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Are We There Yet!?!?!

Alpaca my car CaptureI confess, I absolutely! Positively! Totally! And completely! LOVE road trips. Road tripping has been my path to sanity for as long as I can remember. I know, long hours in the car with kids and fighting and trucks and obnoxious drivers may not sound like a way to keep one’s sanity but it so works for me. To borrow an old cliché, ‘the freedom of the open road’ lifts my spirit and helps clear the cobwebs (I actually worked on this post in my head while traveling home). This week I road tripped some 1500 miles to attend my daughter’s college graduation. The scenery through the Ohio turnpike, down I-77 and across I-40 was spectacular. Spring is glorious! We were on our schedule, not the airlines, could take off our shoes if we wanted to, (but weren’t forced to) and could stop and stretch at any point without stepping over people on our way.

I also was determined to make sure this trip was not going to undo any of the good things I’ve been doing for myself over the course of the last few months. Fast food stops were going to be eliminated and good healthy snacks were going to go into the cooler and ‘goody bag’. It took some convincing for my granddaughter to think this was a good idea but she ended up not missing any of her usual snacks. Below is a list of some of my favorite new road tripping snacks.

Apples – perfect for those intervals when you are feeling a bit tired. Something about the eating of an apple wakes you right up. I didn’t believe it originally but it’s true!

Suckers – I had See’s suckers for the trip. They are block shaped and pretty big so it takes a long time to get through one – which keeps your sweet tooth happy but isn’t all that bad for you considering it’s keeping you from putting other high fat, high calorie items in your mouth that can be eaten quickly.

Sees candyCapture

Water – kind of a catch 22 on this one. I have to confess, water goes through me much more quickly than other drinks. As I noted previously, my love of Diet Pepsi keeps me wanting to have that for a go-to drink and it doesn’t make me have to make a pit stop as often as water. However, water keeps me from having the dreaded travel bloat. I did have a DP while on the road but it was only one while the waters kept flowing (couldn’t resist).

Nuts – got to have salty on a road trip! I can eat an entire page of Wavy Lays like nobody’s business – but again, so much damage in so little time. I put individual amounts of nuts in baggies and snacked without guilt. There are also some great sweet and salty granola bars that do a great job of keeping the salty need away (I’m partial to several Nature Valley varieties).

sweet salty Capture

Grapes and string cheese – not sure why but these just go together for me. It’s one of our family’s go-to combinations when packing lunches for picnics and road trips (along with salami and turkey sandwiches which this time became turkey rollups with one measly little slice of salami so I could still taste it but not subject myself to the fats and salt, etc – surprisingly, it was just as good).

Drive time, one way, is 11 hours give or take 15 minutes or so. That leaves a lot of time for eating so I was pleased that we packed ‘good’ options and saved the truly ‘decadent’ splurges for the celebrations awaiting us at the graduation festivities. I’m doubly glad to know, I can still embrace the road and not add Highway Handles to my already sufficient love handles.

Would love to hear any and all road tripping stories, tips and even travails (YIKES)! Have a good week – M




  1. I like the snacks part….but of course I would! I like how you show the pictures of the snacks also. Good blog for road tripping it.

  2. The article indeed is nicely done with pictures in the appropriate places.
    I was in Iran two years ago and we also travelled, had to, many, many miles by car. We had other (Iranian) snacks. 😉 I saw a lot that way in a two-week span in a sort of round trip. We did do on our own. We weren’t part of a travelling group by an agency. That isn’t my cup of tea. Or should I say coffee. I have more with coffee than with tea.

    1. Thank you Mirjam. You should share some of your road trip stories, complete with pictures. I have no doubt they would be very interesting! What is your favorite ‘Iranian’ snack? – M

      1. The good news is that I was planning to write an e-book about my experiences with Iran and what comes with it, including that two-week trip. Less good news is that it might take quite a while before I get to it. It’s planned as the third e-book I will write.

        The Iranian snack I favor the most is called:
        Noon Nokhodchi
        If you would image google on that name you see how they look like.
        It’s a really small cookie that you have to grab very gentilly, otherwise you pulver it. I love the taste of it!

  3. We road trip too, and over recent years we have packed healthier options, and actually eaten less. Turns out crocheting (which I am amateur at, to say it kindly) is a great way to pass time and keep my fingers busy while listening to audio books. We also stop every 2-3 hours (for dogs, so we say) and I walk laps around rest stop for 15 min. Ironically, I’ve gotten more exercise on travel days than on many normal-life days.

    I have week-long trip to Cuba coming up, and am struggling to find healthy snacks to bring along that are high in protein and fiber, and low in sugar. And don’t need refrigerating. Even health food store products are loaded with sugars…I know I can bring baggies of nuts and/or dried fruits, but I’d love to find some things to help with the nutritional benefits I’ll be missing as a result of no access to kale smoothies and big salads…Any suggestions?

    1. Not sure if you have had any luck making Kale chips but they are actually really good when done correctly. Vacuum packed tuna and chicken (low sodium) are very filling – put them on some whole grain crackers and it is very satisfying. Also, your favorite no or low sugar peanut butter is a great keeper food – Simply Jif is my favorite. I hope you plan on sharing stories from you Cuba trip – sounds like great adventure potential. -M

  4. My family took a road trip when I was a kid, around 10 I believe. We had no real plan on where we were going. It was the year the summer Olympics were in Atlanta and even though we hadn’t planned on it we seemed to keep following the torch. We saw it on several stops. We went to Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans (the best part of the trip and the coolest torch stop, they had a huge party), Memphis, Hot Springs, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few places. It was a lot of fun.

    1. Sounds like a great time Lisa and it sounds like you hit some real ‘hot spots’ as the temp during the summer must have been high! Also nice to know it was such a great time that you still enjoy the memories? Have you taken any road trips as an adult?

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