When you pack your bags, you have the best-laid plans. You know what pictures and video you want to capture. You have even gone as far as storyboarding it out on paper so that you don’t forget. You even went out to get a new camera just for this vacation with the best intentions of producing an incredible video.
Then the moment you start the car and head out on your whirlwind 36 hours, out and back road trip, you forget it all. One kid is crying because he is having a hard time falling asleep and the other is whining because we aren’t there yet after only 15 minutes. There is no point hitting record on the camera because these aren’t the moments that you want to remember. You want to forget the 100, “are we there yets” from the back seat.
Best laid plans are exactly that, plans.
You want to capture the fun that you had on your trip. You want to remember the smiles, the laughs, and the moments of wonder as your kid crawls through a maze of jungle gyms at the St. Louis City Museum. You don’t want to remember the hours that your child spent buried in their iPad on the road ignoring you or the complaints that the line to get into the Arch is too long.
When the kids eventually calm down, you turn the GoPro on hoping to capture the fun of the trip. Instead, your kids hide in shame as you lip sync to Backstreet Boys and reminisce about your beautiful honeymoon destination along I-70.
And try as you might, you attempt to capture those moments. But you are one second behind on the record button or your cell phone camera won’t turn on fast enough. So those best-laid plans are exactly that, plans.
You won’t forget this epic road trip.
The interesting thing that comes from traveling though is that it is those moments that the camera is not running that you will remember the most. The moment you slip your phone into your pocket, your kids say something hilarious, or even though you ask them to repeat it when the camera is on, it isn’t as funny the second time.
While you wish those moments were stored digitally for you to remember, they have already become a lifetime memory. Just like the moment my son started belting out “Step By Step” by New Kids on the Block in the car, or seeing the joy and wonder of a kid who dreams of playing Major League Baseball as he wanders through a new baseball stadium.
Those are the moments we remember, the moments that we are all in on the moment. The moments we are walking back from a baseball stadium, seeing our team lose, for the 3rd time against a rival team and your son looks at you and says, “You win some, and you lose some. As long as we had fun.”
And just like that, it hits you. Despite refusing to pull out the GoPro at a baseball game so you can remember that moment, instead opting to get pictures of a rogue cat that scampers onto the field, you realize just how much fun you had on your road trip. There might be moments that you look back at and wish that you were able to capture, but those memories are etched in your mind forever because you were there, in the moment enjoying it with your family.
I’d like to thank Phillips 66 for the opportunity to take this road trip and visit St. Louis and Busch Stadium. I’d also like to thank the city of St. Louis for being so welcoming to the influx of Kansas City Royals fans. I have never experienced a city that was so nice to people despite the fact that they don’t root for their hometown team.
The memories that my family made while stopping at Phillips 66 gas stations along I-70 and Hermann, Missouri are memories that we will remember forever. The drive along I-70 in Missouri is absolutely beautiful, and if you happen to find your way driving in the Midwest at some point, I hope that you stop in at a Phillips 66 Gas station to refuel with their top-quality Performance gas. There are more than 500 locations in Missouri and more than 250 in Kansas to stop at, so keep making memories with your family and take a road trip!
Full Disclosure: Phillips 66 did provide travel accommodations for our memory making trip to St. Louis, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.