Singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ - My Family Travels
family travel


            Have you ever been on one of those vacations where things just get worse and worse? As a child, I took many trips to Texas with my family considering my sister’s lived there. A trip usually takes a turn for the worse when no one really wants to go, and at age five, the prospect of sitting in a suburban with my mom and older brother was not on my favorites list. Piling all of our stuff in the car, we were ready to go. I had my Pikachu pillow and plenty of games although I knew they’d get boring before we got out of the driveway.

            Getting on the road, we were starting later than planned. A twelve-hour trip is hard enough to complete without the weather factor. Trying to drive on an open road in the middle of the day when the temperature gage clearly has three digits filling its space puts everyone in a cranky mood. Then it get’s dark and everyone is ready for rest. Sitting in a vehicle and bickering with your brother is exhausting after eight hours, not to mention the vexatious sound of everyone trying to sing along to your brothers favorite song, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, that’s been playing for those eight hours.

            Finally, we decide to pull of on the side of the road and stop to try and sleep. It must’ve been around ten o’clock because it was too dark to see the train tracks we were parked by. Waking up in an uncomfortable position in a car by the deafening sound of a train horn and you see sparks flying from the tracks out the window, is a terrible way to wake up; especially when it’s only been around thirty minutes since the last train went by.

            In the morning, with the car a mess and everyone more than a little petulant, my brother and I come to the conclusion that we still have four hours left, even my mom was considering going home at this point. To get our bearings straight, we decided to stop at a waffle house to get breakfast and to be out of the car for a while. As we got back in the car, I decided to put my head down on my pillow. What a mistake that was. When you’re young, car rides can sometimes make your stomach feel a little funny, and when you’re not looking out the window it can feel like a roller coaster. Going around a big curve a little too fast, I threw up. On my pillow. My favorite pillow.

            Anything that’s is a child’s favorite possession is important to them so naturally I cried because the pillow was ruined. I cried because my brother was making fun of me. I cried because my mom was annoyed by this entire trip. And most importantly, I cried because this whole trip was only three days long. We were only going to stay in Midland, Texas, for one day and then turn around and go home. What’s a vacation without your favorite pillow, annoying siblings, singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, and throwing up in the backseat?


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