Getting Ready for the Summer Road Trip

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For a lot of folks, summertime means hitting the open road. My family and I are no different, trying to piece together a few days soon to hop in the truck and get to the beach.

As I am a bit of a planner, I have perfected my travel/vacation list. It goes a little something like this:

A few days before we are scheduled to leave for vacation, I pull out my packing list from our last vacation and tailor it a bit for the new upcoming trip.

I have a to-do list titled "Buttoning Up the House".

I have a list of things to keep in the truck with us, especially since some people in my family are prone to car sickness. (Did you know that smelling a fresh lemon helps settle an upset stomach?)

And each person in my family has a packing list so they don't forget anything. This prevents me from following behind them and reminding them to pack swimming shoes or even worse - just packing everyone's suitcase myself. (Ain't nobody got time for that.)

My packing lists bring me peace of mind. If I have checked off everything on the list, I can leave for vacation without that nagging feeling that I have forgotten something. You know the feeling I'm talking about. Remember the mom in the 90s movie, Home Alone? They rush out of the house so quickly she doesn't remember she left her kid at home until she and her family are flying over the Atlantic.
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Poor mom!
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When I was a kid, my family wouldn't leave until we all sat quietly in the house for a minute. My dad liked to have a few minutes to quiet his mind so he could remember whether or not he had forgotten anything. Usually, we'd think of something!

As an adult, I learned that this practice stems from an ancient superstition. Apparently, spirits in your house who are angry about you leaving, will be tricked into thinking you are not leaving. After those quiet moments to appease the spirits, you can slip out of your house without any problem. While my dad didn't do this for any superstitious reason, I think it's funny to think about people over the generations doing this same thing.

I also tend to look back at my little house when we leave and say a prayer for our travels. If I don't say my prayer before we reach the end of the driveway, my husband will stop the truck and my kids will prompt me. Vacation hasn't started until Mom gets that prayer in!

So what about you? Do you have any rituals before you leave for a trip? Where are you going this summer?

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He’s finally back… 

but time doesn’t heal all wounds

William Kauffman is back in his Michigan hometown, but not for long. When he runs into his high school sweetheart, Annie Curtis, she’s a reminder of everything and everyone he left behind, without an explanation, years ago. Are a sick mother, a failing diner, two adorable children and the woman he’s never stopped loving enough to make him right past wrongs and stay?



  1. No rituals for me, but yours are great. Whenever we traveled my aim was just for everyone to enjoy the drive to wherever and have fun when we got to destination.

  2. I like your rituals. All I do is a walk-through, and occasionally, a quick re-entry into the driveway just in case.

  3. I'm not quite as organized as you but I have a Ziploc of things we remember to take like a nightlight for the hotel bathroom, the first aid kit, travel size mouthwash, and a roll of "good" toilet paper, just in case it's too horrid where we stay. Love the prayer ritual although mine are usually silent.

  4. Love all the lists! I rarely vacation, but do a lot of business traveling and I have a friend who always makes me sit down and make out a list. And since I'm traveling the 4th, I think I'll beat him to it. Oh, and your book sounds wonderful!

  5. Love your post! Doesn't it seem that it takes almost as much time to pack for weekend road trip as it does for one lasting two weeks. Right now I'm getting things ready for my road trip from WI to NY for RWA National. Leaving the car in long-term parking TBD and taking a commuter train in. Then we'll retrieve the car when it's over and start home. I love these drives!

  6. I love your rituals. Ours are usually along the lines, of "Come on, we should have left for the airport ten minutes ago," and counting carry-ons and bags. A few moments of quiet before leaving sounds like a wonderful idea.

  7. I’m not superstitious, but before we leave for vacation I go through every room to make sure stuff’s unplugged, water is turned off, lights are off, etc. I have a habit of leaving the house and then thinking I forgot to turn off and unplug the flat iron. I’ve only actually forgotten a couple of times and thankfully nothing has happened.


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