I can’t stop humming that Willie Nelson song — on the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again . . .
It’s that time of year, time for the post-Christmas road trip to Nashville and Birmingham. It has become somewhat of an annual event when my husband and I deliver treasures to our grown kids that they couldn’t get home on their own — usually because they were traveling by air.
Road Trips Past
We didn’t take a lot of road trips when our kids were young. We did the obligatory trip out west in 2000 and drove home from Washington D.C. after taking the Auto Train up the following year. There were trips to visit colleges and a brief Florida road trip I imposed upon them when they were in college. After all, every Floridian needs to experience Key West, even if it is an eight-hour drive from home and you can’t forget the Everglades.
Our most active season of road trips was during the college years. Our first destination was Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where our son was a student at the University of Alabama. There were trips to take him to school and trips to bring him home. In between, there were football games, holiday visits, and awards ceremonies.
Two years later, we added Birmingham to the mix. Both of our kids were in college in the state of Alabama for two years. Again, there were trips taking our daughter to school, trips to bring her (and all her stuff) home, awards ceremonies, special honors, and a delightful event called Step Sing.
Sometimes we would make the trip simply because we missed them and wanted to see them.
Our son decided on Vanderbilt for graduate school so Tuscaloosa was removed from the travel itinerary and Nashville was added. It’s a short drive from Birmingham, so we make a loop, hitting both places more often than not.
From College To Adult Life
As children often do, our two decided to remain in their college town. Sure, I’d rather have them closer to home, but, at least they picked places to live that are enjoyable to visit.
Since they live in different states from us, they usually have to fly home for Christmas. That means they can only take back to their new homes what can fit in their suitcases. There is invariably something too large or too fragile to be packed in a suitcase, hence the need for a road trip.
This past Christmas, our son, and his wife drove to Florida but they had an alternative reason for needing us to bring some things to them. They are new parents so the back of their car was full of all the paraphernalia necessary when traveling with a baby. If you’re a parent, you remember those days. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend trip or a two-week vacation; babies require a lot of stuff.
A Lovely Way To Begin This Month Of Love
So this is the weekend for our post-Christmas delivery road trip. Since our son is now a home-owner we are also starting the process of taking his stuff out of our garage and moving it into his. As a friend of mine so aptly stated, I’m in a way de-feathering my empty nest.
Instead of going to two destinations in one weekend, my daughter came up with a brilliant idea. She and her husband wanted to visit Nashville so they will be driving up after they get off work on Friday afternoon. We will all be together for the weekend. That makes this mom and new Grams very happy.
I know there will be many more road trips to Birmingham and Nashville, especially as our grandson grows. While packing, unpacking, and saying goodbye aren’t my favorite parts, the journey and being there are.
How about you? Do you enjoy a good road trip? What is your favorite one yet? If you’re an empty nester, do any of your road trips involve traveling to see your adult children and grandchildren? I’d love to hear.
2 thoughts on “Why I’m Excited For The First Road Trip Of 2023”
I do love road trips and especially those with my daughter. We always joke that our favorite part is gas station junk food when we stop to fill up the tank. Kim, I love that your road trips now involve a sweet grandson!
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