My sister and I were often subjected to really long boring road trips with my parents when we were younger. These road trips were made even more agonizing than most children would have been/are subjected to. Kids today have the option of watching a DVD in the back with wireless headphones, MP3 players, portable video games etc. In the 70’s and 80’s, we did not have these feats of technology. We usually drove to Vancouver in the summer to visit both sets of Grandparents and we would all pile in the Ford Fairmont Station Wagon and take off. These trips would take upwards of 13-15 hours. My Dad was also not one for stopping for anything unless it was gas. The only entertainment was a pitiful collection of 8 track cassettes (Cher, Commodores, The Muppets, The Carpenters, Carol King, etc...). The pain actually increased when we would drive out in a car with a cassette tape player (I think that was the Cadillac). Anyway, my parents would pop in a Phoenix Seminar tape and listen to selling/listing techniques for Real Estate agents (I think there were a total of 12 tapes?) To anyone that is not a real estate agent, this would have been enough to make you want to poke your tympanic membranes just so that you could listen to the ringing in your ears instead. Imagine what it would have been like for small children. My parents should have been reported to child services. Anyway, as you can tell, we were severely lacking in fun road trip stuff. So, as most children will do, they will invent their own fun. Here are a couple of the games we invented during these times of trial.
Disco Lights: When the sun is setting just right and you are driving through areas with a lot of trees on the side of the road, you can close your eyes, face in the direction of the sun and watch it make “disco lights” behind your closed eye lids.
Flying house: My sister says she does not remember this, but I do. We imagined what it would be like to go wherever you wanted to go without having to leave your house because it flew. We imagined all kinds of thing that the flying house would be able to do and have. Like a special separate house that flew with the big house but was just for my sister and me and we could take it out on our own etc...
My sister played her own games too, and they usually involved things like “see how fast you can embarrass an older sister”. This would take the form of sticking your tongue out and staring at the car behind you out the back window.
To add insult to injury, my Mother would stock up the car with road trip food, like sandwiches, juice& snacks. The snacks would be along the lines of Scotch Mints, Eat more candy bars, and All Sorts. That is the most revolting assortment of road trip snack food that you could give a child.