Many moons ago I went on my first proper road trip with a boy that wasn't yet my boyfriend, a boy I didn't know that well but I probably already loved. I knew that he was a passionate and talented designer with an artist's eye, that he wasn't pretentious, loved skiing and skateboarding and seeing live music, that he had a great group of friends and always wore a ponytail, that he worked harder than anyone but still could be described as a slacker, that he was funny and would play dumb or fake a fall just to make me smile... I knew fragments but I didn't yet know the man.
I have been lucky enough to travel many places around the world and see countless breathtaking buildings, works of art, and landscapes. Every trip is a treasured memory, but this little road trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan was truly the most surprising. I had no idea that I could just get in the car and drive, and that somewhere in the middle of this country there was a lake that felt as vast as the ocean. I didn't expect to set up camp on a bluff with deep blue waves lapping the beach below.
It was a magnificent trip, hours of conversation, hours of silence, hours of singing to the Grateful Dead and the Beastie Boys. We had our first fight and it ended quickly. We made grilled cheese on the side of the road in Ohio, a meal that still rests in my top ten.
I fell in love with road trips and the guy too. I didn't know that it would be my last crush. It seemed like an unlikely pairing to most of our friends, but it just worked right away. Underneath that dopey skater dude was a compulsive, organized, thoughtful and compassionate man... and underneath my over-achiever, driven little self was a procrastinator and a bit of a wild child. A perfect match.
And luckily it's still working. We're so busy these days with jobs, family, projects, and of course our little boy... sometimes it's hard to think past the chores and responsibilities. Illogical as it is, I think it helps that we started out as one another's long shots, the crazy crush.
We had hoped for a road trip this summer. We may not pull it off, but every once in a while our kid falls asleep in the back seat and we turn to each other and agree to just drive, no destination or plan. Yes it's totally silly, but it does work.