I've been on 2 road trips back to back this Summer. We went for 10 days from Dallas to Myrtle Beach, then we came home for a week and left again for another 10 day trip to Orlando with a stop in Destin for a few days on the front end.
I've enjoyed all of it but I'm ready to be home and sleep in my bed. But it got me thinking about some of the road trips I took as a kid and teen.
I've always loved a road trip, except the one I took Spring Break of 1991. Me and about 20 friends were going to caravan down to South Padre Island, Tx. The trip down was AWESOME!! The trip back…not so great. That's a LONG post that I'll share at another time.
The road trips I took as a child were THE BEST!! When I was a child, we ALWAYS took a road trip every Summer. We would pile in the Station Wagon, or our ugly multi-striped blue Dodge van, and we had an Oldsmobile at one point that we would go in. We would travel to meet friends and family in various parts of the country. We traveled to Nashville several times, Memphis’ Graceland, Phoenix, Connecticut and all areas in between! We were cross-country travelers!
All of those trips were great, but the trips and stories that have gotten the most attention and laughs from our friends, were the ones that my sister and I took when we were really small. Our friends never believed us when we told them that my Big Daddy, (our Mom’s father,) had purchased a Yellow School Bus, and gutted it so we could take family vacations in it. When I say family vacations, I'm talking about: my parents, my sister and me, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my great aunts, and the preacher of our church and his wife and half the congregation of the small Southern Baptist church we attended.
My Big Daddy had not only gutted the inside, but he got lawn chairs and bolted them to the floor-safety first. I'm seriously not even joking, y’-all, but wait, it gets better. He also had a card table put in the back for the guests to play dominoes while we were rolling down the road, because what road trip would be complete without a mean game of “42.”
We had a playpen in the back for my sister and I to sit in for naps or playing AND a high chair for Misti was conveniently placed up front so she wouldn't miss anything while she was eating (she had major FOMO before FOMO was a thing.). We also had the obligatory ashtrays for every guest, and ice chests with homemade tuna salad, lunch meat, and cold drinks. We ALWAYS ate what we brought and NEVER ate out on road trips! My Big Daddy wouldn't eat anything my Mema didn't fix!
None of our friends ever believed us when we told them these stories, but THANK YOU JESUS for my sister!! While she was moving, that's another story found HERE, she found the album with the pictures to prove our crazy road trip stories! I hope you all enjoy this story and laughing at our childhood and our pictures! Tell me your crazy road trip story!
Enjoy the pics below, hover for captions. I apologize for the quality of the images, they are probably 40 years old!
My sister, Misti, and I have lived “together” for 24 years! I mean, we lived together when we were kids, but that's different. As kids, my sister would always imitate my clothes, play with my friends, and try to follow me around, like little sisters do. She was as annoying as you would expect a younger sister to be. I wanted SO bad to just be LEFT ALONE! But, then a funny thing happened...
As I've mentioned before, I married RIGHT out of high school (8 months after walking the stage-no i didn't "have" to, if you know what I mean.) My sister got married a few years later, and guess what? We followed them to Mexico for their Honeymoon!! My sister and her husband also found a super cute apartment in a Melrose Place-like complex, remember that show?. We loved it, and soon, my hubby and I followed. It was great!! We had a small courtyard with a pool, they lived on one side of the pool and we lived on the other. After living there for a number of years and LOVING it, my sister and her husband decided to buy a house…well darn, we were having so much fun, and we weren't ready to grow up!! What do we do now? You guessed it-we followed them again!!
We bought the house next door!! This was our home for 10 years-we had all of our babies there and it was WONDERFUL! We made great family memories in those two houses! After 10 years, and MANY camping trips, we all started wanting to move out of the city. My sister and her husband began talking and looking at properties. My sister found the land and thought it would be a good place for all of us to build our dream homes. It was, and so we did! We followed them to the country! Wide open spaces, PERFECT!!
We have now lived in the homes we built on the land we bought for almost 10 years, and guess what? Misti and her husband are on the move again! They wanna have more land and less house and just less "stuff". They've already asked us if we'd follow them wherever they go, if they get more land, would we build on it too?…my family and I have enjoyed doing life with my sister and her family for over 23 years now. As much as I will miss this part of our life, I think maybe it's time I FINALLY let my sister nurture her Gypsy Soul and not have her older sister follow her around anymore. Maybe...🤔
My sister, Misti, and I have been told our entire adult lives that we should write a book. We have a CRAZY family and even CRAZIER experiences. Weird people and bizarre things seem to be magnetized to us!! We mostly LOVE it, because that is what makes life fun right? It’s the interactions we have that form us into who we are and what we become.
