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ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS

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I'm a firm believer in the phrase, "It's not the destination but the journey." For me, it's all about getting there in style. So here's a checklist of items you need to consider for your trip.

MUSIC

Imagine that your front windshield is a wide theater screen. You are seeing the world's movie out your front window. So why not accompany it with your own sound track? Rather than CDs or—god help us, cassette tapes—we recommend an IPOD with a digital FM transmitter. The whole deal will set you back about $300 but consider what you'll get. In your car you'll have every one of your favorite songs in a container the size of a pack of cigs (once you download your entire CD collection to it via your computer, of course). Bored with music? You can purchase an audio book directly online and download it to your IPOD. How's that for convenience?

FOOD

What you eat on a road trip is as important as how you eat it. Two words: local fruit. Stop at roadside stands and get locally grown cherries, melons, peaches ... anything that's ripe. But don't eat too many or you'll be making other pit stops along the way. We also recommend some salty stuff, chips, nuts, sunflower seeds. It's important to have things that keep your mouth busy and active. If you have passengers in the car we recommend not loading up on legumes (this means no Taco Bell drive-thrus) or cruciferous vegetables. Your passengers will appreciate it.

DRINKS

Drinking on the road is a delicate balance. You get thirsty, you drink, but if you drink too much you'll have to stop. You want a symbiosis with your bladder. We have found that caffeinated drinks, while they might keep you awake, stimulate the kidneys forcing us to make more stops than we'd like. Just make sure you have a bottle of something on hand, just make sure it's a legal bottle of something. Idaho has an open container law so you can't even have a corked bottle of booze in the passenger portion of your car or you are breaking the law.

SMOKES

If you are of the smoking kind, have a pack of cigarettes or a cigar on hand. A good nicotine buzz is just the thing as you go over the pass. The only butts we want to see coming out your car window is the one when we pass you.

SPAWN

Kids happen. And when they're in the car with you it's important to keep them busy. An assortment of board games with a small number of pieces, a laptop that can play DVDs, coloring books and Gameboys will keep them busy on a long trip. Otherwise, bring a roll of duct tape. On curvy roads it's also important to drug the queasy ones with a motion sickness pill. A nice side effect is that it usually makes them tired. How cute. They're sleeping like babies.

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