They say you learn something about yourself when you take road trips. And that most often you return and never again want to speak to those you traveled with or you return feeling closer to them (but perhaps needing a little break to recover).

For the road trip I took with my siblings last weekend there were definitely some HUGE lessons learned and we returned in good spirits and closer and wiser as siblings.

My brother, sister and I drove down last weekend to Murfeesborough (and later Chattanooga), Tennessee, for a wedding and to visit friends.

The main purpose of the trip was for my sister to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of Rose Estes and Justin Summers. My sister was suite-mates with Rose all four years they attended a high school boarding academy in Virginia and my sister loves Rose very much. We also drove to near Chattenooga to visit with some of my college/highschool/family friends.

For my brother it was the opportunity for him to spend time with our sister and to join in on a sibling road trip.

For me it was a trip that needed to happen for my sister, so I made it happen. I also love Rose and many of my sister’s friends, so it wasn’t completely altruistic of me to offer to drive.

It was the first time in more than 10 years that my brother, sister and I were trapped in a car together for more than the span of a few hours.  The trip out to the Western area of Tennessee took about 12 hours. The return trip from Chattanooga took about 9.5 hours.

We had a good time, although we learned a lot about each other’s personalities on that trip. Suffice it to say the weekend was one big sibling therapy session…slightly painful but afterward we were glad we took the trip.

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Here’s a photo of my brother, myself and my sister in Tennessee.

I also learned a couple of lessons for road trips. What to do/not to do when you go on a road trip.

1.Whether or not you have a GPS system, never go on a multistate road trip without a backup road map for each state in your glove compartment.

2. Make sure everyone’s iPod’s are charged before you leave so you can all listen to your own music if you can’t agree.  And if you are a music snob, be prepared to listen to music you don’t want to for at least half of the ride.

3. Bring thank you cards and gifts for the people you are visiting on the trip.

4. Before you go, check your car’s engine fluids and tire pressure.

5. Carry enough petty cash to get through tolls for the outbound and RETURN trip. lol.

6.  Have paper copies of telephone numbers for people you will be seeing on the road trip in case your phone battery dies.

7. Get plenty of sleep on the days leading up to the trip so you don’t kill each other.

8. Give emergency contact numbers and basic itinerary to a friend or family member at home before you leave.

9. EmergenC is a miracle for your immune system and energy levels.

10. Bring earplugs, an eye mask and a lap blanket.

11. For the love of God. Don’t forget your sunglasses if you plan to drive.

12. Bring twice the amount of food you think you’ll need on the trip. You’ll save money from not stocking up at gas stations.

and since today is Friday the 13th….

13. The alphabet game makes time pass by really fast. (Each person take a turn in alphabetical order naming a certain category. My sis, brother and I played the game for things you eat and for animals. You’d be surprised how many animals there are that start with Q and Z.

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