Travel tip #79…make pit stops

Life is…of course…about the journey.

But sometimes life is about ticking off the friggin’ miles….driving fast over the flat and boring stuff and getting to the end goal with a few extra minutes to spare.

Then again…when your travel buddy (who will go by the fictitious initials of KP) is not a fan of the road…sometimes, life is about taking pit stops.

Minneapolis to Branson is a 10-hour drive. KP announced months before that her crowning road trip distance record to date was about 3 hours. Branson was out of the question. We cajoled. She resisted. We nudged. She balked. But finally KP relented and joined the trip.

My wife and I have traveled with kids. We’ve never had a DVD player in the vehicle, but we are not opposed to goody-bag bribes. So pre-trip, we visited the dollar store and prepped a package for KP.

Every hour and 7 minutes (or so), KP was rewarded with a time-stamped envelope filled with some wondrous traveling trinket. There was a word search book, a battery powered fan with M&Ms in the handle, a dry erase board for communicating with passing motorists, and a bag of LemonHeads. For sharing (ahem).

It turns out the clicking, buzzing magnets were a tactical error…as was the “scenic route” excursion off the interstate. It was intended to add interest and variety, but apparently it mostly added a traumatic additional 12 minutes to the journey.

In spite of those two minor glitches, the tiara and sparkly wand smoothed those wrinkles as KP unwrapped her final reward for a journey well-rode.

But, alas. Three days was not enough recovery time to prepare KP for a second 10-hour drive, so we broke up the return with a stop in Des Moines and a visit to El Bait Shop, a highly recommended hipster pub with about 150 beers on tap.

We didn’t try them all. But it was a good pit stop. Because, sometimes, life IS about the journey.

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