Tag Archives: road trip

Midnight In The Garden: A Road Trip

Did I mention my little road trip to Daytona Beach, Disney World, and Savannah?  Well, it’s happening right now!  I left last Thursday and drove from NJ to FL in one day.  Treated my younger cousin (freshie at a college in Daytona) to a whirlwind Disney weekend.

Tonight finds me in one if my favorite American cities: Savannah, GA.  ‘The Book’, as it’s locally known, gave me my first introduction .  My mom and I made our first trip down in 2001 and this marks my fourth trip.

‘Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil’ may have inspired my inital visit, but this unique and charming city keeps drawing me back.

Has a book (or movie) ever inspired you to travel?

P.S. Hyatt hotel, are you serious with your $10 wi-fi charge?  Will you charge for AIR next?

P.P.S.  I totally circumvented the ludicrous fee by typing this post on my iPhone…so suck an egg, Hyatt!

Travel Guides: Use Them or Lose Them?

My husband and I take a Homeric odyssey by car each July and two to five smaller trips during the rest of the year–sometimes I fly solo and sometimes we go together.  Putting together our road trip takes Herculean effort–luckily, I love to do reserach and organize itineraries and schedules.

Orchestrating parties, trips, and other seemingly daunting tasks, especially when under a tight deadline, is sport for me.  This love of planning compliments my travel obsession and that’s why you’ll find me pouring over travel books, magazines, and websites all through the year. 

For our annual road trip, I have a giant accordion file where I stuff pages ripped from magazines and articles printed from the internet.  By May, the file is usually filled to bursting with places to visit, stay, or see and sheaves of restaurant suggestions.

In the pre-internet era, I called on my dear friends Fodor’s, Frommer’s, and Let’s Go to get ideas and information about my trips.  In the last few years, I’ve relied more on websites to guide me, though I did take out two or three books from the library for this year’s trip (old habits die hard).

travel books

A few of my travel guide books--one is a library book.

I do a fair amount of research on Trip Advisor, though recently they’ve had some issues with review integrity.  I tend to read reviews with a grain of salt and just use the website for ideas.  I also post reviews to help other travelers on their way.

I plan about 75% of our trip beforehand, leaving the remaining 25% to chance and suggestions from locals.  I’ve found, through trial and error, that if I plan too much we don’t have enough downtime to relax and if  I plan too little, we get bored.

By now you know that I’m a curious person and like to know if other people have better or more efficient ways to do things that I do, so I’m turning this over to you guys.

  • When you travel, do you use travel guidebooks to set your course or do you just use the internet for research? 
  • If you don’t plan at all (*gasp*) please tell me how that works too!
  • Do you have a great local gem (in the US or Canada) that we need to check out next year’s road trip?  (We’ll pick our Summer 2010 destination in August so toss out some ideas!)

*There have also been scandals in the book form of travel guides–see Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm for details.

Mama don’t take my kodachrome away…

I’m turning 35 (thirty-five!!) in a few days and my husband and family chipped in to buy me a new digital camera.  The camera arrived today and since we’re leaving on our annual road trip in a few days, my husband was merciful enough to give me the camera tonight so I could read the book and test it out before we leave.

With this camera, I graduate from a point and shoot to a digital SLR.  I have a film SLR and have been not-so-secretly pining for a digital for a while.  I was having some fun tonight, firing off shots of a few of my favorite things.

new cam markers

new cam super

new cam perfume

I can’t wait to use this camera outdoors–the road trip will provide ample opportunity I’m sure!  Some highlights include:

  • A visit to a drive-in movie–we’re going to see the new Johnny Depp film under the stars!
  • Riding a train through the woods, along a river.
  • Body sliding down a natural water slide in a Vermont river.
  • Nosing around the town where my paternal grandfather spent his childhood.
  • Visits to independent bookstores, antique shops, and farmers’ markets.
  • A trip to the new Woodstock Museum–this August marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock–my dad was there way back when!

Compared to our previous trips, this one is a bit tame.  We’ve been to a rodeo in Wyoming, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, The Mitchell Corn Palace, The Madonna Inn, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Memphis, Graceland, Dollywood, Nashville, Houston, Austin, Montana, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cadillac Ranch, and more–all by car! 

What’s on YOUR summer calendar?  Are you going away?  Taking a ‘stay’cation right in your own backyard?  I’m sure that no matter what our plans, we all share one thing–we’ll have plenty of books to read!