Friday, June 22, 2012

I Don't Drive Angry, But I Certainly Don't Drive 55

Sammy Hagar or Eddie this question really stupid?

Back in my younger days, when my body was undamaged and unravaged by genetics, I loved to drive. Short trips or long, it didn't matter, so long as I was behind the steering wheel, I was a happy camper.

When I was in my late 20's, I used to take these monster driving vacations, and I used to drag my wife along on these fiascos. Of course, being the dorky dumbass who really didn't take in account how upset his wife would progressively get throughout the years, I would plan these things that took in account zero for sightseeing.

Think I'm kidding?

On my honeymoon, we did a driving tour of New England. Kind of. Sort of. I mean, we drove straight up through Connecticut and Massachusetts into Vermont and New Hampshire, before wandering back down to Connecticut. With no sightseeing. Being that my wife was completely besotted with me, it really didn't matter that no sightseeing was involved.

The next driving vacation I took, which was the first of two, was driving US 6. Now for those of you who may not know this, US 6 starts in Cape Cod Massachusetts and ends in Bishop, California (and vice versa for those of you who live on the left coast). It meanders through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and finally California.

Being that I was really too lazy to start in Massachusetts and back track, we simply took off for our one and only intended destination on the trip: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Five days out, and five days back. And the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in my humble opinion, was overpriced and only semi-impressive.

Anyways, a few years later, I decided to do the US 6 thang again, this time starting off in Iowa (which is where we turned around at the first time), then trying to travel to California. So we (meaning me, I did all of the driving, Joanne was the navigator), took I-80 to Iowa, and continued down US 6. Problem was that back then (late 90's) there was a lot of construction going on, so we wound up taking tons of detours in Iowa and Nebraska.

Eventually got as far as Sterling, Colorado before calling it quits and heading home. We did managed to see a movie, "Gone In 60 Seconds", but other than that, no sightseeing.

At this point, Joanne was more than a little miffed that our last few vacations contained absolutely no sightseeing, so she told me in no uncertain terms, that next time, we better do some sightseeing. I said fine, so on the very last normal vacation I would take for about six years, we took my daughter Jenelle to the Topeka, Kansas Zoo.

Naturally, being the very bad trip planner that I was turning out to be, we arrived at the zoo on a Sunday afternoon. Suffice to say, there wasn't much to see since most of the zoo was closed for the day. So the trip to the zoo was a major league bust. But hey, at least spending two days in Pennsylvania because I stupidly decided to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike (a lesson not learned and was doomed to repeat six years later) wasn't a total loss.

In 2008, I made plans to visit a former chat room bud out in Indiana. However, due to unforeseen complications, we had to kill about three days before we could actually visit. Remembering the threat that Joanne made back in '02, I decided to some sightseeing prior to the visit.

Prior to our visit in Indiana, we stopped at:

1} The Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
2} The Zane Gray Museum, Norwich, Ohio.
3} The Columbus Zoo, Columbus, Ohio.

I highly recommend the first two. If you love American history and the Civil War, that museum is the be all to end all. When we were there, we got see a little of this:


Also, for the longest time, the header to my blog featured this wonderful statue/sculpture:

If you like all things about Zane Gray and US 40/The National Highway, you have to check out the museum sponsored by the Ohio Historical society.

When we were Indiana, we didn't do much sightseeing beyond going to the The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. I took loads of pictures, but they didn't come out very well, so I really can't show anything from there, except maybe, this:

Since that vacation in '08, I don't do much in the way of long road trips anymore. But, just the same, I still think about hopping into my new car with just the wife, and doing another ten day road trip. Someday, I may do that, and possibly visit some of my blogger friends. Until then, I'll have to be satisfied in simply reading about everyone else's driving adventures.


  1. my wife is a trip planner par excellance so I let her plan it all. I used to like to drive too. Don't like long trips anymore. Too hard on my legs and back.

  2. I have the traveling bug in me as well and love hitting the road. Must be wanderlust, right?

  3. Charles: When I took my vaca in '08, I actually sat down with the wife and planned out our route and figured our finances for the week (One thousand dollars doesn't really go that far for a one week vacation anymore).

    Those days are long gone, and I'm in the same boat as you, only it's my legs that are the main culprit for any kind of long distance driving.

    David: Absolutely. Still got the wanderlust bug myself, and once things calm down, I'm hoping to do mini trips again with the wife.

