Tag Archives: road trip

Asheville, The Art of War and Cheryl Strayed

IMG_7658I started writing this from the Chili’s across from the Comfort Inn we’re staying at in Dentsville, South Carolina tonight.

The kids are staring at me after I just scolded them for replying to the waitress with their typical “ya,” or barely discernible grunt meant to infer  that yes, they would indeed like fries with their burger.

“This is the South, where people are polite, and when they ask you if you want fries with your burger, you say yes please,” I told them.

They replied with those barely discernible grunts meant to infer that they indeed understood what I was saying.

After a long evening with Jon in Cincinnati, I was up early, as is my usual habit. I showered, dressed and sat in bed for a while waiting to wake my sleeping wife and kids.

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Whatever happened to the great American family road trip?

Captain

It’s 11 p.m. on a Sunday night in Panama City. The air conditioner in the cheap hotel we’re in reads 68. The kids are sleeping off three days of sun, sand and water.

There is a commercial on television featuring a dating site for farmers, ranchers and good, ol’ country folk. And there is a plate of grilled Gulf shrimp on the bed and another with discarded shells.

The kids filled their bellies before crashing to sleep drained and content.

Cheryl and I wash ours down with a bottle of cold sauvignon blanc procured at a Winn Dixie on the way back to the hotel.

We’re all sunburned and fun fatigued, which, in spite of the negative connotations, are the best things to be at the end of a great vacation.

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Living Spontaneously: Losing my travel companions

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Pit stop at the fastest place on earth.

After a rough week of being sick and then dealing with the devil more than usual during a shortened work week, the weekend loomed like a colorful piñata.

The potential was palpable, but I would have some convincing to do.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we used to pack the kids up on a whim and drive to Mexico for spring break.

The first time we did it was after a particularly rough quarter at college. I wasn’t completely convinced I was doing the right thing, and the stress was eating away at me.

I discovered we had $1,000 leftover from student aid that could be used for living expenses , and at that point in time, I needed to do some living.

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Driving South

Alabama-Mississippi state line.
Alabama-Mississippi state line.

I have believed certain things about the South for a long time. Long-held suppositions that I fully believed I would either see born out or completely dispelled were I to go there.

I was not wrong.

We left Chicago around 4:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, enjoying, as we do, driving at night.

I thought about why we like to do this.

It started with the kids. When they were very young, it was much easier to travel by night so they would sleep. Many of our drives were around 6 to 8 hours in length, which gave us plenty of time to get somewhere and still enjoy some sleep before getting on with our journey the next day.

The question in my mind yesterday was why do we still do this even now that the kids are grown?

The answer, for me, was evident when we woke up in a chilly, but sunny Nashville, Tennessee.

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