How to Survive a Family Road Trip

My girls and I took a little weekend road trip down to Encinitas, CA for my cousins wedding. From our home in Elk Grove it is a round trip of about a 1000 miles.  I gotta’ tell ya’, we ate those 1,000 miles for breakfast. You may be asking yourselves “Scott, how did a 6’ 3” gentleman with disc issues, such as yourself, so easily handle being crammed in a car over such an extended period of time?” Well, today is your lucky day because I’m about to tell you.

Grace dancingLet’s start with the planning. First we set a time to leave that allowed us to pass through Los Angeles without hitting any traffic. With our departure time set at 5:00 AM, my wife filled our car up with gas and prepared our food for the trip the night before. Finally we packed our car: our bags, our food, a foam roller, a jump rope and a pillow.

We started our journey before the rooster crowed. I took the first driving shift with a pillow placed behind my lower back for extra lumbar support. We drove. We saw cows. I removed the pillow from behind my back so that my position was slightly different. More driving, more cows and finally we made our first pit stop.

Pit stops are not just for gas, the rest room and junk food. They are also for getting your body going again. Stretching it out and waking up those muscles. As I filled up the car, my little one, Grace, and I stretched our hamstrings with the assistance of a concrete structure that stood next to the gas pump. After the car was filled up, I busted out the jump rope and embarrassed myself a little bit in front of other road trippers.

My wife, Liz then took over as captain while I reclined to about 40 degrees in the front passenger seat. The seat could go a little further back but I’m not looking to sleep and I know that if I fully recline Grace will end up kicking me in the head. At this point, I realized that I should have brought my pinky ball to get a little foot massage going while relaxing. I’ll have to remember that for next time.

After about three hours of conversation sprinkled with a few games of 20 Questions we made one last pit stop. Grace and I stretched it out, I jumped some more rope, and then I took over again as driver.

With beautiful ocean views and more blonde Caucasians than I have seen in all my life, we entered Encinitas. We arrived at our destination, greeted family, got a tour of sis’ new house, brought our bags to our room, and then I whipped out the foam roller. I rolled out my hamstrings, ITB, quads, gluts, neck and I stretched my shoulders. And that was it!

We had a great time with my family and the wedding was superb! Driving home was almost identical to the drive there. The exception was that we didn’t pack anything to eat for the drive home and ended up eating some gnarly fast food instead.  This caused the journey home to be at a lower energy level, but when I got home I was not crippled or bed ridden. In fact, I felt great!

Scott Kartagener

About Scott Kartagener

Videographer at Balanced Body

Scott Kartagener recently moved cross-country from New York to Sacramento - with his wife and daughter - to fill Balanced Body’s Videographer position and to escape the worsening Northeast winters. When he’s not working he usually spends his time hanging out with his family or skateboarding.