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 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Teen Drivers

If you smile and turn around in your minivan you will probably see your dear darlings smiling back at you while they are safely strapped to their car seats.  Now picture yourself a few years from now when you are no longer the one in the driver’s seat, and your dear darling is now grinning at you from behind the wheel.  You are now white-knuckled to the arm rests of the passenger seat while your teen age driver smashes the accelerator just a little too hard, or over-corrects every turn.  You instinctively reach for the brakes in front of you before you remember that you don’t have any on your side of the vehicle.

Welcome to my world.

I am about to be the mother of two teen age drivers.  My darling daughter is about to join her older brother in the ranks of Kentucky drivers since she is taking her driver’s test next week.  They both learned how to drive on my minivan.

I’ve had to do some research to make our new driver fit into our family budget too.  Where I live, you don’t have to add a driver with a learners permit to your insurance, but once they get the actual license, you will need car insurance for your teen.  Good thing mine can now drive herself to her job to help pay for it.

So, Kentucky motorists, please welcome a new driver to the streets.  You have been warned.   (PS. Congratulations to my darling daughter)

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February 16, 2013   2 Comments

Pride in My Ride

It comes as no shock to my readers that I drive a minivan.  What you may not know is that my minivan has a name.   It is aptly referred to by my family as “The Mother Ship”.   She is the third Mother Ship minivan in my fleet.

At the touch of a button, the back hatch opens and closes automatically, while displaying an array of extra terrestrial beeps, noise, and blinking lights, not unlike a spaceship.  On a personal level, her other name is “Sylvia”, because she is silver-colored, and because the built in navigational system has a female voice.

To help me identify my Swagger Wagon in a universe full of look-a-like silver minivans, I have deliberately tagged mine with distinctive decorations which include a “United Federation of Planets” bumper sticker, a Star Fleet Academy logo on the back window, and a silhouette of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the side window.   The Mother Ship indeed.  It helps that I’m a fan of Star Trek and sci-fi in general. This also fulfills my responsibility as a mother to embarrass my teenage children in public.  Despite my outward tendency toward nerdiness, I take pride in my ride as I cuise the open road with my children across the galaxy on our travels, seeking out new life and new civilizations.

Sadly, I know that someday my minivan days may be behind me. Then I’ll opt for another sweet ride like one of these limited edition cars.  My teenage daughter is currently saving up to buy her first car and has been eyeballing some of the sporty wheels from Scion.  Her first car will no doubt be nicknamed alien escape pod.

Do you have a name for your vehicle?  And what would you call your teen getaway pod?

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August 1, 2012   1 Comment

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat – Dr Doom’s Fear Fall

Road Trip review from Big Bro, one of Road Trip Mom’s kids!

The most thrilling ride for me  at the Universal Studios Theme Park was in the Islands of Adventure park, and it is called Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall. You enter the ride with your party and are isolated from the other riders.  Before the ride begins, a scary voice comes on and tells you that all safety protocol will be ignored.  Then shoots you straight up into the air at what seems like a million miles an hour, and as soon as it gets to the top it shoots you downwards faster than gravity can pull you.

I had a great deal of fun trying to convince my younger sisters to go on it with me.  They were terrified at first, but after they went on it once they each went four more times. The ride is very intimidating to look at but it is a blast to go on. The lines were also very short when we went with little to no waiting for a seat. The view at the top of the ride is also outstanding, with the whole park in front of you and the beautiful Florida landscape behind you. I highly recommend this ride to anyone who is looking for thrills at this park.

Keep reading for lots of tips on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios theme parks.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by my road trip son! He’s helping me out with his own backseat opinions on some of our recent travels.  Let’s give him a hand!

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February 8, 2012   Comments Off

Mobile technology and a Pool side office

I am currently working at my “home” office while I write this blog entry, sitting next to the pool on a gorgeous summer day.

Have I mentioned how much I love my job?

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June 1, 2010   4 Comments

Holden Beach, NC

One of our favorite places.

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April 2, 2010   1 Comment

Back Seat Physics

Overheard conversation between my two Darling Daughters –

DD1:   Mom!   She’s breathing my air!

DD2:   Mom!   Tell her to stop touching me! (laughter)

DD1:   Ummmm,  technically,  if I’m touching her, then she’s touching me!

….because, according to the laws of physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Ha!

Me:   Is anyone writing down this conversation so that I can post it to my blog later?

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March 4, 2010   Comments Off

Scariest Thing on the Road EVER

This is a photo of the scariest thing I have ever seen on the road. What’s scarier is that it’s inside my own minivan! This may look harmless to you, but you are not sitting in the middle of this heart clenching scene where I was when I took the photo and was completely white-knuckled. Don’t see what I’m talking about? Look harder…. It’s….

…… MY TEENAGER behind the WHEEL!

That’s right. His driver permit was obtained today.

Learning to drive is such a huge rite of passage, for the teen and the parent! Is any parent ever ready for this? I swear it was just last week when he was in kindergarten.

Seriously though, I am signing him up for a Driver’s Ed road training class, and he is taking a safety course as well. Not only that, but he told me himself that he plans to be a “good driver”. I guess we all were new drivers at some point, and I’m not going to last very long if I hold my breath every time I hand him the keys now, am I? It’s time to cowboy up and accept the fact that this day has finally arrived.

ATTENTION DRIVERS OF NORTH AMERICA: A new driver has taken the wheel. You have been warned.

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January 21, 2010   5 Comments

Truckload of Turkeys

Here’s a truckload of turkeys going down the highway in South Carolina, April 2009. I took this picture with my cell phone while on a road trip a few months ago.

Roadside oddities abound, and occasionally they are on the road instead of along side it. Read more about where you can find strange and wonderful roadside attractions to help make your road trip smooth sailing in my new article Roadside Oddities.

Speaking of turkey — Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. I am so thankful to have had so many loyal readers over the years who helped not only make my website a huge success, but also a wonderful resource for traveling parents everywhere. I could not have done it without you.

November 24, 2009   Comments Off

NC Senior Games

We may have a road trip to Raleigh, NC in our future. It seems that my father is going to compete in the state finals for the North Carolina Senior Games! He’s a tennis player, and he will compete in singles and double.

My dad has been a tennis player most of his life and still plays regularly. The kids are so excited to know that their grandpa is still swinging with the best of them. He’s competing in the 70-74 age category. Go get ‘em, Ace!

September 21, 2008   3 Comments

Fifteen Pounds of Coleslaw, Anyone?

My daughter brought home a tiny cabbage seedling from school last year with three little leaves on it. I tend to have a bad effect on plants, especially ones in pots. And due to my natural black-thumb, I never expected it to live, which is why I allowed her to plant it in the front yard. Amazingly it lived and the rabbits didn’t eat it. It grew to 15 pounds. At some point, I think we were supposed to enter it into some kind of 3rd grade contest, but it didn’t start getting really large until just recently, and now summer has gone by and 4th grade has started. So we are eating it instead.

After doing some research, I found that these cabbages can get up to 40 pounds or more. Still, 15 pounds for a cabbage is pretty impressive by ordinary standards.

This giant vegetable reminded me of the titanic pumpkins that grow in Half Moon Bay, CA where they hold a pumpkin festival every year. Those are definitely something special and a really fun event for kids.

Meanwhile, as you contemplate all of these monster vegetables, we’ll be busy eating an extraordinary amount of coleslaw. Cheers!

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August 28, 2008   Comments Off