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January 30, 2012


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Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

I can't stand driving to visit family in Ventura county!


I think "easy" may have been the wrong word for your 9 hour drive, which is why people were baffled. An easy drive usually means short with no traffic and no weather. I've driven from LA to SF or to Vegas in 5 hours but I would never call that easy. Driving from Hollywood to Santa Monica, 40 minutes, that's easy.

mrs. g.

Just like a kid, I still get excited about roadtrips! I get it.


When I was a college gal back home in California I made SFSU to home in OC in 9 hours (scenic route on 1) with only ONE break to fill the car and empty me.

Those were the days!

Now I NEED to stop every hour or maybe 90 minutes (am 52 now).

For us, 12-hours, with more than one driver, is the maximum. We can get from Chicago suburbs to Nashville or Kansas City in that time (with meal breaks, too. Yeah Waffle House!)

gary rith

I drove from Miami to New York city nonstop with a friend in about 22 hours once, and me and the wife have driven NY city to Chicago back and forth many times, which is, I dunno, 17 hours? NONE of those were easy, soooooo much traffic! But not that hard either. We drove Chicago to Kansas City once and there was virtually no traffic, sooo short and easy at 12 hours each way...even with our dog and cat. (yes, the dog and cat went back and forth Chicago-NY too :). I have also driven the even EASIER trip of Ithaca to Boston a million times, about 6 hours each way, including quite a few times over there for lunch and back in one day...12 hours total driving, no probs. The people next door are so damn wimpy, they drive 2 hours and stay in a hotel, WTF?
My point--YES, I grew up in a family exactly like yours Jen. We drove everywhere with the tent, hundreds and thousands of miles, with pets, and it still seems like fun! As long as there is no snow....shoot, we could be in Key West in time for breakfast tomorrow if we left now....


I'm not big on car journeys. We drive to my parents' house which is about 5.5 hours away and I hate it.

Having said that, I'd take a 9 hour drive in the USA over a 4 hour drive in the UK. Back in 2001 we did a pacific northwest road tour and it was great. I didn't feel stressed about being in the car for eons or about driving.

Driving in the UK is comparatively frightening. There are more cars on the road, roads are narrower, and cars are moving faster. I can feel my blood-pressure skyrocket at the mere thought of a long drive in the UK.

Smalltown Me

Not road warriors exactly, but our family thinks nothing of a daily commute (45 minutes or so). Friends and co-workers moan about how far away we live but to us it's nothing. My brother in law spends 45 minutes to go 10 miles. We see gorgeous scenery and the miles whiz by.


Got it. The thing is, in the Northeast, there are no easy 9 hour drives. It's too dense.


I dated a guy that had family in VA and NC...we'd drive to VA for his nephew's birthday Easter weekend, and for Christmas to NC to his Mom's. Never bothered me a bit. And when I lived in VA, I met a guy and we began a long distance relationship that involved lots of driving, trains & planes. I enjoy driving!


I really hate road trips. It just seems like such a waste of time to me. Let's take my annual Denver to Phoenix trip, for example. 14 hours in the car, vs. 1 hour 45 minutes on a plane. That seems like a no-brainer to me. I know many people enjoy road trips, and more power to them. I am just not one of those people. If I can afford to fly (which sometimes I can't), I will. Otherwise, I will make a very cranky 14 hour drive. It's just so...LONG.

shrink on the couch

We haven't done a long car trip in quite some time. I do remember two long road trips when my kids were young - learning the hard way that lots of protein snacks work MUCH better than sugar- or carb-only snacks.

My biggest issue with long drives - lower back problems. But I now take advantage of every stop - walk around and stretch my legs (literally - doing calf and hamstring stretches, minimum). Helps considerably.

Jen on the Edge

7 or 8 hours in one day is about our limit. We have gone further, but it lessens the fun of our trip.


