1. My son’s feet don’t smell anywhere near as bad as they did on our last cross-country drive, when we had to tie his sneakers to the ski rack.

2. The best way to see St. Louis is to drive right through it.

3. My sweet daughter is just as sensitive to being teased as I was when I was her age, which is something my father would call “revenge.”

4. When the kids fart, they don’t laugh hysterically anymore. Instead they say, “Bombs away.”

5. Lunch at Jack-in-the-Box goes down easy, stays uneasily, and leaves diseasedly.

6. They spray the corn fields at night, which means not only am I ingesting Round-up every time I eat anything non-organic or drink anything with corn syrup in it, I’m also breathing it.

7. While driving for 35 hours, there’s a lot of time to reflect. My conclusion: I am a lucky man. I have the best wife in the world. I have the two best children in the world. I have the best big brother and best little sister anyone could ask for, and my mother is a cutie-pie who bakes a huge crumb cake for the kids every time we visit. I have two great best friends, too, both named Jim, and they both happen to live on the route from New York to Denver, and they both stock really good beer in their refrigerators

8. Kansas is not always interminably hot and boring. At the end of a still, cool, tornadoless day, driving toward the red sun setting behind the wind turbines, it is starkly beautiful.

(Missouri, on the other hand, is missourible, no matter what time of day you drive through it.)

9. There is such a thing as a little too much electronic music.

10 Gas, hotels, and food: $774.00.Driving across the country with your two grown children, knowing you may not ever do such a thing again and that you’re over fifty now so it’s possible that you’ll drop dead any minute and by the way they’re both in serious relationships and before you know it they’ll have their own homes and families probably far away from where I live: Priceless.