Ever since the car was invented, there have been road trips. Some early car owners had contests to see who could get to a destination first. In our family, we have a prized trophy of a family member being the first to arrive 30 miles away to a cheering crowd. His name and the journey was even the subject of a detailed article newspaper article in Richmond, VA. The article chronicled flat tires, getting out of the mud, stalled engines, rain, broken crank handles, etc. Fortunately those problems are a rarity in today’s travel.
However, today’s road trips are a lot longer and, therefore, have their own challenges. Children and adults have come up with games to pass the time. Stewart and I are no different. I have listed our games below with a few observations. Some of these are time tested; some have been lifted from other families and some we just plain ol’ made up.
The Alphabet Game: One looks for each letter in the alphabet on signs and billboards. Objective: To find all 24 letters-the first to get to Z wins. Rules: One must go sequentially. The letters cannot be on something moving like a truck or license tag. We allow more than one letter on a billboard but some stricter rules have that you can only get one at a time…and that you can’t get one on a sign further down the road and then come back to a closer sign. (This is especially important when you are looking for the ever important letter Q. Where is that Quaker State Oil Sign when you need it?) While playing this game on a family vacation when I was younger, my mom decided that both my brother and I needed glasses.
I am going to ?: This game is one of memory. It can be a cooperative game by helping each other or competitive game in that if you mess up, you are out. The first player says: I am going to (fill in the blank with your destination), and I am taking a (something that starts with A) such as apple. The next player says: I am going to (fill in the blank with your destination), and I am taking an apple and then adds something that starts with b like bear. The next player says all the previous ones and then add his offering of the next letter of the alphabet at the end. Stewart did not like this game and started to complain when we got to D that he didn’t want to play anymore. I told him that this is exactly the type of game that he should be playing. Reluctantly, he played and with much prodding. He would take a LONG time and I would think that he was tying to recall the list but instead was trying to come up with the word that he was adding!!
Railroad Car: If you are lucky enough to see a train, yell out the number of cars that you think are on the train. The winner is the one whose number comes closest to the actual number. You can designate the counter but if you have a ruthless brother who likes to win and will use all means necessary, don’t pick him to determine the actual number.
Cow/Cemetery Game: Count the number of cows on your side of the road. If you come across a cemetery, the number went back to zero and you start all over again. The group decides want number that they want to reach to determine the winner. Often it is 100. This one never made it to Kansas because it didn’t make any sense. You would come across a feedlot where there are thousands of cows. You don’t need to count. You win!!
Semi Truck color: At the beginning of this game, each rider chooses a color. When you see the color that you have chosen, you are out and last color seen wins. (Or, for a faster version, you can play that the first person to see their color wins.) The trick is to find a color that is rarely seen for a semi cab. It is best to have a rule to stick to primary colors. It gets tricky when you have a burgundy color. Make up your own rules on color combination. Is turquoise green or blue or are both colors out????
Name That Tune: This is Stewart’s favorite!!! But in our case, it is more like, guess what I am singing. He usually picks ones that I have never heard of before so I am stumped and he wins!!!
Ask Your Friend: This could be Stewart’s NEW favorite!! I have a Pixel 3 phone and I use the voice activated Google Assistant. Stewart thought that it was just a device to get us where we were going because I would say OK Google, take me to Denver and it would respond with a time estimate and say “LET’S GO”. We adopted that phrase as our road warrior battle cry!!
Then it became even more informative when I asked for the St. Louis Cardinals score. I could ask who was the winning pitcher, etc. Stewart was starting to understand that this was more than a GPS. Or when Stewart wanted to eat a Arby’s, she could direct us to it.
Then, Stewart and I were talking about poems and limericks and he couldn’t remember what I limerick was. I asked my google assistant to tell us a limerick. WOW!! Quickly, it became “ask your friend” who won the World Series in 1957, and who was the Weatherwax Quartet, and on and on. At first I think that he thought that I was talking to a person. He started to call her Blue Eyes. So I asked her what color were her eyes? She responded, “I don’t know but I think that you might call them googiliy eyes!” I could almost hear a rim shot. Wow! She even has a sense of humor.
HOLY LAND USA: Stewart wanted to make a city in the USA that used Bible characters for businesses. It was a fun game and is ongoing. Free free to submit your business ideas.
- Joseph’s Wood Shop
- Matthew’s Tax Service
- Jonah’s Bait and Tackle
- Martha’s Catering
- Zacchaeus Tree Service
- Adam’s Garden Shop
- Bathsheba’s Bath & Body Shop
- Samson’s Fitness Center
- Paul’s Travel Agency
- Moses Attorney at Law
- Noah’s Animal Hospital
- Lazarus’ Funeral Home
- Bethlehem Inn
- Jacob and Sons – Storage & Moving
- Psalms Music Store
- First International Bank of Eternity
- Jesus’ Engraved Invitations
- Abraham’s Relocation Services
- Moon and Sun Lighting 24/7
- Proverbs University
- Samaritan Water Well Association