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Texas Experts: DFW area to San Antonio via Killeen????

Texas Experts: DFW area to San Antonio via Killeen????

Old Jul 5th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Texas Experts: DFW area to San Antonio via Killeen????

I'm pretty sure I have more of a problem with the parents involved instead of a travel problem but here goes:

My daughter (18) and two friends (19), all female, all honor students, "good" kids are going to San Antonio for four days this Thursday. Another kid's parents said she can't go without a parent (!) and one of the 19 year-old's parents won't let HER go unless they drive through Killeen.

I've only been in Texas three years and live 20 minutes from DFW in a nice suburb. I was in Austin last month and traveled down I35 and had no problems. We've been to San Antonio at least four times without problems. These parents are freaked out about I35 and insist the girls take smaller roads to be "safe." I think it's a waste of time, and smaller roads, in my opinion, aren't always safer.

Is there anything I'm overlooking here, not being a native? DH and I have always encouraged our own girls to be independent and they've proved themselves time and again.

Anyone have any insight on hidden dangers that I just don't see?
Old Jul 5th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,892
Those parents' logic is ridiculous and completely irrational. I don't know how accurate this is, but I have heard there are more traffic deaths on smaller roads than Interstates. That would make sense because I have always thought 2-lane roads are a lot scarier than any freeway.

As a long-time Austinite I drive I-35 frequently and I don't see it as being any more dangerous than any other road. Taking a different route is a huge waste of time and gas and probably not any safer. These young ladies are all adults and perfectly capable of making their own decisions. When I was that age I would listen to my parents, then do as I please.

If you don't want to encourage them just to do as they please, then you might consider flying them, perhaps on SW Airlines or American. The only bad thing is they will probably not be able to rent a car in SA, since none of them are over 21. However, if they are going to stay in the same area such as the Riverwalk, they might not need a car.

There is nothing you are overlooking and no hidden dangers. The only difference is that you are smarter than these other silly, over-protective parents.
P_M is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2005, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Drove from Aus to SA last week on I35 then later in the week took TX71 From Aus to Llano. I felt a lot safer driving 75mph on the 3 lane divided highway (I35) than the 75mph I was doing on the 2 lane road to Llano (TX71).

I suspect the other parents are recommending you take TX6 then US281. On the way back from SA to Aus I took US281 North. With all the construction and traffic, especially around SA, I35 was definitely a better drive than US281. Lots of cars and trucks pulling onto the road and when you're going as fast as you can in TX you definitely need to pay attention to entries and exits from random side roads.

I agree with PM. From Dallas to SA take I35.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 08:43 PM
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Thank you P_M and J62 for imparting some sane advice. These are really great kids and I like the parents but we just don't see eye to eye on this independence thing.

Two of the kids still don't drive themselves to college!! The kid who can't go to San Antonio is 20 and her sister is 21 and they are not allowed to drive themselves to college 3 hours away. The parents do it!

P_M - We thought of flying but then there is the question of being without a car in SA.

J62 - thanks for the updated info on US281. That is exactly how they would go: to US6 (which I feel can be more dangerous than I35 even though my daughter has driven a dozen times back and forth to school) and US281 to SA.

The parents want a meeting tomorrow to make sure "We're all on the same page." I guess I'm not! I wanted to get my facts straight before I get crazy.

Thank you!
Old Jul 5th, 2005, 09:10 PM
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You could also try this 'logic':

Statistically, most accidents happen within 20miles of home, so once they're farther than that down the road, the chances of an accident drop significantly. Statistically speaking that is.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Having driven on both I-35 and US281, I'd say the girls will be safer on I-35. If they had car trouble, such as a flat, there would be more help accessible on I-35 than on 281, especially in the less-populated areas.

Personally, any parent who won't let their 20 and 21-year olds drive themselves 3 hours to college sound a little paranoid and overprotective...
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:02 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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I've taken the 281 route for scenery once and it added at least 2-3 hours to the trip - my entire family was so mad at me!!!

The road is is hilly and curving and the locals who are used to driving on it, drive very aggressively.

I-35 is a very well patrolled highway - a little too much with my husband's speeding tickets.

So tell the other parents to put that "in their pipe and smoke it"!!
Just kidding!!!

I-35 is definately the safer route.
pepper131 is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Pepper and Christie - two other voices of reason! I'm trying to get your points across - car trouble, extra time, hilly and curvy roads, etc.

