I love helping to spread the news about our AARP travel surveys, which explore people 45-plus and their vacation and travel habits. On more than one occasion, I find myself on the wrong side of the research, and I try to adjust. I had one of those self-adjustments this month around multigenerational travel. The most recent survey found that almost half of the folks surveyed planned to take a multigenerational trip in the next 12 months. I wasn’t in that category, so I decided to change that.
I love road trips. I've been crazy about them ever since the days when my parents loaded my two sisters and me into the Pontiac station wagon and went off to visit relatives or take a family vacation. On Sundays we would go for long family drives, and I always secretly wished my dad would aim the car toward the unknown and we'd be off on an unexpected adventure. Flying will never hold the anticipation and joy the highway does for me - but that doesn't mean the long and winding road can't be even sweeter.
The leaves of the maple trees have turned an iridescent gold along the Oregon coast and in the inland woods, suggesting that each leaf shines from an inner glow generated by the sun. Among them in perfect harmony are the deep reds of the amber leaves, adding to the chromatic mix that creates the beauty of nature's clock, ticking off the days to winter.
There is a sweetness to the distance that intersects with time and necessity to call one to the open road. It comes from beyond the mountains and the far side of the widest rivers, just a whisper at first and then a summons that mimics the lure of the fictional island of World War II's Bali Hai that called the sailors to "Come to me, come to me ..."
Recently, 81-year-old Goldie Hunt and her husband, Vernon Hunt, 91, were reported missing after they set out on a 500-mile car trip from Garnet, Kansas to visit Goldie's twin sister in Dwight, Ill. The alarming story thankfully came to a happy ending several days later when they were spotted by a law enforcement officer as they asked for directions in Michigan. The Hunts' experience reminds me of a heartbreaking story several years ago 0f a Pennsylvania couple, William Fresch, 85, and his wife Betty, 79, who got lost driving home. Their bodies were found near their car the next morning after a frigid January night. These stories are terrifying for those of us who care for older loved ones.
It's that time of year again: School's out, the pools are in full use, the heat is on and so it's time for the annual traveling with grandkids blog! So get out the suitcases, sunscreen, ear plugs and patience ... and let's hit the road.
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