What do Ants, Parks, and Roadtrips have in common? Well if your adventures are anything like ours – a lot! But today we’re bringing all of them together to support National Park Trust Kids to Parks Day on Saturday May 19, 2018 and the new Ants Ants Ants album on Friday May 18, 2018 that’s perfect for the road trip to your favorite National Park! The National Park Trust is a nonprofit organization focused on preserving parks and supporting the next generation of park stewards and #KidstoParks Day is a national day of play at parks, big and small, all around the United States.

Hailing from Portland, OR, Ants Ants Ants is the latest creative brainchild of singer/songwriters Johnny Clay and Dave Gulick. Their new album, “Why Why Why”, is a spectrum of smooth peppy pop that builds on the timeless musical stylings of Beatles, Jeff Lynne, Harry Nilsson, and others. To celebrate their new album, we invited Johnny and Dave to join us for a not quite #8isEnoughQuestions interview to discuss Ants, Parks, and Roadtrips.

How did you come up with the name Ants Ants Ants?

Johnny: That’s a good question! We had started working on some of the songs that would become Ants Ants Ants songs, and I had just labeled them “Ants”. Maybe my kids had been watching “Beat Bugs” that day or something and I had bugs on the brain. It was Dave who suggested “Ants Ants Ants” because we had our friend Nat Johnson singing on many of the songs as well, so there were three of us.

Dave: Yeah, I just really liked how Ants Ants Ants rolled off the tongue.

Did you have a favorite Ant (or aunt)?

Dave: I love all my Aunts both near and far.

Johnny: Well said, Dave. I love all my Aunts too!

Did you nag your parents, “Are We There Yet?” when you were kids?

Dave: I can definitely remember a few times growing up where my parents pulled the car over so we could have a brief “time out”.

Johnny: I’m sure I did too, and my two kids certainly do! The idea for this song came about last summer when we drove to Seaside on the Oregon coast. It seemed like the closer we got, the more they asked! The idea for the song “I Spy” came from that trip too.

What are some of your most memorable family trips from when you were a kid?

Dave: I remember very fondly traveling to Yosemite National Park with my family as a kid. The excitement of seeing a new place and exploring with my brother was just fantastic.

Johnny: I grew up in central Texas, so I have fond memories of driving to the coast there. Corpus Christi or South Padre Island were favorite spots. Those were long drives, but my parents made it fun and we’d have a few stops along the way that became family traditions.

Are you planning to take these songs on the road this summer?

Johnny: We are! We’ve got a few shows scheduled around the Portland area this summer and are hoping to make it down to the Austin area in the fall to play a few shows there. The reaction to the album has been really wonderful so far and we’re excited to share these songs with everyone.

What is your favorite national park?

Johnny: My favorite National Park I’ve been to is Redwood National Park in Northern California. It’s such an amazing feeling walking through the forest and staring up at those giant trees. It’s an amazing place. Maybe it’s the Star Wars fan in me, but it just feels like you’re on another planet.

Dave: My favorite National Park would have to be Arches National Park in Utah. What a beautiful place. Something about those sandstone arches. Hiking up to Delicate Arch at sunrise was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.

Thank you Johnny and Dave for taking the time to chat with us and don’t forget that Kids to Parks Day is May 19th! Interested in travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater, musicians like Amy Lee (Evanescence)Lisa LoebAndrew & PollyCaspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States)Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants)Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Tim Kubart, or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Jonathon Sawyer? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families?

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Photo credits: Dylan VanWeelden and Full Van Fun

About National Park Trust

National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. As people spend more time indoors, and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country’s public lands and parks. NPT’s Buddy Bison® School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected in 2015 as a National Park Service Centennial Project. Learn more at: www.parktrust.org

About Ants Ants Ants

With stylistic nods to 1970’s era Sesame Street, School House Rock, and “The Point” by Harry Nilsson, Ants Ants Ants recalls the best elements of a fun and fanciful childhood – the thrill of knocking down a tower of blocks; the fun of imagining what your dog is thinking; a make believe world where nocturnal animals meet in the park at night to play games.

About Full Van Fun

We started Full Van Fun in September 2015 with a simple idea: share stories, interviews, reviews and more from our life as a mom, dad, and seven kids between baby and 14 (3 boys & 4 girls), focused on travel, farm to family food, and family friendly music that the “full van” (i.e. parents & kids) can enjoy. For example, we love to travel with our kids. Over the last 3 years alone, we’ve covered more than 20,000 miles in roadtrips as far north as Saguenay, Quebec, as far south as Key West, Florida, as far east as Sydney, Nova Scotia, as far west as Eureka, California and everywhere in between! We also have a special love for National Park and Parks Canada sites (e.g. National Parks, National Monuments, National Historic Sites, etc) and their programs for children (e.g. Junior Ranger and Parks Xplorer). At Full Van Fun we share stories and tips from our travels including places to stay, things to see, fun activities for kids, etc.