I'm afraid I'm fighting a losing battle with these other parents. And I probably made things worse. In order to get my point across about letting kids grow up I told them that we let our middle daughter (16, honor student, good kid) go on trips at the last minute with her best friend and BF's dad who is a pilot. The last trip was supposed to be to Peru (!) but it changed because of seats available (her dad also flies the plane). So the day before the trip they changed it to "somewhere in the Caribbean for two or three days." My husband and I were fine with that.

Just think - what an adventure these kids get to have! Of course, we know and trust the dad (he's flying the plane for pete's sake) and they were well chaperoned.

However, these other parents thought we were nuts - with this missing girl in Aruba problem. And my heart goes out to Natalee's parents, but where is the logic here?? You can't compare the two.

I am still pushing for I35 all the way. DH and I talked to our daughter and said "use your judgement." We told her it would be okay if she "disobeyed" and went I35 all the way. But being the good kid that she is she said, "but Mom, that wouldn't be fair to T's parents."

There is a meeting of the parents this afternoon and I will try my appeals again. DH and I agree that these other girls (while wonderful kids) are way too sheltered and over-protected.

The actual driving experience on these smaller roads that you all have told me about really helps in trying to hold onto my convictions.
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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Honestly, my main concern would be that these sheltered, over-protected young women would get into trouble being on their own in San Antonio, or anywhere for that matter. It doesn't matter how "good" they are. With no street smarts they could get into trouble anywhere. You mention that one of them can't go unless she has a parent with her. So why does it matter what road they travel on if a parent will be going along? Am I misunderstanding the problem?
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Hi StJohn - I may have confused people. There were originally four girls going on this trip. One of the girls (20 yrs old) parents won't let her go at all without a parent in attendance - so it's down to three girls. The other two girls could go as long as they adhered to the parents' driving restrictions.

I, too, heartily agree that these other three girls could get into trouble because of having no street smarts. They just won't be prepared for things that life throws them.

I'm really encouraging my daughter to loosen up and have fun while you're young. She studies hard, has a job. Travel is all about broadening your horizons and giving you life experiences. I think other these girls are sorely missing out.

DH and I are the "rebel parents" I suppose. We lived in So. Cal. until three years ago, all our kids born and raised there. So they are a little (lot!) more street smart. I was shocked to hear that one friend's daughter has never driven on the freeways here after having her license for over a year! Imagine that in So. Cal??
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Wow, I was driving from Houston to Austin and San Antonio alone with my friends when I was 16. We would camp up there for holidays and never had any parents with us. And, to think I thought my own mother was so over-protective.

I can appreciate parents who are very protective of their children in this day and age, but on the other hand, IMO once they are legally adults you have to let them be such. They have to learn to live in the world on their own at some point.

Regarding the topic at hand, I am also in agreement that I-35 would be the safer route.
Statia is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up aggiemom. Even if you can't convince the parents to lighten up, at least these girls will get a chance to be on their own for a while. Naturally parents worry about things happening to their children like the disappearance of the young lady in Aruba. But in my opinion something like that is much more likely to happen to a sheltered child than one who has been allowed to experience life and make mistakes. I hope your daughter and her friends have a great time. They'll love the Riverwalk and the market.
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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I don't know the routes you're driving, but my parents drove me to college because I couldn't have a car on campus (only juniors and seniors could get permits). I only had a car my senior year because of an internship. I don't put that in a catagory of over-protectiveness (and I'm sure my parents suffered from it) but practacality. It was a real pain to have a car on campus (land-locked intown campus) and following the parking rules. City streets were actually closer but had 2- or 4-hour limits.

It probably was a pain for my Dad to come and get me from school (1 2/3 hours from work, just over an hour from home). I relied on public transporation and friends with cars while on campus.

ncgrrl is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Hi ncgrrl - as far as the car on campus, yes they're allowed. My daughter has hers and a covered parking space to boot. These other girls (20 and 21) are not allowed to hitch a ride with my daughter home, even though we live about a mile apart. The parents pick them up and bring them home all the time.

StJohn - I was going to say what you did - that kids who have been sheltered CAN end up in serious trouble by virtue of their non-preparedness.

I had another talk with my daughter and she said she would drive on I35 all the way if the other girls were in agreement (the other girls would be disobeying their parents) but DD thought that since they were all over 18 it was okay. And I agree.

