This two-day drive had Aiden’s head in the clouds

Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

It takes a lot to keep a six-yearold entertained on a two-day, 14- hour car trip – or four-days and 28 hours round-trip.

But sometimes it just takes little things, like looking out the car window at the clouds.

We headed out east late last month, to the old family homestead in New York state – literally, since my brother Jim still owns and lives in the house we grew up in.

The occasion was a high school graduation for a niece, the last one in that generation of the family.

We get a break from graduations for awhile, since the first one in the next generation won’t be for another nine years – for our oldest grandson Ty, so we shouldn’t have to take a crosscountry trip for that one.

For this trip, though, our son Alex decided he wanted to try out his new motorcycle on a crosscountry trip to Warwick.

It meant that our daughterin law Julia and grandson Aiden had to ride along with Terry and I, since they wouldn’t fit in the saddlebags on Alex’s motorcycle.

We made plans to meet up just outside of Cleveland the first night out, although with their late change in travel plans, they couldn’t get a room at the same motel as Terry and I, but had to stay about 10 miles away.

Alex got away a few hours later than us on the first day, but with the frequent stops for various necessities our car had to made, he caught up with us in time for dinner along the Ohio Turnpike.

Among other things, the stops were to give Aiden time to get out, stretch his legs and get the wiggles out.

For the older adults in the car, the frequent stops were for other reasons and to get something other than the wiggles out.

We did make sure that Aiden had plenty to entertain himself with, including toys, books, videos, coloring books and a kid’s computer pad – the latter of which he used to keep all of us entertained.

He did choose the educational items on the pad, but after hearing songs like “Punc, punc, punc, punc, punc-tuation” and “Vowels – the sticky letters that hold words together” more than a few times in a row, we were glad when his attention wandered and he turned to other pursuits.

By the time we crossed from Indiana into Ohio, however, he had pretty much exhausted the various entertainments and a back seat storm seemed about ready to brew.

That was when Mee-Mee, who was riding in the back seat with Aiden, came to the rescue by looking out the window and finding a cloud that looked like a dragon.

She invited Aiden to see what he could find in the clouds and he was off and running.

Fortunately, it was a cloudy day in that part of the country and Aiden had plenty of clouds to try out his imagination on.

He found the usual dragons, turtles and other wildlife, but he also found some other rather unusual shapes up in the sky.

One of the clouds, according to Aiden, was an airplane reading a book.

Now I know they manufacture some pretty smart planes these days, some that can almost fly themselves, but I don’t think Boeing or anyone else has come up with a plane that can read – only Aiden.

He also saw several tornadoes in the clouds, which fortunately for us were only in Aiden’s imagination – after all, our destination was New York, not Oz.

Aiden did also see a blimp, but not in one of the clouds.

While we were in northwest Ohio, we saw the Met Life blimp flying by off the south of the turnpike.

That kept not only Aiden but the whole car entertained – me less than the others because I was driving, after all.

That was, until we got far ahead enough of the blimp to lose track of it, since blimps only travel at 35 to 50 mph after all, and we were driving a little faster than that – although within the legal speed limit, let me add.

After that, it was back to the clouds for Aiden until we finally called it a night.

He returned to that game several times the next day and on the trip back to Wisconsin a week later, but we never did see another blimp – or another plane reading a book for that matter.

NEXT WEEK: Partying – and doing a few other things – in the Empire State

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