Today was the start of what I'm calling our West Coast Tour 2.0. We started off in the great Las Vegas valley after the wife finished work. With the mini SUV packed, nephew Jake and dogs belted in we were on our way. 18 hours later, we find ourselves in Coos Bay, Oregon with the Freidel clan (the in-laws.)
Tip #1 for long trips -- sleep. If you get up at 3am, get ready, drive to work at 5am for your 6am shift, finish a full shift and then start that 18 hour drive... you may have issues. Could be worse if you are as stubborn as myself or the missus. So, both us us were a little sleep deprived and with only a 90-minute change at the wheel and several caffienated beverages... we made it in.
Tip #2 for long trips -- sharing. I can be a little obsessive when it comes to music. But, the idea I came up with, to avoid anyone wanting to put on their headphones and tune out, worked well. In order of age, let each member of the 'team' choose an album that will be heard in its entirety. Sure, you may have that awkward moment that someone chooses Yanni or N.W.A. but that could be a good thing. Think about it... sometimes we don't know what our kids listen to. Here you can evaluate what they like and... you have a captive audience for that assessment. Best part? Hearing one of the younger passengers singing "Daydream Believer" after hearing the Monkees' 'best of' without any prompting.
Tip #3 for long trips -- laughter. It doesn't hurt to have little animals to break any monotony. Just make sure to have fun. Don't take things seriously, discuss the music, the trip, the stops along the way and yourselves. As you can see... Jake had a little bit of fun with Bella.
All went well and we're enjoying the wea... ok, I need to knock on wood before I jinx the good weather here in the great Northwest. As you can see from the first picture above, it's pretty nice out here. Commence downtime!