  4. I think I remember seeing that glass installation in Indy - one of my favorite museums :)

    I like road trips OK. It's certainly nice seeing the country and the landscape! I'm not a fan of driving at night, though. I am clearly better at planning things than my young man, so I forsee a lifetime of it being my responsibiity to identify the cool sights to see in advance lol

  5. Callie: Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    My wife and I thought it was a pretty cool museum when we went. A bit overpriced (tickets were about $25 per) but it was a very enjoyable experience.

    I'm not a big fan at driving at night either, but planning a trip is usually the exception to the rule. I enjoy doing things on the fly and on my last vaca, even though we planned our stops (except for the museum, which wasn't), we motel/hotel hopped.

  6. The longest I've ever driven is about 12 hours to Washington, DC. I did that a few times by myself and the last time I decided flying there would be good, too.

    Is that a Chuhuly sculpture in that last photo?

  7. Lynn: On the last vaca road trip, I did two 10 hour blocks on the way home. First one got me from Castleton, IN to Fort Washington, PA and the last got me from there to home here in CT.

    I do not know if that's a Chuhuly sculpture. I did take a shot of the base from underneath, and of course, I didn't really pay attention to the explanation about how the sculpture was created. It's quite large as it stretches about three to four floors.

  8. Ha -- you sound just like my husband! :) He's always been the same way -- if we go on a road trip, his mission is just to get from point A to point B... meanwhile, I'll see something that looks interesting along the way, and suggest we stop to look, but he never wants to take the time. And we also drove on our honeymoon -- from Austin, TX to Toronto... and we saw absolutely nothing until we got to Niagara Falls! :)

    But he has mellowed a bit in the last few years, and we've actually taken a few trips where he's allotted more time to slow down and check out more than just the highway. :)

  9. That last one is Dale Chihuly, right? I saw one very much like it in a museum, but in pastels.

    I love sightseeing but being in the car for more than a couple of hours makes me claustrophobic. That being said, I love driving my car (not in traffic), too.

  10. Glad your wife taught you how to enrich your life by actually sight-seeing instead of just driving!

  11. Reminded me of a trip we took with one of our young grandchildren to see a fun and historic location a few states away. It was beautiful driving weather and we could not wait to arrive. Reaching the gates we read that sign that said, "park closed in October". Yep,it was October. At least we enjoyed the drive and got to spoil the grandson so he didn't care that much. Call ahead folks. LOL

  12. Lisa: On my trips, I usually took the scenic routes out (hence US 6) and the highway back, only because we only had ten days to play with for vacation.

    But yeah, sightseeing usually was not on our to-do list of things you do on a vacation.

    I would like to think that I've gotten better, but I won't know for sure until I take another road trip with the wife. :D

    M: Like I said to Lynn, I'm not sure, but I'll have to take everyone's word for it, since I never was one for enriching my life with different kinds of art until very recently.

    I never have claustrophobia when it comes to being in cars. I am, however, the world's worst passenger. The only way that that you can get me into a vehicle as a passenger w/o me throwing a conniption fit, is if I'm in an ambulance.

    Debra: Yup. :D

    Granny Annie: Your story sort of reminds me of "Vacation" when the Griswold's finally arrived at Wallyworld, only to find it was closed for renovations.

  13. As you know I'm not a driver, but I do love to fly down the highway in the passenger seat, preferably with the window down, taking in all the sights and feeling the wind in my hair.

    That being said, a couple of hours on the road in a day is plenty for me, and I surely wouldn't want to drive all the way to a new place without stopping to sight-see.

  14. S.R.: A couple of hours on the road per day is about all I can safely handle now.

    I do enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of my state whenever I have to do those kind of road trips though.

  15. I love to travel but hate the traveling part of it. Get me to my vacation destination in a flash and I am a happy guy.

  16. Bearman: I'm kind of like that now. I have a majorly short fuse when it comes to traveling, either personal or business, so the sooner I get there, the happier I'll be.

  17. What a sad vacation tale!
    I've still never been to Universal Studios or Bush Gardens Zoo- The places my sisters at the time I was there refused to go. Now i don't have the time, car, or money to be able to drive there. I drove from Cape Cod to the Florida Keyes n back in 2 week period, 3000 miles, visiting relatives n only staying in one spot (boyfriend in Miami) 2 days. I was so tired of driving! Oh n gas was under a buck per gal! $88 for the whole trip!

    Sorry the comments above aren't on. All friends should be so fondly thought of-

    I could see you trekking to go to a concert of old fave artists for a trip next...

  18. Snaggle: I went to Busch Gardens when I was probably 15 or 16. It was okay, I think.

    The vacation tale wasn't really meant to be sad, but more like revisiting memories of better times.



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