Photo: Kristen Lee

As long as there are roads, there will be road trips. There’s just something so great about sitting in a car and watching the miles tumble by. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and all that.

Once, when I was little, my family and I were taking a road trip through the Big Island of Hawaii. I forget exactly where we were going, but we decided to pull off into a town for a quick lunch. The town was very small and there was only one place open for lunch, a small family restaurant.

So we went inside and found seats at a kind of plastic table you’d usually see as someone’s patio furniture. The restaurant was empty, except for another family, quietly eating their lunch in the corner.

We ordered and the food came and we proceeded to eat it. Over my beef stew, I remember noticing the father of the other family keep looking over at us. Again and again, he kept looking over. I tried my best to ignore him. Finally, we paid our bill and stood to leave, pretty much at the same time as the other family.

Once outside of the restaurant, the father approached my parents and tentatively asked if they remembered him from their days in college.

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My parents’ faces lit up. They had indeed been friends with the man while in school, some 30 years ago. He had dated one of my mom’s friends. They had not spoken a word to each other since graduation. And they certainly hadn’t planned on being in Hawaii, in that town, in that very restaurant on that very day.

I don’t know how many things had to line up for that to happen, but it happened anyway. We should have bought lottery tickets that day.

What was the strangest road trip encounter you’ve had? Doesn’t have to be with a person, it can be anything. There’s no shortage of weird stuff out there!