We have been off to a slow start of travel this summer as we have been waiting for the end of the Little League season. That includes travel to our cabin which is about a three-hour drive north from our home. We like to spend as much time as we can there during the summer months. I have been traveling to this same cabin all my life since it has been in the family and passed down from my great grandparents. My grandmother also had a cabin across the street when I was a child. Therefore, I made several trips north with her over the years.
Those years were filled with memories of swimming in the lake, picking blueberries before breakfast, gazing at dragonflies, jumping in the water to avoid the biting horse flies, Grandma ringing a cowbell when it was time to come in to eat, playing kick the can in the side yard, laying on the dock at night watching shooting stars, tubing behind the neighbor’s pontoon boat, after dinner walks through the woods and so much more.
My memory bank also stores a collection of memories of the travel stops on the way to get to the cabin with Grandma. There has always been a major highway all of my life that gets us within about 40 miles of our destination. However that was not always the case for Grandma when began traveling there. Instead, it was back roads with no drive thrus or big fancy rest areas. Even since the creation of the expressway, grandma liked to stick to the routes she had always taken. Travel with her was not a race to get there like I have always made it, it was a leisurely adventure including routine travel stops along the way. She packed sandwiches, watered down kool aid, and homemade muffins. We didn’t eat them on the go, we stopped and got out of the car to enjoy them.
Since giving up fast food, we have resultantly found our selves generally giving up some of our previously fast paced life. We now pack healthy food and snacks wherever we go and are learning to stop to enjoy them rather than always eating on the go.
On this week’s trip, I made a choice to get off the expressway 30 miles sooner than I usually would and take part of Grandma’s route. I passed numerous landmarks along the way that I still remember 30 years later.
The cheese shop where she stopped for fresh cheese, the bakery she stopped at to get her bread, the now abandoned theme park that I remember stopping at for a snack and peeked through the gates as a kid and the one place I remember so vividly, a big white church-like building where we would eat our sandwiches and drink our kool-aid. (You may remember me talking about stopping here in No “Spring Break” For This Diet)
As we took our time and enjoyed more of the back roads scenery on this trip, we stopped at “roadside parks” rather than rest areas.
They even still have a hand pump drinking fountain.
We stopped at a farm stand rather than the grocery store.
And we stopped at the big white “church” and enjoyed organic apple slices and lemon infused water.
When we set out to change what we eat several months ago, I never could have imagined how the rest of our life would be positively influenced as well. As we have unplugged from the fast food world, we have also learned to unplug from other aspects of fast paced life. I believe that the most lasting memories will be made when we slow down, take the back roads, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy our time together as a family.