SAN DIEGO — A 90-year-old father has a new sidekick riding shotgun for his cross country road trips. In this Zevely Zone I went to Rancho Penasquitos to meet Beth Phillips and her father Loren Phillips.
We interviewed the dad and daughter in a Dodge Roadtrek. About a decade ago, Beth who lives in San Diego, started tagging along with her dad Loren, who lives in Ohio, on long, silly, road trips. "He doesn't mind if I take pictures of him eating pie for breakfast or in his pajamas with his hair all fluffy," said Beth. "If I post something on Facebook with just me, I get like 20 likes but if I post a picture of him, I get like two hundred likes."
So many of Beth's friends wanted to meet her father, she hosted a 'Meet the Parent Party'. Loren has become a Facebook celebrity. "Ha, ha, well everybody has their 15 seconds of fame," said Loren who served for the Coast Guard during the Korean War.
In 2013, Loren lost his wife and Beth her mother. Frances Phillips passed away from breast cancer. "It's tough," said Loren about his wife of 57 years.
"It was very difficult, it happened very, very suddenly," said Beth. Now Beth sits in her mother's chair in the van, while Frances rides upfront on the dashboard in a small decorative urn. "We sprinkle bits, small bits of her ashes on our journeys, in particular her favorite places that we go," said Beth. "We went to Alaska." The 12,000-mile trip lasted 10 weeks. Just when you thought this story couldn't get any sweeter, the dad and daughter told us about their favorite road snacks. "Twizzlers, is definitely one," said Beth. "I like a little ice cream," said Loren who goes by Mr. P.
Loren's Dodge Roadtrek is a restaurant on wheels, in fact, it's an entire home equipped with a sink, stove, microwave, toilet, shower, heater, air conditioner, refrigerator and a top-notch stereo system. Loren performs his own oil changes and more. "I do a lot of my own maintenance. I put my own solar system in. I change my own brakes and do my own lubes," said Loren. How else can you explain, his rig becoming a member of the 350-thousand-mile club? "That is like 14 trips around the world," said Loren.
Every trip that begins with smiles, ends with tears. The father and daughter showed us a funny video of them pretending to cry at the end of one of their journeys. "Bummer. But we get to sleep in our beds tonight and get to be warm and comfy and that's good," said Beth.
Here's to us all, spending time with people we love and driving the wheels off life. "That's priceless, absolutely, priceless," said Loren. "But the good thing is there is another adventure and real soon I hope."
"That's my daddy," said Beth. "We do great together," said Loren.
Loren turns 91-years-old in a few months.. His secret to a long life? Staying away from junk food and eating an apple for lunch.
Watch more Zevely Zone content below: