Road Trippin'

Time to Hit the Highway

My wife and I are in the process of our yearly migration to Destin, Florida. Our hurried preparations yesterday morning reminded me of road trips we used to take with our kids. It also brought back memories of my family’s road trips when I was just another rugrat in the backseat. The process of getting from Point A to Point B has come a long way since the days of the Family Truckster. Depending on your mode of transportation, long sweaty journeys have been replaced by all the comforts of home. I am actually typing up this article as we are driving through Alabama, on the way to the Emerald Coast. Try doing THAT back in the day!

As I mentioned in a previous article, I have always been a practical car owner. I knew the acquisition of our first Minivan would change our travel lives, and I was right. Always on the cutting edge of technology, I purchased a 9-inch TV/VCR Combo, just for our road trips. I also bought a cassette audio adapter that allowed our two sons to watch Star Wars, in realistic surround sound, from the comfort of their very own captain’s chairs. I also constructed a TV Stand from an idea borrowed from my sister-in-law and her husband. Thanks, Patti and Mike! That stand allowed us to put the TV in the prime viewing position. My boys quickly became used to trips down to Destin, or Virginia Beach, while enjoying the latest movies and Pokemon episodes, recorded on our home VCR. They had no idea how good they had it.

When I was a kid, The Lambert Summer Vacation was a trip to Clark Lake in Irish Hills, Michigan. Back in those days, my Dad didn’t have access to Google Maps. His route involved a great deal of zig-zagging across Michigan, through exotic towns like Manchester, Bridgewater, and Saline. The signposts for upcoming turns were local landmarks like The Big Green Barn and the Road With No Sign. If they ever painted that barn to match its neighbors, we were done for. Even though the journey was under two hours, I’m sure with four squabbling kids and a dog, it probably seemed endless for my parents. However, the payoff for over an hour and a half of sibling-poking purgatory was a glorious week at Clark Lake. Right now, my wife is at the wheel, and we are just over two hours away from glorious Destin. Here’s to The Great American Road Trip! May you have a great one, without any Griswoldian Moments!

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A Night at the LCA

Checking Out the New Barn!

Last night, my wife and I attended a Detroit Red Wings game at the new Little Caesars Arena. Since the Wings were playing the once-despised Colorado Avalanche, we jumped at the Groupon offer. It was only my second visit to the new arena, and I wanted to compare it with the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (much better legroom at the TMA). Back in September, we had attended a Journey concert there. Since we were still new to the whole LCA experience, I was glad to find nearby, relatively inexpensive parking. Thanks for the tip, Tim Gietzen!

My family’s love of hockey and the Red Wings, in particular, goes back a long way. My sister, Cynthia Lambert, covered the team for The Detroit News during their glory years. Over the past few seasons, the team has fallen on hard times. However, they have shown signs of life lately, and it was going to be an interesting game. Previously, our family has taken our love of the Winged Wheel on the road. We have been to games in Chicago, Toronto, Columbus, and St. Louis. With the exception of one incident in St. Louis, when a woman intentionally poured beer down my wife’s back, we have been free of liquid contamination.

Last night, our evening was almost ruined before it got started. A brain-dead individual, who apparently doesn’t know how to carry a tray of beers, wound up dumping them all over the seats to my left. I felt a little splash on my neck, but thankfully, that was the extent of the collateral damage. My wife handed over all of our napkins and the spillers gave one of the seats a cursory swipe. A girl in their group actually said, “A least we’re not sitting there!” Really? Shortly thereafter, four fans came down the row and were about to get an unpleasant surprise. I warned them that beer had just been spilled all over their seats. Then, the REAL cleanup effort began. Good Lord! Was I ever this inconsiderate? If so, I apologize! In this day and age, common courtesy and good manners have become virtually extinct. On the way home, I thanked God that the bozo hadn’t lost control of the beers a few steps earlier! I also put in a prayer for our Wings!

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