Now I have to get my points across at this "meeting" - which also blows my mind. I mean, the kids are only going for 3 nights! You wouldn't believe the itinerary that they had to write to "comfort" the other parents, accounting for nearly every minute of their trip.

I hope, too, that the other girls get a taste of "living" and start to get more adventurous.

Of course, I want all my kids to be safe all the time, but living in the world we live in there are no guarantees for anyone. You teach them well and hope for the best.

(Did I mention that one of the girls on the trip is in the Naval Academy and is learning to fly F-16's?! - where do her parents think SHE will end up in a few years??!!)

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant and for all the support.
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Yikes, they can't even ride home with your daughter?

You know, if it was a boyfriend instead of parents who were this controlling, I would worry about abusive relationships. Maybe we should worry anyway?

By the way, I was a 'good' kid with decent grades and I did a lot of stupid things. My guess is these kids have done some stupid things away from the prying eyes of their parents. I hope the friends don't go too wild in San Antonio. And at their age, they could go off and marry some soldier they meet over the weekend.

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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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As the mother of two adult daughters, now 26 and 30, I certainly understand your frustration. I was also considered a more *liberal* parent. I lived in the SF Bay area for 11 years, so maybe we should blame it all on that lovely state ;-)

I just wanted to give you a little advice about the parental meeting. Listen and try to hear their concerns. If you go in with an agenda and preach, you will not be heard. If you are open to compromise, perhaps this will have a happy outcome for the girls.

We all have different styles of parenting and it is dangerous territory to say anything that could be construed as judgement of another parent. This is the voice of "been there, done that" speaking ;-)Good luck and please do let us know how it goes !

MarionCK is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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Hey Marion - love, love, love the Bay Area, by the way! Was just there for a couple days last week.

Anyway, I'm not able to attend the "meeting" due to having to wait for Mr. UPS guy for my DH.

I have talked with another Mom on the phone and relayed the information I got here about US281, US6 difficulties. And she actually seemed to understand and was quite receptive. In fact, she felt that the decision should be up to the driver (mostly my daughter who will share driving with her daughter). She felt confident that my daughter was by far the most experienced driver (and she is). I think this lady could be on my side....

I just found out that, in fact, an additional girl was supposed to go but her parents pulled the plug on it this morning. So sad, really. My daughter was getting a little bummed out.

Nc - I was a good kid, too, and of course did stupid stuff. Sometimes I'm amazed I'm still here! We ALL do. I think the difference is being "allowed" to do stupid stuff young enough and in a controlled enough way that you actually learn from it and don't end up hurt or dead (if that makes sense...)

I'll keep you all posted on the happenings. Thanks again for the support.

At this point, I just want the trip to be salvaged and for them to have enough fun without the pall of two friends not being allowed to go hanging over them.
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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#1. For all the reasons previously cited, I-35 is the safer and better option.

#2. Though the function of a family raising children is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to function independently - and if that hasn't happened by age 19 it may be too late! - it is amazingly common (at least here in Texas) to encounter such situations with selectively hyperprotective parents. Oddly, it is very often the same type who do things like purchase alcohol for their underage kids' parties, citing the twisted rationale "I'd rather them do it at home than out somewhere."
Maybe it is natural selection at work?
Seamus is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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Personally, I love taking 281. The scenery is beautiful and it's by no means a deserted road. The traffic on 35 in Austin can be hellish and there's a lot of construction going on right now, too.
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Seamus - you hit the nail on the head! I love Texas for a lot of reasons but I have found the exact situations you state and they can be frustrating for us "outsiders." (I don't mean to imply Texans make you feel like outsiders - overall they are the most friendly and down home welcoming bunch I've met in this country.) It's just some of these parents we've dealt with amaze me at what they let/won't let their kids do. We didn't seem to encounter it very often in So. Cal.

It appears that my appeals to logic and common sense have won over the other parents for this trip, at least. The girls will be traveling on I35, with everyone's blessings. Now I pray that everything goes smoothly or I may be in the doghouse!!

Thanks everyone for your help and, especially, letting me rant and rave. I did not want to complain to my daughter because she already felt bad enough about her friends not being allowed to go.

Jayne - thanks for your input and being brave enough to be the lone dissenting voice here. I'm sure 281 IS beautiful (as many Texas roads are) but I just felt it was out of the way and still less safe than a major highway in spite of the construction, although it appears that 281 also has some construction. But thanks.

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