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Monday, June 15, 2009

Ode to the Summer Road Trip

Ah, the open road. Doesn't that just look beautiful? Wouldn't you love that?

Today it finally *finally* feels like summer in Chicago. I got to hang out at an outdoor cafe with my friends Kelly and Becky and their baby girls. Becky (what a brave soul), road tripped all the way from Denver to Chicago with her four month old daughter. (She would not recommend trying it!) And it got me thinking about road trips.

I don't know about you, but my family vacations were always taken in the car. We flew to Florida once when I was thirteen, but other than that, my parents packed us up in the mini-van and off we went. Our longest trip was from Chicago to Detroit to Toronto to Montreal to Maine to Boston and back. I was ten years old and remember it being pretty fun. Except when the air conditioner broke in Boston. My parents never fixed it and we had that car about six more years!

I haven't been on a long road trip like that in ages. I went down to New Orleans from college in Ohio back when I was 18, but other than that, it has mostly be shorter jaunts. Last summer there was an impromptu day trip to Iowa (I did it with my best friend about a week after a dear friend of ours past away; it was a weird head-clearing sort of thing) and there was the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to San Francisco. I loooooooved that. I would actually love to take the PCH all the way up through Oregon and Washington if I could. I'd also like to do Route 66 from here to California.

Those are my biggest dream road trips, but the one I'm obsessed with right now is driving to South Dakota. I want to see the Badlands and go to Deadwood. It could be because I'm currently watching Deadwood, but I've actually been fixated on South Dakota for about a year now ever since hearing about a friend's road trip through there.

One of my WIPs centers around a girl driving all over the country. (Hmmm, a little bit like Louisa in I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. I seem to have a fixation on traveling to find yourself, maybe because the road is a good place to do that.) I wish I had the time and money to just follow my character's path for research purposes, but sadly I don't think I'm going to be able to do any road trips this summer.

What about you? Got a road trip you are taking? Or a dream road trip? Please tell me about them and let me live vicariously through you!

PS for those of you looking for good summer reading to take on any potential road trip. I'm running a contest for an ARC of Ballads of Suburbia this week. Here are all the details, enter to win!


Heather said...

It's crazy that you mention going up the PCH to Oregon! My family is doing just that this August and I'm SO thrilled. I'll take photos to share with you. :)

Most of my friends think I'm crazy for this, but I thoroughly prefer roadtrips over flying. It's so much more of an adventure!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Oh Heather, color me jealous. And roadtrips are more of an adventure. Flying is all about the convenience!

Danielle Joseph said...

Steph, I agree, road trips are a lot of fun. Since I have a new baby who hates the car, we are keeping our family road trip to the west coast of Florida this summer and no further. But in the past we've driven from Miami to Atlanta and also Cary, North Carolina. It's a lot of fun and once the kids get older, I hope to go further. Enjoy your summer!

little miss gnomide said...

I love road trips! When David & I moved from SF to Chicago, we took Route 66 almost the whole way. It was totally awesome. Loved every minute of it. Saw the Grand Canyon. Got stuck in a brutal rainstorm/flood in Oklahoma. There was no room at the motel, so we slept in the car all night in a Walmart parking lot.

I really want to drive to New Orleans. I think that would be a great trip.

Oh, and I love roadside attractions!