Road trips when I was a kid meant fighting with my brother for space in the backseat of a Toyota Tercel station wagon.
The only amusement was watching for Stuckey’s signs, groaning at Mom’s Patsy Cline cassette tape and begging Dad to stop for the night at a motel with a pool.
My kids have no idea how good they have it in the back of an SUV with their tablets, headphones and bags of snacks.
But those blessed quiet hours on the road with absorbed kids in the backseat make road trips a lot more enjoyable than I’m sure they were in the early ‘80s for my parents.
Some of our favorite trips have been taken spur of the moment.
We’ll take off for Pawhuska to spend the day at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. We’ll decide we’re done with housework or yardwork for a weekend and drive to Oklahoma City, hitting our favorite S&B Burger Joint for lunch and the Wedge for dinner with a trip to Science Museum Oklahoma or a park in between.
We recently decided we’d never been to Bentonville and had to rectify that. We found a good internet rate for a hotel, got the kids in the car and were exploring Crystal Bridges Museum a few hours later. It was gorgeous. But I remember the Butternut Squash enchiladas from Table Mesa and hanging out in the town square with ice cream from the Walmart Museum almost as fondly.
With this issue of the magazine, we’re trying to give you those same experiences. These are trips you can plan quickly — all are within easy driving distance. Will you want to do all of them? Nope. But we’re giving you our favorite places to visit and to eat in our favorite cities.
I just told you some of my picks. I lobbied hard for the prosciutto and fig pizza at The Wedge in Oklahoma City. And if that doesn’t sound good, I’ll bet you will find something that does.
So, sit back and mark up this magazine. Circle some places that sound fun, pack up the kids one day and go explore.
But if you want to download some Patsy Cline for the car, go ahead. Your kids will thank you later.