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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


I have heard of family road trips from others and all the games that were played while driving to their destinations. I have heard tales of car bingo, slug bug, name that roadkill, I spy, and I'm sure there's more. We took countless road trips growing up. My parents had a camp trailer and Dad loved nothing more than loading that gas hog up and travelling across country. Vacations that involved flying to our destination also included a rental car. Once we arrived, we'd get in the car and dad would drive all over the place. One time we drove all the way around the island of Maui in one day. I was raised on road trips, but I was not raised on road trips with car games. The closest we ever came to anything resembling a road trip game was on our annual trips to Colorado. Dad would offer a silver dollar to the first person to spot a moose. No one ever spotted a moose. I spent those car rides staring out the window (looking for that elusive moose), reading or just plain listening to my Walkman (and singing along). Often times I was the only kid in the car and was left to slug bugging myself. Michael and his brother used to play "those cows are mine" while riding in the backseat on car trips. Every time you see a cow or a heard of cows, you say "those cows are mine!". I don't really know how you keep score or how you keep track of how many cows you own. I think part of the game is smack talking the other player's newly owned cows. "Your cows look like they have the mange". "Those cows are skinny sickly looking things." All things usually said by the person with the least amount of cows. The first time Michael and I took a road trip together, I remembered him telling me about this game. We were having a conversation when I stopped mid sentence and waived my hand in the direction of some field. I'd forgotten the correct wording and ended up saying something like "Those cows over there? I own ALL of those cows" in a very Royal like way. Since then, I've claimed cows and sheep even though Michael says every time I claim sheep that it doesn't count. Those sheep are mine too. In the meantime I have introduced Michael to the game that Chris and I started when we moved to KC where we made SmartCars the new punch buggy.

Talaura gave us car tags for this road trip. We kept a list of all the different state car tags that we saw. The ideal is to find all fifty states. She told us this was something they always did on family car trips. I realize now that I missed out by not playing these car games. I probably would be a lot better at US geography. We managed to accumulate a list of 30 states, two different government plates and five Canadian plates. The more states we accumulated, the hungrier I became to find all 50 states. Yes. I realize the probability of spotting a Hawaii license was like 1% if that, but it sure didn't keep me from looking for it. I think we were all very surprised by the tags that we saw and the tags that we expected to see in that area but didn't. We didn't get a New Mexico tag until our last day, but found a Maine and New Hampshire early on. I would have expected to not see a Maine before almost missing a New Mexico. And those people that traveled from New Hampshire? That's what I call a road trip.

We also kept a list of wildlife we spotted which included a real Cowboy (spotted just inside Wyoming). But it's the car tag game that sticks with me the most. I love that Talaura added this to our trip and I can see that she's given me a game that I'll keep going for all my road trips to come. I will spot Hawaii! What about you guys? Tell me about your favorite road trip games or memories for this Love Thursday.