I Love To Drive, Little Brother!

I think we’re paraphrasing here – from the Coen brothers’ Raising Arizona. (One of the best movies. Ever.) My husband and I rattle off quotes from that movie all the time. And when we hop in the car for a drive and my husband gets behind the wheel he says, “I LOVE to drive, little brother!”

And pre-kids? We did. Love to drive, that is. (Post kids? Not so much.) On the weekends we’d hop in the car, with no particular destination in mind, and drive. We’d check out little Mom and Pop restaurants and stores, stop at a roadside vendor and buy homegrown tomatoes, or pull over to the side of the road and hop on the Appalachian Trail to hike for a spell.

Yesterday, as I maneuvered down the two lane country roads to my sons’ school, Airstream Driver by Gomez popped on my iPod. The rat-a-tat of the drum solo arrived just as I pulled up to a 4-way stop. There were no cars around so I stayed long enough to play my “drums” on the steering wheel. Then when the music picked up again I put my foot to the accelerator.

I’m itching for a drive. A long drive. Into the mountains. Down to the beach. Anywhere, really. As long as we can take a few back roads and see what most people don’t take time to see.

We dream, every once in a while, of renting an RV. Hitting the road. See America. No Interstate allowed. Only country roads. A former student of mine traveled the famous Route 66 from start to finish. He chronicled his journey in emails. I was so jealous. In a playful way, but jealous all the same.

There’s a scene in Disney’s Cars that talks about how now, with the Interstate, people don’t slow down to take in the sites, smell the roses. My great-aunt used to tell us stories of traveling from Florida to Michigan before I-75 was built. The little restaurants that had the best fried chicken. Moon Pies at the “fill-up station.” Favorite little shops to browse in and stretch your legs.

But now, we’re in such a hurry to get to our destination. We forget to live in the moment of getting there and what that entails.

 The interesting places we see.

 The interesting people we meet along the way.

All things that make the journey memorable.  

24 Comments

Filed under Music, Uncategorized

24 responses to “I Love To Drive, Little Brother!

  1. Steven Harris

    I love COen brothers films (with the exception of the pointless remake of ‘The Ladykillers’) and some of my favourite quotes come from ‘The Big Lebowski’ – ‘No Walter, you’re not wrong, you’re just an asshole.’
    As for driving for pleasure, it’s definitely a dying art. I love driving, I just hate clogged roads and idiots who can see no further than the end of their own bumper.

    • Whenever we go furniture shopping or are dealing with any decorating conundrum one of us always pipes in with “That rug really tied the room together.” We love “The Big Lebowski!”

      • Steven Harris

        You’ve got my mind full of Lebowski quotes now: ‘Obviously you’re not a golfer.’ ‘In the parlance of our times.’ ‘Her life is in your hands, Dude.’ ‘You’re being very unDude.’ and on and on and on.

      • The highlight for me of Jeff Bridges’s Oscar win was a headline I saw the next day: “The Dude Abides.” Perfect.

  2. suzicate

    Those back country roads hold some of the best treasures of all!

  3. The more I read your blog the more I realize how much you love music. Your life must have a fantasitc soundtrack. Since my son seems to think I have poor taste in music, I better pay close attention to your blog so I can learn something.

    I love taking the back roads in rural Florida because you never know what you might find!

    • “Your life must have a fantastic sountrack.” Thanks 🙂 I’d like to think so – and now you’ve given me an idea for another post!

  4. I’m with you. Totally itching for a road trip, kids and hell. Sure, it won’t quite offer me the opportunity to relish the trip as I would if I were with just my husband or, ahem, alone, but I’m itching for it nonetheless. I suppose it must have something to do with the new van in my driveway. And the feelings of winter that I want to SHED SHED SHED, and the need for a vacation, an escape, from the mundane.

    But yeah. A road trip. I love them. I love the open road and the wind and the truck stops and the little Mom and Pop restaurants. I love the sites both big and small.

  5. Road trips should definitely be off the main highways as much as possible. Have you ever read the book “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman? He has a character going all around the US, and finding just the weirdest places and customs.

  6. We’re very lucky to have good passengers in our kids… though we have about a two and a half our max 🙂 But that gets us pretty far. Road trips are wonderful, the scenery, having a destination and the excitement that goes with it.
    Hope you get your drive soon!

  7. angelcel

    When we’re over in the US the distances are so huge and our time so short that we tend to bomb along the big roads like everyone else. When we have the time (like on our French driving holidays, or over on the UK mainland) we make a point of avoiding the main autoroutes and motorways and it’s quite blissful. Then the driving itself becomes a pleasure because you really appreciate the independence that having your own car can give you.

  8. My dad always took us for Sunday drives as kids. We did the same with the first 2 of ours. There’s so much to see when you take the time to look!

  9. We drove eighteen hours to the Maritimes last summer with our kids, and it was a blast — and they barely used the little dvd player.

    We own Raising Arizona. And I loved American Gods. I feel so close to all of you right now. 🙂

  10. So true! We get so caught up in going where we’re going that we forget to enjoy the ride! I loved this post – it makes me want to go for a drive! 🙂

  11. The Route 66 drive is my dream vacation!

  12. What a great song! Thanks for introducing me to it. (I’ve heard of Gomez, but own nothing of theirs.) Also, I have a dream to one day drive across country, and this song is making me itch to do it as well.

  13. Love that movie. And we are campers and always try and take the scenic route! We just watched Cars last weekend and it made me sad to think of poor Radiator Springs on Route 66…but then again, I’m a sap!

  14. ck

    Ahhh…long drives through the mountains, “those were the happy days, the salad days as they say…”

  15. You make driving sounds so great! Alas, I HATE to drive. My knee hurts so bad from pushing the accelerator. And if I’m not driving, I get car sick 😦

  16. Yes, yes, yes. We live on an almost-forgotten highway, and back roads are my favorite. I’m famous among friends (okay, infamous is more like it) for taking the scenic route/long way. I know many people who are afraid to venture off those four-lane interstates, not only because it may take longer but also because they’re unfamiliar.
    Fortuitously, Jack and our devotion to road trips have agreed with each other so far (to the tune of 14 hours).
    I love this post.

  17. One of the best trips I’ve ever taken was our 10-day move from Dallas to Seattle. The company gave us a gas, lodging, and food budget to make the trip ourselves and we used that to our advantage — stopping to see the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Sequoia National Forest, and California wine country. Don’t think we’ll have a chance to do that sort of thing again on someone else’s dime for a while.

  18. amberlife

    My husband and I are dreaming of a future when the 17 year old has gone to university or whatever and we can do the Route 66 thing in an RV….it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do – 6 months off and just drive…

  19. That’s exactly what I’ve done the last two days! Pretty much taken back roads from Myrtle Beach to Virginia Beach. Loved all the little towns I went through… Did you know there was a town called “Pink Hill”? Makes me wonder where it got it’s name… But it has been SO relaxing and stressfree.

  20. I truly truly enjoy driving. I love driving, not competitively, just driving. That’s one of the few times when I can be by myself, just thinking.

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