A couple weeks ago my parents flew out to Brevard in North Carolina where Rachel was spending the summer. From there, they all piled in Rachel's Civic and road-tripped it to Denton, Texas, where Rach will spend (three? four?) years attending UNT for her doctorate in flute performance. Go, Dr. Sister! 

So naturally I've been humming Centro-matic/Will Johnson songs in my head like it's hot and recalling ye olde road trip days.

Rachel's car used to belong to Hal and the summer we met and got pregnant, Hal and I took our first and only road trip up the coast in that very two door Civic. Except Hal's had a giant dent in the bumper that he refused to have fixed (Rachel fixed it.) and reeked of cigarette smoke and spilled take-out from his days as a PA.
We had no itinerary and a very little money. Our plan was to drive until we wanted to pull over... so that is what we did. We pulled over and played miniature golf, grabbed tacos and ate them on the beach, stopped at every rest stop to take pictures, make out, make wishes, take out...

On the second night we stumbled upon a motel outside Santa Cruz for $49 a night and decided it would be idiotic to say no to such a steal.

Upon checking in we realized why the motel was the cheapest in town. We were positive that someone had died in the room, weeks, (maybe even days?) before, because that is what it smelled like exactly. On either side of us were rooms inhabited by transients, which would have been cool if they weren't angry transients who liked to yell and break things

And, yet. Instead of asking to change rooms, or, you know, sleeping in the car, we decided to take a midnight stroll to the nearest grocery store to buy incense, scented candles and designer impostor perfume. Because that made much more sense (scents?) at the time.

The rest of the week was like that. It was dirty and full of trail mix wrappers in the back seat, packing Parliaments at gas stations, crashing on floors, YOLO...
photo photo-2
I hadn't thought about that night at Motel Hell in years until I spoke to my mom (who had just sprained her ankle and spent the night in the ER)... about the magic of the road trip in all its stinky, storied "you'll laugh about this later, promise," glory.

"You'll laugh about this later, promise. Send our love to the Silver Chariot."

One of the goals in the next five years is to do a cross-country summer trip with the kids. Maybe rent a camper or something and drive and drive and camp and listen to music and meet people and buy candles and play mad libs and visit Rachel and David and all of the cousins our kids haven't met yet and see all of the things we've never seen together... collecting "remember whens" and inside jokes, leaving things behind in all of the places we might never go again.


Denton, TX friends? If you see a tall, curly-haired girl with a flute case on her back, you should definitely hug her. She's all magic, that one.


175. You Will be Here, Mine by: Will Johnson