to our cat, Logan, making certain there was plenty of food and water, and a scooped litter box.

By 9 PM on a Wednesday night, we were on the road to the Outer Banks of North Carolina (or somewhere else that was fun, but generally we enjoyed the Outer Banks the most). There was always a dog friendly room at the Dare Haven Motel on Roanoke Island. Although we spent nearly every day down around Cape Hatteras lighthouse beach and Ocracoke Island, we never passed up the inexpensive and spacious accommodations of the rustic pine paneled walls of this favorite hotel.

Upon our arrival we immediately stopped at the grocery store to accommodate our in the hotel room breakfast of bagels and yogurt, as well as items to prepare our sandwiches and other snacks to be kept in the cooler for lunch.

But what about a propane travel grill?

Personally, those things scare me. I never even turned on the Bunsen burner’s in my high school chemistry class. My lab partner always took care of that task.

But I can, even now, mentally taste those delicious breakfasts prepared by my grandparents on both our spontaneous and planned adventures.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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