Finally, I’m doing a long weekend (holiday) right. Mr M and I will be embarking on the great American tradition of road tripping later this month and to say that I’m excited makes that guy defending Britney Spears seem like he’s having a totally normal reaction.
I am PUMPED but also extremely ill-prepared for this adventure. The only real road trip I’ve been on was a family trip to Dubbo when I was six. Needless to say I don’t think I’ll be using a suitcase as a pillow or fighting with my Dad over the tunes this time. I mean, I just wanted to hear “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on repeat for hours on end whereas he was all about Slim Dusty. It’s sad that the pub has no beer and all that, but as a six-year-old I was more worried about other things.
By US standards, this trip is a short one – seven odd hours down to the OC. That’s right, Orange County. Home of that 2004 reality TV show Laguna Beach: The Real OC. Don’t come to me with your tales of The O.C. TV series, I’ve got no time for that. For me it’s all about Kristen and Stephen. In fact, I’m probably going to refer to Mr M as “Steeeephaaaaan” in a wheedling tone the entire weekend in tribute to that magnificent couple.
I can’t wait. It’ll be an epic people-watching opportunity at the very least. Aside from all that though, all of my road tripping experience has/will come from pop culture. It’s all I know. Here’s my list of must do’s, please help me add more:
No Hitchhiking. Ever.
I’ve never actually seen Wolf Creek but I have seen the clips. And I’ve heard the stories. I definitely do not want to have my poor car break down only to be picked up by America’s equivalent to Mick Taylor. I guess that’s Edmund Kemper to the rest of you. No thumbing lifts.
We need a soundtrack, a mixed tape or at the very least a theme song that we can replay every couple of hours or so, to get our heads back in the game. I might steer clear of Cyndi Lauper this time and go with The Proclaimers instead. Have you got any other epic road trip songs to share?
Snacks are vital
A road trip is not a road trip if it doesn’t include terrible, transfat-soaked “food” that would remain in its usual state even after the nuclear holocaust. My go-to food was always going to include chocolate chip cookies and peanut M&Ms. There’s no escaping them. Oooh and redskins. But I’m in America now – home of snacks that I would never have heard of if I hadn’t read every single Babysitter’s Club book as a child. Tootsie rolls, HoHos, Twinkies animal crackers, Butterfingers, Reece’s Peanut Butter cups. The list is endless it seems, although I’ve never actually tried any of those, with the exception of old Reecey. So tell me, what snacks am I missing out on?
I don’t care if it’s a shorter route that your Uncle told you about while you were both half-cut at the pub. Deviating from the agreed map is a good way to get lost and be forced to ask for directions from one-eyed Steve who, incidentally, enjoys amateur butchery and taxidermy. If we happen to get lost I’ll take Dallas Crane’s advice and we’re not stopping.
No matter how bad things get, it’s never so bad that you have to drive your car off a canyon. That’s not really a life lesson, I just really wanted to crowbar Thelma & Louise in somewhere.
But that’s literally all the road tripping things I know. I need help. Do you have any road trip traditions or favourite road trip movies that I should see before I leave?
Hi, I’m Katherine
An Australian expat who loves living in San Francisco and helping other Aussies make their dreams of moving to the US come true. Read more on my about page.