It's no secret that a road trip, while often quite enjoyable, can also get to be quite long. Especially on the drive back home, when all of the anticipation of where you're going has diminished and you're just longing to be in your home again. A few years before I married Monte, my brother Tory introduced me to a road trip game that sounded completely bizarre, but I have to admit it: I'm hooked! The game is "I Spy a Cow". The basic concept is that you want to spy cows along the drive before any other passengers in the car see them. The catch is that, while you may spy an entire herd of cows, it only counts as one cow - in other words, you may not count more than one cow in the same pasture. On top of that, if anybody happens to spy something that is NOT a cow (i.e. a horse) and mistakingly calls it a cow, they go back in points by one cow. The big catch, however, is that you can clear all other players of any cows they had earned by simply spying a graveyard and calling it out before the other passengers. When you spy these things, you MUST use the entire phrase of "I spy a cow!" or "I spy a graveyard" in order to earn these cow points. The cow also must be able to be seen by other passengers to be verified that you're not making up cows in the midst of your road trip delusion! Sound confusing, or just plain dumb?! Don't think that about it - while I know it sounds strange and truly a waste of time, it makes road trips go by SO MUCH FASTER! Monte and I play this every single time we take a road trip. Granted, it's usually more fun to play with someone who doesn't share a checkbook with you (as our penalty for the loser is that they have to buy lunch), but even if you don't have a reward set in place, it's an amazing game and a great passer of time!
Our kids have come to expect this game from us, and Colin even tries to play along too, though with his own version where he spies "cow yokes". After hearing him play this for awhile the other night, we asked him what he meant by cow yoke, and he explained that he was talking about the thing that goes around the cows to keep them in the field (he was spying fences!). It is all too funny!
Another very common road trip game that my family plays is slug bug. This is one that I choose not to participate in, as my ever-so-sweet-and-innocent daughter, Claire, punches far harder than she realizes and I have had the bruises to prove it! While walking down to the park together one day, one of the kids spotted a VW Bug and called out the slug bug and tapped (our new rule - no hitting, just tapping!) their sibling. Monte made a sly comment about the fact that there should be other things you can do too, like pull someone's ear each time you see a PT Cruiser, or kick them in the shins each time that you see an ATV. Well, unfortunately, my children thought this would be a GREAT idea - and the ear-pulling began!
I'm just thanking God that we haven't seen any ATVs along our path! :)