I recently read WackyMommy on road trips and I realized, anew, what a strict, old-fashioned mother I am. Tomorrow, we set out to drive the 1200 or so miles from Portland, Oregon, to Hemet, California. Hemet is where my in-laws live. We’re doing this without DVD players, fun little special toys, or anything other than grumpy parents saying, “NO we’re nowhere near there yet.”  This takes a certain amount of courage.

Every time we come to America, we do this drive. We always intend to drive us the coast and we usually end up spending every minute possible in Oregon and then booking down I-5 as fast as possible (while still officially keeping within the posted speed limit, of course!). I-5 is a highway that runs down the West Coast from Canada to Mexico. Towns and businesses have sprung up along it like trees along a riverbank; it has spawned its own little subculture, as highways tend to do, towns that appear bland at 55 mph (and no higher!), full of grey concrete buildings, sometimes more picturesque and intriguing in the manner of lives glimpsed, but often just places to drive through on your way someplace else.

Usually we do these drives in a mini-van, but this time we’re driving a borrowed Dodge Intrepid. We told the kids, “This is not an airplane; you don’t each get a carry-on.” They are sharing an overstuffed backpack, full of books and card games. I do have a bag full of snacks; I’m not totally evil. The car has a radio and…ready?…a tape deck. We don’t own any tapes.

Me? I don’t get carsick, so I’m taking 6 books which should last me 2 days no problem. I’m hoping to be like all those cool bloggers out there and post from the road! We’ll see. Road trips down I-5 are a little different than road trips from Nouakchott to Dakar.

In the meantime, I leave you with this image from the market in Marrakesh; these are tea glasses for sale.