3 kids, a dog, and an RV

‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on?

My dad worked for an oil company … one of the big ones.  He worked on the refining end of it, and we moved around a lot because we would go to wherever the refinery was being built, and those things are built all over the world.  We would stay in one place for about 18-24 months and then it was on to the next job.

Whenever I say that I moved around a lot growing up, people frequently respond with a question:  “Army brat?”  I reply, “No, oil brat.”   Other oil brats will understand.

When I was around 8, we lived in Edmonton.  We are not Canadian, but that’s where the job took us.  One of my very favorite memories as a kid was the year my parents rented an RV and we took a family road trip/vacation to Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, dog and all.  I don’t remember what we did, and my recollection of the parks themselves are vague, at best.  It’s been a LONG time since I was 8.  So why is this one of my favorite memories, when I don’t seem to have that many actual memories of it?

To be honest, I have no idea.

And yet, if I had the time and money for an epic road trip, that’s exactly what I would do with my own kids.  Well, not exactly.  We are near the Texas gulf coast, and Canada is a really long way away.

But I would rent an RV and load up the kids and the dog go see places like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Carlsbad Caverns … and stupid stuff like the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, the Very Large Array in Socorro, NM, and Coffee Pot Rock in Sedona, AZ.

And maybe we might end up having the kind of vacation that, 40 years from now, my kids reflect upon fondly, even if they don’t remember exactly why.