We spend a lot of time in our mini-van “Susie 3”, a no-brainer name given Susie and Susie 2 went before her. Susie, our first car, was a maroon ’88 Honda Accord we bought after knowing one another a whole 10 months (Robin and I, we didn’t court Susie). She gave two 19 year old vagabonds 230,000 miles of love before, sadly, someone shattered her window and ripped out her heart (car stereo).
While I look back 15 years with rosy colored glasses – in a Pollyanna mind-frame at 30 hour-at-a-clip cross-country treks with two dogs breathing down our necks, constant fear of over-heating, no air conditioning, and a drivers window that didn’t work – I’m quite happy with our current method of traveling. 3,000 miles in two weeks with two kids to visit every corner of Wisconsin. Which is how we just spent the last 14 days.
The modern convenience of headphones in the backseat for the kids that allows for full parental music listening pleasure in the front, would have saved many a station wagon from the side of the road while making summer pilgrimages to State parks. “Don’t make me pull this car over!” is a thing of the past, I don’t dream of pulling anything over, if anything, I’m pushing bladder and gas limits to get where we’re going, while staying that “safe 9″ above.
Long drives are a good time to focus on music without interruption. Of course, there are times I have to check that the kids aren’t taking an “ear break” from their headphones. You already know how I feel about the Gangnam style, but generally after hour four they’re drooling at the screen and we’re following our caffeine levels with music.
One of my favorite traveling songs is “Dramamine” by Modest Mouse, coincidentally on their album “This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About”. It screams highway hypnosis and sounds better in the car than anywhere else.
So, without further ado, here is my list of Top 5 Traveling Albums rated by amount of caffeine in your system:
- “Lonesome Crowded West” Modest Mouse – High Caffeine
- “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning” The Bright Eyes – Coming Down Off Caffeine
- “Blonde on Blonde” or “Blood On The Tracks” Bob Dylan – No Caffeine
- “Kill The Moonlight” Spoon – Needing Caffeine
- “Green Mind” Dinosaur Jr. (Nostalgia) – No track of Caffeine levels
So, wherever you may be going, in whatever method of transportation you prefer, whether those distances are short or long, enjoy the sounds of the road.
What are your favorite traveling albums, songs or Pandora stations?
Andrew Meyer is a Special Education teacher from Madison, Wisconsin, whose wife’s job relocation changed their family roles and physical location. He's now a stay-at-home dad in Madison, Alabama, to two awesomely creative, sometimes challenging, and mostly sweet five and two-year-old girls who fill his days, nights, and in-between spaces. When with or without them, he writes, works-out, wonders, wishes he wouldn’t worry, wrestles with his wife’s commitment to her job, and listens to music. You can also find him at www.papasense.wordpress.com, on Twitter @papasense, and Facebook.