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.