Road Trips and Rain Man

1 Jul

Road trips make or break a family, whether it’s an hour escape to the beach, three-hour drive to Legoland, or a longer one across state lines. They often remind me of Chevy Chase’s quest to have a great vacation for his own family.

So when I recently packed the car, filled up the gas tank, and took off, I went with fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to stop the car and resort to my “mom” voice. Road trip adventure. Definitely a Bucket List item, but one I feared. Road trips. I love them and hate them. I hadn’t taken the kids on a road trip this long, four hours had been the maximum, so when this unexpected trip happened I wondered whether we’d make it up Highway 5 for six hours. I remember taking road trips in the 80s, when my dad would pile us in the brown station wagon, no computers or Game Boys back then, just hangman or sleep.Β  Three hours back then seemed like forever, but now I was on the verge of a six-hour adventure.


And whenever anyone goes on a road trip, some memories stand out more than others. I enjoy the pictures, some of them help me remember things that belong in The Jar of Awesome. Everyone has different highlights of their family trips and some end up being spectacular National Geographic photos, while others get sent to the recycling bin. I get lucky and take one awesome shot from time to time. But this was more of my Rain Man adventure.

I love that movie. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, and Dustin Hoffman rocked it. I still have it on VHS and I crack myself up that I still own it this way.

Anyhow during the movie they go on a road trip and Rain Man documents the trip with a camera. He takes pictures of important things and then pretty random things. He’s taking it all in. His pictures come out at the end of the movie when the credits are rolling. Some of the pictures that my kids took reminded me ofΒ  that scene. Landscapes. Sunny faded out landscapes. It brought a smile to my face and helped me remember the different points along the road.

The pictures reminded me to keep things slow, that sometimes random moments are good ones, that patience on a road trip is essential, and most of all unplug myself from the world when I can, which in truth comes fairly easy because the Internet and social media aren’t really all that important. Netflix and mobster movies … well that’s something else. And you can’t really blame me either, I mean Rain Man could not even unplug himself from Judge Wapner. Five minutes to Wapner. Five minutes to Wapner.

Buen Camino my friends!


The Beginning … sort of.


Β … of our long windy road …



running into multiple farms on our way …



… taking our best Rain Man photos …



… on our five-six hour journey up the highway …


… with a couple of pit stops on our way …


To our final destination …







14 Responses to “Road Trips and Rain Man”

  1. Ingrid July 1, 2017 at 2:34 PM #

    Can’t wait to hear more about your road trip!

    • The Guat July 7, 2017 at 11:45 PM #

      Thanks! I’m working on a part II so we’ll see if I can finish it up. Working in slow motion here πŸ™‚

  2. susielindau July 2, 2017 at 12:43 PM #

    I LOVE road trips! This time last year, we were arriving home after driving Kelly’s car to California. It was a blast. For a while we raced Kelly and crew to Las Vegas.
    Your photos turned out GREAT! Thanks for bringing this to the party. Have fun meeting my friends!

    • The Guat July 8, 2017 at 12:44 PM #

      Duuuuude. I remember! I can’t believe it’s already been a year. What a great road trip for you! Yup! Now that was a road trip adventure to write about for sure with awesome pics I bet. Good to hear from you πŸ™‚

      • susielindau July 8, 2017 at 1:20 PM #

        Time continues to fly like crazy! We’re heading back in two weeks. 😊

  3. arwen1968 July 2, 2017 at 2:38 PM #

    I’d say that the destination was well worth the trip – but what you saw on the way seemed already pretty good in itself!

    • The Guat July 7, 2017 at 11:48 PM #

      It was a super cool to have gotten there, but you are right the road to the final destination was pretty amusing too. Totally get to know different sides to the kids. And those Rain Man photos were definite keepers πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  4. Kathy July 2, 2017 at 4:24 PM #

    Our family loves road trips, our kids were raised on them. πŸ™‚ It’s nothing to do 8-12 hour ones. We still do them when ever we can, have a 9 hour one coming up in a few days. Your destination looked worth it. πŸ™‚

    • The Guat July 7, 2017 at 11:38 PM #

      I have not worked up to the 9-hour road trip yet, but we’re working on that Chevy Chase Vacation dream. πŸ™‚ I bet you the kids will remember the road trips in a positive way, you know bringing that family vibe and just feeling good about family, at least I’m hoping mine do πŸ™‚ Sometimes the epic fails make for hilarious stories that begin with … remember the time …. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by

      • Kathy July 8, 2017 at 7:40 AM #

        Your exactly right some of our favorite family memories are when things didn’t go perfect. 😊

  5. angelanoelauthor July 4, 2017 at 2:45 PM #

    I agree with Susie (I was late to the blog party, but wanted to stop by your place and say hi) road trips are fantastic! I love “The Jar of Awesome.” And I totally agree: the random moments are sometimes the most special. It’s never really about the perfect picture. Also, I thought I was following you, but I must have missed that–corrected that particular mistake. Thanks for sharing your road trip memories. πŸ™‚

    • The Guat July 7, 2017 at 11:41 PM #

      Duuuuude! Well I’m glad you were able to follow me again πŸ™‚ Those pictures cracked me up and totally took me back to Rain Main. I’m hoping my kids will remember the trip with good thoughts. I try not to get too crazy with the “Mom voice” when I’m behind the wheel. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading!

  6. Cayman Thorn July 6, 2017 at 9:14 PM #


    I can just picture you, hitting the open road with the kids . . . jamming to some tunes, pointing stuff out along the way and keeping it as chill as you possibly could with the ‘mom’ voice. And keeping things slow and unplugged is always a great way to go, at least until Rain Man crashes the road trip party with his Five Minutes to Wapner Warning.

    I love the stories you tell of your father, and I adore the stories you share that involve your children. You’ve made quite a wonderful life for yourself, Cali.

    Peace . . . and Wapner

    • The Guat July 7, 2017 at 11:31 PM #

      Ahhhh duuuuuuuuuude thanks so much for the comment. It certainly boosts my spirits after a long day. You know that phone call you get from a friend that just puts you at ease after the day of drama, or just the exhaustion of parenthood? Dude your comment just gave me the pat on the back high-five I needed to be like … relax you got this. So definitely thanks for reading!!! Five minutes Wapner Ha! That cracked me up, that and Kmart sucks. What a great movie. Those pics that my kids took totally threw me back in time. Have a good one buddy πŸ™‚

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