The Road Trip
As an adult, I have always had a dream to take a road trip. Just getting into the car and going…donning a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt, not changing my clothes all week, stopping at roadside eateries, sleeping on the road at last minute hotels and motels and up and leaving a tourist destination if it is boring.
David and I decided that we wanted to see more of the US and we wanted to coordinate that with learning more about US history.
Funny, we waited for our first real road trip until we gave up owning our own car.
Steps planning the where, when and how.
- Decide where to go. I now know that there is great fun in the road trip but there is an added element of excitement in traveling to places we have never been. We coordinated our road trip with a visit to my dad in Miami so that became our starting point. Since home is New York City, basically our route was between those two cities, wherever it may lead.
- Schedule the trip. Take into account weather, driving conditions and daylight hours. For us, this meant the weather in the south would be great most of the winter but as we traveled northbound the weather would get more and more wintry. So we tried to push the trip till late March to insure good weather throughout most of the southern states and diminish the probability of snowstorms in the north as we neared home.
- Road trips mean just that; a journey with some set of wheels, this can be bus, train or car. My dream vision featured a car, so we had to rent one. This can be exciting and one can have a vision of a convertible or a Winnebago (and you must see the Al Brooks movie “Lost in America” about a couple that does just that!) and those can be your wheels. David and I just wanted a car, any car that does the job, but there usually an added cost to renting a car at one location and returning it to another. You have to shop around, which David did. Surprisingly, Hertz does not charge that premium and when you join their Gold program, no charge to join, and there are added benefits that give it even more value.
- How to plan your stops. Point at your starting location, Point A with one finger, point at your ending location, Point B with another finger, draw a line between the two. You can visit any spot that peaks your interest on or near the line that connects A and B.
- Do some research. Make a list of all the places of interest along the route and get started checking the distances. Begin a catalogue of Top of The List, must sees and continue to lesser necessary stops. Waze and Google Maps are great sources for looking up distances between tourist sites and are always great guides on the road. I did not want to drive more than 3-3.5 hours at any one time so these were my beginning guidelines.
- Get the ball rolling. Even though David and I are prettty much attached at the hip and spend almost all our time together, I STILL FLIRT! I sent David an enticing email (edited a bit for purposes of the blog) and that launched our “Road Trip”:
“Dear David, Want to join me on a road trip?”
FL – take AIA all the way up the coast, Jupiter Minor league baseball, Cape Kennedy and Saint Augustine
GA: US 17 – St. Mary’s/Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, St. Simon’s Islands and Savannah
SC US 1 – Charleston, Fort Sumter, Beaufort, tons of history and a few movies have been filmed there as well.
VA – Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Richmond
This email started it all.