Tuesday, September 19, 2006

For BooMama's road tripping pleasure:

Thanks to BooMama’s question, and the fact that my roommate and I just got back from a road trip, I decided to post some road tripping tips that worked for me and Liz. This post relates specifically to in-the-car entertainment. Later in the week, I may post some more advice about must see places, churches to visit, road trip themes (A-Z?) picking the perfect road trip mascot, etc.

But for now, here's the entertainment adivce. Super important tip #1: Plan Ahead!!! Don’t just hop in the car with your CDs or iPod and think the music you brought will last you for the whole trip. Trust me – even your favorite artists will begin to bore you. We drove close to 6000 miles, and at an average of 60 mph (drove faster than that but I like the simple math thing) that’s 100 hours in the car! That’s a heck of a lot of music. That being said, along with our typical musical favs (mostly contemporary Christian stuff) Liz and I decided to listen to music specific to the areas we visited. And let me just say – it made the trip so much more fun!!

Once we came up with our list of songs, we decided we should establish some road trip music playing policies and procedures. First, we needed to elect a Road Trip DJ. I nominated Liz and she seconded the motion. She was voted into the position 2-0. Yay for Liz! We then came up with the follow P&P’s:

The Road Trip DJ position requires agility and skill. Study playlist prior to trip. Songs about TN (for example) can be played in another state, but DJ must be prepared to switch to the state specific song as state line is crossed.

Play site specific song as you approach destination. This increases anticipation and creates potential for silliness. Play site specific song with windows open while cruising by/through said site. Sing along loudly. Passing cars may honk. This causes more silliness.

Do not attempt to play the role of both DJ and driver.

These P&P’s worked perfectly for us, even though we missed the teeny weeny “Welcome to Colorado” sign on Interstate 25. Oops! My apologies to John Denver.

So here’s our song list (in no particular order):

Graceland – Paul Simon
Walkin in Memphis – Mark Cohn
Nashville – Indigo Girls
Rocky Top – Every country star ever to exist sings this song, but I love the Dolly version.
Rocky Mountain High – John Denver
Toledo – John Denver (this song’s hysterical!)
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis
Leavin Las Vegas - Sheryl Crow
Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
These Thousand Hills – Third Day (Cause we figured we’d see a thousand hills, ya know?)
Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks (For driving across TX, OK, UT, AZ)
Lubbock or Leave It – Dixie Chicks (Texas)
Yellow Rose of Texas – we chose the Elvis Presley version
Climb Every Mountain – The Sound of Music (great for crossing the Rocky’s)
There is no Arizona – Jamie O’Neal (we were able to find it)
Midnight Train to Georgia – Indigo Girls (can be played even though not traveling by train)
Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John
Chicago - Sufjan Stevens (you must listen to this guy if you never have before!)
Gary Indiana (from the Music Man)
Oklahoma (from the musical)
Take me home country roads – John Denver (for the drive home)
Jackson – June and Johnny (seems to be a Jackson in just about every state!)
Dust in the Wind - Kansas (play when you see the “Beware of Dust Storm” signs in Utah. Don’t play it in Kansas)
Proud to be an American (God Bless the USA) – Lee Greenwood (play anywhere, but good for those states for which you have no other song)
Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac (to be played everywhere)

Oh - and it's ok to make up your own songs along the way, especially for states where fun songs don't exist. I wrote a little diddy about Wiscon sin(ning) (to the tune of "What did Dela-ware?"). In case you're wondering how it turns out, Wiscon's sins are forgiven.

FYI - These songs will become stale while on a two week road trip. Bring lots of Chris Tomlin, Dave Crowder, Third Day, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Watermark and Passion type music. Oh - and it never hurts to pop in the Backstreet Boys to mix things up.

One more tip – download lots of sermons. Many churches now have them on their websites. You can have a mini worship service right in your car! Play a few songs, listen to a sermon, then play a few more. But don't attempt to raise hands or pray (with eyes closed) while driving.

And one final tip – books on tape are great too. We listened to several, but we both really loved John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. It’s about Steinbeck’s trip across America with his dog Charley in the 60’s. The perfect road trip book!

That's it for today's road trip fun. I bummed that I missed yesterday's Oprah episode. Guess that's what reruns are for :)


Phyllis R. said...

Hi Anne, with an "e"!

I traveled to this travel blog via BooMama! I did write the world's longest comment on her blog today (I described taking my family to see all 50 states.)

I saw your pictures from the cross-country trip you and your friend just took. FUN! I have been to MANY--MOST--of those places (Wall Drugs, check, Corn Palace, check). We live in such an INTERESTING country, doncha think?!! I love your song selections for each place you visited! And we LOVED books on tape in our car; "Harry Potter" was a fave.

Thanks for sharing your stories!


Nancy said...

What an AWESOME roadtrip. Before reading Boomama's post, I thought maybe I was the only one who still enjoyed car travel. Thanks for the great pics.