Finally! What everyone's been waiting for. The perfect set of instructions on how to have the best road trip ever!! Forget every other thing you've heard before - forget about googling it - forget about making that trip to the library for that "must have" book. It's all right here, folks. Just follow these instructions step by step and I guarentee that you will have the most memorable road trip you'll ever take!
Step #1. Pack. This is key.
Now, if you have children, the instructions are a little different: Pack. Have them unpack what you just packed. And pack it again.
Step #2. Rent a vehicle. Doesn't matter what, just as long as it's different than your usual mode of transportation. If you can manage it, do like we did and get an upgrade on an upgrade for LESS than the cost of the original rental. Oh the happiness!
Step #3. Once home with the rental vehicle, promptly lock its keys inside of it. Call CAA. Delay your trip.
I want to point out that this is an important step! Do not skip it, or you will not have the true road trip experience.
Step #4. Travel for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Ideally, this will take you about a half an hour away from the border between Canada and the United States. It may mean some extra planning as to where you start and finish, but believe me...it's worth it!
Step #5. (I'm not sure if this calls for it's own separate step because it's so closely tied to Step #4, but for the sake of easy step following, here we go) Be sure to all of a sudden realize that you forgot your passports at home. That's right my dear readers! After travelling for 2 hours and a bit, be sure to have a "duh" moment. It will cause you to turn around, make those odd restaurants, funny statues and quirky billboard signs into landmarks, and it will give you a whopping 4 and a half more hours of bonding-with-your-driving-buddy.
Use 411 several times to try and co-ordinate with someone back home to meet with them halfway between this point in the trip and home. Write their numbers down on the McDonald's bag which held your mid-afternoon snack. But don't actually meet anybody! That would ruin everything.
Again, I must state that this, too, is a very important step in the road trip process. If you want it to be memorable, you MUST forget your passports!
Step #6. Cross a very scenic bridge at night. This way, you'll make a pact with your driving buddy that you'll have to do this again someday, but with different timing so you'll actually SEE the (true) landmarks by the light of day.
Step #7. (don't worry, it gets easier...) Be sure to take random pictures of the here and there things along the way. They don't have to be fabulous shots, or shots of any particular thing, or shots with any particular purpose. Just point...and shoot.
For those of you with slightly less quirky and weird minds than myself, here are some examples:
M&M's are a must. We went with a compromise: PB M&M's. I prefer dark chocolate, Tim prefers...well...Reeces Pieces. Do whatever you must to make all involved as happy as possible. Just be sure to get the biggest bag out there.
Try to schedule in an industrial looking town, even better if it's a cloudy day. It's much more...industrial looking.
Be sure to capture something of the drive itself. Like fall colors whizzing by. Rain drops on your side mirrors. That sort of thing.And don't forget to capture the mood of the weather. If, for example, it rained a lot, try to get a storm cloud shot.
Get a shot that would make a good canidate for a game of "Name That Picture".
Is it autumn? How so? Can you capture it?
Step #8. Include a pit stop sometime along the way where you can stretch your legs. Go for a nice walk. Take a few pictures. Get caught in a rain storm.
Step #9. Also include a random stop at the store you don't live near, but long to go to every time you remember that you need new jeans. Then (and this is the fun part!) let your husband hand over the plastic at the cash register, only to hear all three salesladies standing behind the counter sigh and comment about how sweet that is. (seriously, who knew? but like I said...it's all a part of the experience)
Step #10. Have an enjoyable two nights and one day at a sweet couple's house from the church plant you're visiting on Sunday. If you're in need of a church plant to visit for the road trip I'm sure you'll all plan after reading this, the FRC one in Powassan, Ontario, is a great choice.
Step #11. Do all of the above with your best friend.
And THAT is the most important step of all.