Almost every summer while I was growing up, we drove from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to spend two weeks with Grandma Jan at our family's cottage on Lake Geneva. Sometimes we drove part way and stayed overnight with cousins in Rochester. Sometimes we drove straight through the night, often arriving in the early morning hours before anyone was up.
Dad always made sure we owned a full-size station wagon so that we could put the back seat down, creating enough room for the off-duty driver to get some good sleep before taking another turn at the wheel. I usually slept all stretched out in the back, too, lulled into a sound sleep by the hum of the car on the highway.
I remember waking up whenever we pulled into gas stations, feeling all disoriented by the change in speed and the bright lights. It always felt like we were floating, sort of like we were in a plane about to land.
And then I'd remember where I was and what we were doing. Taking comfort in that, I was usually sound asleep again by the time we were back up to speed on the highway.