I don't like long car rides. I used to ride from Pittsburgh to Venice, Florida with my parents and that was complete torture, between the arguing over directions and the snails pace driving. I would much rather splurge on plane tickets and spend more time wherever I'm going.


I love a road trip! My dad and I did our first big one (West to East coast) when I was 25, and I've been hooked since. We drove from New England to Georgia several times to visit family members, and even if the sights weren't always breathtaking, we still spent much of the time singing and laughing hysterically. Some of my favorite memories are from ridiculous things we saw, said, or did on the road. Our max was usually a 12-hour day, but we are also both morning people who don't mind hitting the road before 6.

Aunt Snow

My husband loves to drive long trips. I've never done it alone, and my experience is limited to doing it with him, or my childhood experience in the backseat of the station wagon.

My husband and I once drove from Seattle to upstate New York. And when we left Seattle for LA, we drove down, but we allowed ourselves the indulgence of sight seeing. I think I prefer that.

I think if you want to be somewhere else quickly, for a short trip, you might as well fly. OTOH, if you are moving and need your car, by all means drive - but allow time to explore. That's the way I feel about it.

The Zadge

I once had to get two oil changes in one week! 3500 miles in 6 days. Driven cross country 3 times and can't wait to do it again!


i live in Holland (teeny, tiny country). when we lived about 50 minutes away from my parents in law they would come to visit making sure to bring coffee and sandwiches for the loooooong trip, and then get out of the car moaning and groaning about the aches and pains from aforementioned loooooong trip
(i'm exaggerating only slightly)


We are road travellers too. The kids are great passengers. Our toughest trip was our drive from Halifax to Montreal for my husband's grandmother's funeral. It was winter (really bad roads), over 15 hours of driving. We left after work with 3 hours of prep time (mostly questions such as; Do we all go? Do we go at all today? Do we fly? Do we bring the kids?...) and no resting before leaving. It was too cold to sleep so even pulling over for an hour's nap wasn't possible.


Twice a year we drive up to see our family in Portland, and of course, back home again. It's a 16-hour drive, which we do in one day. Our three kids are so good at road trips! They are 11, 9, and 7 now, but we've been doing this drive since the youngest was born. Babies, potty-training toddlers, we've done it!
The 5-hour drive to visit other family members in the Bay Area seems like a quick trip!

Busy Bee Suz

I don't think nine hours is bad either...we do 10 hours to Atlanta or 12 to the NC mountains and it is pretty easy. No minivan anymore...but with laptops, the kids are happy!!!


You're right: it's breeding and childhood conditioning. My grandma was born in a sod hut on the Montana prairie, so how could a quick ten-hour jaunt to the next state in a Honda Accord playing NPR be a hardship?

I grew up in a family where we'd drive an hour and a half (one way) to Powell or Cody, Wyoming for dinner. Like you, when it comes to this issue, my response is "it ain't no thang."


A couple of summers ago, the girls and I did the 14-hour trip from our place (Ottawa, Ontario) to Jen on the Edge's place (Charlottesville, Virginia) in one day. And we regularly do the Ottawa to Windsor, Ontario (right across the river from Detroit,MI) trip in 9 to 10 hours, depending on how many bathroom/french fry stops the girls need. We are definitely car trippers.

Minnesota Matron

I have a friend who is one of 8 children. He remembers train trips from Minnesota to California as being TOTALLY relaxing and easy - the best! Never any fights, all love and groovy. After having his own children, he marveled to his mother: how did she make those trips so great?

Turns out his mother, a nurse, drugged the children. She put sedatives in their water. Every summer for each leg of the round trip.

True story and lesson for us all.

Carson Wininger

Mm, ya, nine hours is pretty easy - a bit long for some people, but in the long run it's not much trouble. When children are on board, it helps if they're used to the environs of a car. But in other cases, having something to keep them occupied is handy. The bottom line is that driving a car can be easy, as long as the vehicle and the people inside it are familiar with long trips on the road.

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