I have often wanted to write some of our stories, but didn’t think anyone would care, or worse, no one would laugh at them the way we do! That is the ultimate betrayal, right? When you have an experience that is SO wonderfully odd and funny, that you HAVE to retell it…and no one sees the humor, how dare they? Why are we friends again?
I am JUST starting to write stories and starting to blog and, semi-for-a-living, and I have to say, it feels naked. I feel like I just got out of the shower, and I reached for the nearest towel, it’s a hand towel, and my clothes are down the hall…I can cover up some stuff, make things look halfway decent, but it’s mostly all hanging out for EVERYONE to see!! Being modest, that is SUPER uncomfortable for me!!
I’m essentially opening myself up to the critique of all who dare to peek, and I'm bringing everyone with me, especially Misti!
I plan to tell some of our funny stories (if I can remember them), share some of my FAVORITE things over the next few weeks and months, experience some fun things and I hope you enjoy them.
PLEASE, don’t leave me hangin’…LAUGH!!
P. S If you are a personal friend of mine or Misti’s and have a particular story that you feel needs retelling, please comment or CALL ME and help jog my memory, I have blocked out some of my past to protect my future!
Summertime is FINALLY here!! I absolutely LOVE Summertime!! No schedule (for the most part), HOT days, sun tans, flip-flops, sunglasses and outdoor BBQs. Who doesn’t LOVE it??!!
But, the BEST thing about summer is that I get to spend weekdays, nights and weekends at the ball park. My oldest son started playing T-Ball in 2002, when he was 4. My youngest started playing in 2011, when he was 5 (he didn’t want to play T-Ball, because that was “for babies”). There were a few years when they had conflicts and overlapped games, but really, I was pretty lucky to have my boy’s baseball schedules rarely interfere with the other. I have spent 15 summers at the baseball field. Many of our summer vacations have revolved around our boys' out of state world series', and we throw in a visit to the beach. I have sweat buckets of perspiration, learned how to put up; and take down, a sun shade awning ALONE and I can load the truck after a game in record time, and be waiting for my boys, at the exit gate, to come off the field with the A/C on FULL BLAST!!
I have an over sized wagon in which I haul EVERYTHING!! I always have the obligatory cooler FULL of water and Gatorade, some beef jerky for protein, some sort of salty, crunchy snack and plenty of small bills for the concession stand. I have been referred to as the “bag lady” at most tournaments, and rarely is there a tournament I go to, that someone doesn’t make a comment about my wagon. Sure, there are wagons at EVERY tournament, then there’s MY wagon…its over-the-top. It has everything you could ever need. A band-aid…Dawn has one (or 50), sunscreen…what SPF level? Deep Woods Off…Dawn's got it, Tylenol…me, Pepto Bismol...yep, Baby Powder to soak up the sweat..got it!! Boudreaux's Butt Paste for a chafed, eh hem…you betcha!!
Over the years, I would like to think that I have taught my kids a lot of things on and off the field, but in reality, I have learned more from my experiences with them and all of the other WONDERFUL moms that I have had the pleasure of sitting behind home-plate with. We have kept score books, argued calls, and watched as our coaches (husbands) got thrown out of games. We’ve laughed, we've cried, we've been winners in championship games and we've been “one and done” on Sundays that we thought we'd play all day.
Thank you to my boys; "Coach" Billy, Grant and Grayson for teaching me how to “mom” a baseball player. Thank you to Talana for teaching me how to keep a good score book, and knowing the rules, although I’m not as great as I once was (but I'm as good once as I ever was). Thank you to Amy for teaching me how to be an AWESOME “bag lady”, I learned from the best, but I’ll NEVER be as good as you!! And last, but certainly not least, thank you God for baseball and summertime in Texas!!
My name is Dawn McKee. I live in Royse City, Tx with my husband, Billy; 2 boys, Grant (away at college) and Grayson, who is almost 11; and our 13 year old Labrador, Jewel. I've never passed an Estate Sale I didn't break for, and I HAVE to have my morning coffee...ALL DAY!!