The holiday season is officially upon us. It's the time of year when we become sentimental about our family traditions, reflect on the good things in our lives and the things we want to do differently, and when we wax poetic about our beliefs and love. It's a lovely, if sometimes nauseating, time of year.
It's also the time of year when many of us make our annual pilgrimage to our home places. For me, that means an 11-13 hour one-way trip southward. We're heading out tomorrow morning, puppy-in-tow.
In preparation, I bought a mountain of snacks, stocked up on booze for the siblings, and browsed the internet for ways to entertain ourselves on the journey.
I found lots of things out there on how to entertain children, but not as many for how to entertain just-us-grownups.
I'm not really one for car games, for which the internet offers a variety for adults. And we won't be traveling with children... unless you count the dog... and we won't, this time. So what are two adults (plus a spotted puppy) to do for 12 hours in the car? Here's what I've come up with for this holiday trip:
Last year we were lucky to have fallen far behind the trend and had the entire Season 1 of Serial to devour. Since Sarah Koenig and the gang are the ones falling behind this year, we have to find an alternative. Here are a few options.
2. Real books
I sometimes find myself wanting to share what I'm reading and will end up reading excerpts to my travel companions. I enjoy this... they may or may not. Here are some of my favorite authors and/or books for travel reading (I like to keep it humorous or food related): Bossypants, Yes Please, Jenny Lawson, David Sedaris, Sara Vowell, My Life in Paris, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerers, Provence: 1970.
3. Audio books
In case you really want to force a shared reading experience, audio books are the clear choice. (Or, you could use them with ear buds, but where's the fun in that?)
4. Local 80s, 90s, and Today stations (when you can catch them)
When you are nearing more urban areas, tune in while you can. There is a 99-100% chance that you will catch Lisa Loeb, at least one boy band, Rob Thomas and/or Matchbox 20, and of course Adele. And avoid Taylor Swift at all costs! (It's a hard task.)
5. Catch up on phone calls
Some might think this is selfish, but come on. Isn't it a little fun to listen in to a conversation and offer insights from the driver seat? Yes, it is.
6. Coloring books for adults (Bonus: bring your coloring books to the family dinner and hang out at the kids table)
7. Be still
Take in the scenery, enjoy quietude before the bustle of family time, relax. You know you need it.
8. Hobby away (write, draw, knit, plan menus)
Nerd out on what you really love. For me that means writing, planning menus for the week, and checking out the food porn on blogs I never let myself indulge in. For others it may be drawing, knitting, comic books, or fantasy football.
9. Browse the web for the news and for ridiculous things that couldn't have happened before the advent of the internet (i.e. Jimmy Fallon videos)
It is 2015, after all.
Sadly, all of my greatest music exists in my little CD collection and Hannah's car CD Player doesn't work. We're missing out on a lot here, but there are other non-radio options. ITunes/IPod, Pandora, I Heart Radio, and probably others that my CD-loving heart doesn't know about.
Here's to a great holiday road trip!
Be safe out there, friends. And have a warm and fulfilling holiday!
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