My kid brother and I are no strangers to the fun family road trip. Which consisted of hour upon endless hour of listening to our parents sing along to Sam Cooke’s Greatest Hits (on cassette tape) in their 1970’s International Traveall. In competing tones of asparagus green. With it’s two gas tanks that you could switch on the fly–no need to stop for services as it rumbled like an army tank down the road. As a teenager, this vehicle was all kinds of embarrassing. But as a cross-country traveler, it couldn’t be beat. My brother and I could both stretch out on the back bench seat with pillows at opposite sides of the wide berth, and fall asleep … without even touching one another. All the while, drowning out the sound of our parents’ singing with our own bright yellow rubber, waterproof Walkman headphones secured against the (outside) of our ears. Because in the 1980s, we were serious about our music. (And if we wanted to go swimming with our Walkman, well, we were adequately prepared.)
It turned out to be a good thing we could sleep for such long stretches across the desert, because like I said … we could drive all day without needing to stop for gas. (Not because it was a fuel-efficient hybrid engine, mind you. But because the “Dragon Wagon,” as we so affectionately refered to it, could haul enough gasoline to make it self-sufficient.) I imagine that if we were ever in any type of serious accident, that beast would have exploded in a mushroom cloud of family adventure with its dual fuel stores. As kids, we quickly learned to adapt to the needs of this fine specimen of automotive engineering. Need to use the restroom? Next time we stop for gas … Hungry? We just stopped for breakfast six hours ago …
And so, breakfast was a key component of our survival tactics on travel days. Eat and eat and eat. Eat yourself into a food coma so you could pass out on the back seat of the Dragon Wagon and sleep your way across the state. Just be careful not to drink too much. Because those rest stops were few and far between. My signature road trip breakfast became Belgian Waffles. Usually the size of an entire plate. Piled high with strawberries and whipped cream. Pure indulgence.
So, while we’ve spared our children the road trip aspect of our Staycation this weekend, I did manage to run to the store last night to grab some strawberries and whipped cream to introduce them to my traditional road trip breakfast. And then my husband ran to the coffee stand for mochas. We are on Staycation, after all. And, let’s be honest. If we were on a real vacation right now, we’d be having this conversation at a Starbucks anyhow.