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Saturday, March 2, 2024
The Observer

Let's go for a drive

Whenever students discuss coming home for break, many talk about the things they crave. Usually it’s getting food, visiting a certain place or seeing a certain friend. When I am getting ready to go home, the thing I crave the most is going on a drive.

Going on drives has been fundamental to my hometown life ever since my junior year of high school. When my oldest friend got her driver’s license at the beginning of the school year, it became a big part of what my friends and I did together.

There was a certain thrill that came with texting each other to ask if anyone wanted to go for a drive, and then just being able to. This was, of course, after we made sure someone had access to a car and we were complying with the restrictions that New York places on newly licensed drivers (which we definitely did… most of the time).

Sometimes, they were less of an event and more of something that just happened when we were in the car together.

Someone is about to get dropped off, but there’s a really good song playing? Let’s do a quick loop. We’re in the middle of a really good conversation and we want to keep chatting? We can go for a bit longer.

Even though I am well out of high school, I still love a good drive when I go home.

These drives, however, are different. I still go on drives with my friends, but we’re not always home at the same time. Now I can count on my siblings to come with me when I’m home.

Our driving together came to be when the three of us were searching for another activity to occupy our time during the summer of 2020. Since then, our driving routine has been perfected, and it is one of my absolute favorite things to do when I go home.

Picture this: It’s my first full day back in Rye for break. I walk downstairs after getting ready for the day. My older sister, Kaitlin, sits in the living room and asks me if I want to go for a drive. I nod and make my way into the family room where my younger brother, Chris, plays War Thunder on his PS4. I tell him we’re going for a drive. I don’t really ask him if he wants to come; I just assume he’s going to.

We go out to the car (I’m driving, much to my brother’s chagrin) and I start the music. I always ask my siblings if they have requests, but they normally tell me they don’t, leaving me with no option other than to play Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Phoebe Bridgers the entire time.

We make our way to Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up our mobile order (one of the greatest things about having an older sister with a real job is that she pays for my coffee when I come home for break). Then, the real fun begins.

I thought about explaining the exact route we go on, but recounting street names or specific lefts and rights won’t do much other than garner some vague recognition from any readers who live in my area.

Driving these roads are some of my most cherished moments. It started as the place where I asked my older sister questions about starting college, nervously awaiting the start of my first year at Notre Dame. Now, it’s the place where I answer my younger brother’s questions as he’s finishing up his senior year of high school and making his own college decision.

It’s the place where my sister talks about her aspirations for the future and all the different places she hopes to visit in her 20s. It’s also the place where she asks if I’m going to visit her, wherever she ends up (of course I will).

It’s the place where my brother — an aspiring aerospace engineer — tells us about the plane flying over us or explains something he recently learned about rocket engines when we pass our county airport.

Sometimes, it’s the place where we sing (scream?) along to Taylor Swift at top volume.

One time, my dad asked if he could come on one of these drives with us because we seemed to love them so much. Being in that car makes me so happy, so I'm always glad to share that feeling with someone else.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.