The Best Bits of Road Trips

I’ve done a few road trips in my time, from little day trips to a big cross-country trip, and I’ve definitely had my fair share of good times (and bad) while on the open road.

Best Bit #1 — Ummm…how do I change the oil in the car?

I love cars, and know a lot about them…at least on the outside. I know nothing about the innards. Needless to say, it was great fun when, three hours from Quebec City, the oil light came on.

After being told by my boyfriend that no, I couldn’t just ignore it, I stopped at a gas station and called my dad. Twice. Because by the time I got into the gas station, I’d forgotten what he told me the first time.

Then, because my boyfriend thought I needed to learn how to top up the oil (plus he found the situation rather entertaining), he made me do it. And took a picture. How kind.

Best Bit #2 — You mean, passengers can booze in the car in England?

“…I think so…”

We were pretty convinced that it was perfectly legal to drink and drive in England, so long as the driver wasn’t doing the drinking. Passengers, no problem.


We’d done a road trip to Cheddar Gorge and Bath, which are technically in the West Country of England, famous for many things, including charming farmer accents and authentic English cider.

This cider is the real thing, and tastes totally different to stuff like Strongbow and Bulmers, so, of course, I bought a bottle from West Country Ales that had an adorable little caveman on the label.

I didn’t really want to wait until we got home to try it, and after being assured it was legal and our friend driving wasn’t going to get ridiculously arrested, I tapped that bottle. It tasted amazing, although I’m not sure if it’s because it was legitimately delicious, or because I was experiencing a rush from drinking alcohol in a car (sooooo illegal at home). Regardless, this was a novelty, and thus instantly one of my favourite road trip memories.

Best Bit #3 — Mum! There’s a Climax in Michigan! Take a picture!

I love funny place names, mostly because I have a rather rude sense of humour. It has always been a goal of mine to visit sordid-sounding places like Dildo, Newfoundland, and Climax, Saskatchewan, but not everyone shares my amusement to the same degree.

In the summer of 2009, while driving from Vancouver to Toronto with my mum, I was determined to detour south to see whether the sign in Climax, Sask, really says “thanks for coming”. Mum thought I was being silly, and, much to my disappointment, drove right past the exit for Climax.

Little did I know, we would later pass right by an exit for another town called Climax in another state in another country!

Seeing as I was totally unprepared for this, neither I, nor my iPhone, was ready, and as I was driving at the nearly break-neck speeds these Michigan folks drive at on their highways, I was totally flustered. That’s when I frantically said to mum, “Look! There’s a sign for Climax! Take a picture with my phone!”

Did Mum know what to do with an iPhone? Sort of, but not quickly enough to snap a photo. The picture below is all we got. Pretty anti-climactic, non?

Road trip in Michigan

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