Is the "Sunday Drive" dead in America?

Jun 25th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Is the "Sunday Drive" dead in America?

When I was a kid our family use to go for a Sunday drive almost every weekend during the summer. We would explore nearby towns, visit State Parks, visit friends and go out to eat at local restaurants.

In many cases we would go a long way and visit places for no reason at all just because it was there.

Is the family Sunday drive dead?
intellectual56 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Yes - everyone has too much to do to spend a whole Sunday driving around aimlessly. Even the littles kids seem to have all sort of activities planned for Sundays.

I remember a few of these drives from my youth - but I think the real heyday was in the 1920's and 30's. I remember my mother telling me about the drives they did EVERY Sunday out into the country - first mass, then a big "dinner" (really lunch) then a drive with "supper" at the end in a diner as a special treat.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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In the country, they do go to town or to a nearby different town/lake or park for the afternoon hours, often. Still!

We had a lot to do, had a store, and sports, but still went on Sunday rides. To Grandma's or somewhere- even up to the '90's.

But one thing was very different, near me with all who did this. They did not go far.

Most of the places that were recreational, lake/park/or nature center we frequented this way for picnics, are now the suburbs- less than 20 miles away.

We never, ever drove around aimlessly, and I don't know anyone who ever did that- there always was a destination. Either a place like Maple Lake, Little Red SchoolHouse, Wicker Park etc. - you get the idea.
JJ5 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Growing up in the 1970's the family "drive" was a regular occurence for us. My dad would announce we're going for a "drive" and all the kids would hop in the car and we'd spend the afternoon driving around, some times with a specific destination in mind some times not. Usually we'd head to the "country" being the rural area north of our suburban town.

Today, I suspect kids lives are too busy and organized for such aimless (but certainly fun and wothwhile) pursuits.
nohomers is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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A Sunday drive on an interstate, especially for those who commute all week, is no treat.

But I do have very fond memories of our Sunday drives in the 50s in our Studebaker! State parks for a picnic, airports just to watch the planes, Boston harbor to see which cargo ships of which shipping lines had come in, or just leaf-peeping before anyone called it that.

We'd stop at HoJo's on the way home and pick up a few quarts of fried clams ($1/quart), some fries and cole slaw, and watch Disneyland and Omnibus in front of our Raytheon black and white TV.
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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It's still alive for us! When our kids were little we did things they'd enjoy; often parks, sometimes ethnic neighborhoods in the city, etc. Now that they're grown, my husband and I usually drive into the city (Chicago) and check out a neighborhood we've never visited or revisit one we've enjoyed in the past. When our kids are home they usually join us as it's a tradition they very much enjoy too.

It keeps us from going stir crazy when we can't travel. But, most of all, it's my husband's way of unwinding before getting back into the work week.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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We take Sunday drives, and so do a lot of our friends. We started taking them when our daughter was about 6 months old. We could put her in the carseat, and she'd fall asleep and my husband and I could have a conversation without a baby crying.

Maybe that's why our friends all take drives...we have little kids and the carseat puts them to sleep.

We usually explore backroads and small towns around our town.
kureiff is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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We still do it, even though lately we haven't but I said to my wife early this week that we need to start taking day trips again.
zlaor is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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We did this occasionally but my husband says that their drives always ended with a treat - a hamburger from a new restaurant called "McDonalds" ! The kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. My mother used to cluck cluck about my best friend's family who used to go on Sunday drives and end up visiting relatives 'just in time for dinner' according to my mom....Taking a ride in a car or eating at a restaurant are no longer treats for this generation. They'd rather look at video screens.
rbnwdln is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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My parents always took Sunday drives. I loved them except when my father would drive on mountain roads. He always seemed to speed up around the curves and I would start feeling car sick.

My husband and I took Sunday drives sometimes but usually only about once a month. We always let our daughter invite a friend if she wanted to.

I don't know anyone that does this anymore but with our horrible I-80, the cost of gasoline, the heavy schedules children seem to have it is not surprising I guess.

LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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"Taking a ride in a car or eating at a restaurant are no longer treats for this generation. They'd rather look at video screens."

I don't think this is true at all.
kureiff is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Growing up in the 70's, when we weren't doing the Sunday drive to Brooklyn from NJ to visit the Grandparents, we would get in the car for "a drive" - usually my dad would have a destination (a restaurant) that he wouldn't tell us about - other times he would pretend to get lost, surprising us at the end by knowing where he was (usually dinner involved in this too, or perhaps a visit to a family friends house).
julesj66 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 02:39 PM
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I'm with you, Kureiff. Don't know whether my 22 and 18 year olds qualify as "this generation". But I can guarantee you trips and eating out (even though we do it far more than we should!) definitely qualify as treats to them!
CAPH52 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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The NYC area has a whole bunch of scenic "parkways" that were built in the 20's for just this purpose (Garden State Parkway, Taconic, Saw Mill River, Bronx River, Hutchinson River, Merritt). They were winding, landscaped, often running alonside streams - and were perfect for this - but assumed atop speed of about 35.

Of course today some have been widened and others are a menace, since the lanes are narrow, roads are twisty and winding, entrances very short and shoulders often nonexistant. Some have been widened but some remain - and are a lot of fun if you have a quick sporty car that handles well - but really dangerous for SUVs. I've seen numerous of the latter flipped over when the drivers took a turn too fast.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 06:00 AM
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Back when I was a kid, my parents called them one day vacations, not sunday drives. But thats really what they were. My dad owned a small business and worked 6 days a week, mom worked there 5 days a week, and real vacations were rare so they had us kids believing everyone took one day vacations, that only the very rich took extended (more than 2 days)vacations. Drives to parks or sights within an hour or so of home, picnics, county fairs, maybe dinner out.
Back then we thought a real vacation was going to visit our mom's side of the family in Erie PA (1 1/2 hours away) and going to the beach, an amusement park or the zoo (all things we had right at home).
Thanks for bringing back some fond memories with this one
Rachel is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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We did it when I was growing up in the FIFTIES and even though we live in a major metro area we still do it on occasion today...a very pleasant way to spend time IMO.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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We still did this until gas prices topped $3 a gallon. Living in a remote area, a 2-3 hour round trip drive gets expensive, Was a lotta fun, but unless gas gets at least below $4 a gallon they are history for my family.
boom_boom is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Ah, the Sunday drive. In our robin-egg's blue Studebaker station wagon. Living in San Francisco, this is how I grew up aware of the fabulous state parks and beaches an hour or two away from the city. Sometimes it was a short jaunt to Stinson Beach. Sometimes it was an all-day trip to Henry W. Coe State Park or others. A lot of times it was a drive to Half Moon Bay, when it wasn't a "destination" at all - mostly fields of artichokes and brussel sprouts. We'd walk on one of the beaches and always stop at the A&W for a rootbeer float on the way home.

It seems a very long time ago, but it was "only" the early Sixties!
dovima is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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We had Sunday drives when our kids were young. It was to the park for a hike and then out for a frozen custard. DH and I still occasionally take a drive out into the country, mostly in the fall when you can pick up apples, pumpkins, etc.
cd is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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CAPH52 - Your 22 year old thinks going for a ride in the car is a treat?!? Wow.
rbnwdln is offline  

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