Road Trip.


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
~St. Augustine

I mentioned last week that, even in the midst of my writing frenzy, I’ve been finding time each day to squeeze in a couple chapters of Claire Cook’s TIME FLIES. Not only do I relate to the main character’s fear of driving on highways (I am totally that person who will go an hour out of the way if it means avoiding the interstate) and love of anything shore-related, but I also adore the idea of two friends going on a road trip to their high school reunion. It reminds me of a road trip I took with my friend Sara back in 2009, a two-week journey full of sightseeing, disobedient GPS navigators, and, above all, wonderful memories. Nearly four years later, I still think about it often and it never fails to make me smile from ear-to-ear.

roadtrip

Charleston (WV), Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston (SC), Savannah, Charlotte, Charlottesville.

I’d never been farther south than Virginia prior to this trip, so getting to experience places in Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas was a treat. I fell in love with Atlanta within fifteen seconds of setting foot on its soil – so much so that I proceeded to set three novels in the city – and could have spent weeks soaking up the unique magic in Nashville. Within two weeks, we visited spots like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN, Stone Mountain Park, the Kangaroo Conservation Center, Amicalola Falls, Rainbow Row, Folly Beach, Monticello, and UVA. We saw Music Row, walked through Centennial Olympic Park, ate cupcakes on the edge of a fountain, took a riverboat cruise, found the most fabulous little pancake house, drove along Blue Ridge Parkway and took in its breathtaking views, and more. We met up with friends, spending hours with some and days with others. We nearly got attacked by a snake at Magnolia Plantation, we fought with an automated ticketing machine that never worked, we circled the adorable town of Marietta forever looking for a place to watch July Fourth fireworks, we mispronounced the name of Demonbreun Street for an entire day until my friend Karly finally asked someone to help. We had an amazing, incredible, buoys-you-up-with-joy, unforgettable time.

And so I must thank Claire for inspiring another trip down memory lane. As Melanie and BJ travel along on their journey, I’ve been getting to relive mine. I’d love to visit the south again someday soon – I always say that if Atlanta wasn’t so far away, I’d move there in a heartbeat – and, similarly, I’d love to explore other parts of the country, too. One day … :)

Anyone else ever taken a road trip? Where did you go? What was your favorite part?

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21 thoughts on “Road Trip.

  1. I’ve taken a road trip to Cincinnati but it wasn’t as cool as yours. I hope to travel down south and see all of these wonderful places. Great pictures and best of luck with everything :)

  2. Oooh I love road trips. Every summer when we were growing up, my parents would pack us up to head somewhere. We’ve driven from Vancouver to Alaska, and to California, and all the states in between. They’re tiring but so much fun.

    • Oh, how fun! Did your parents always choose the destination or was it a group decision? Either way, how cool to see so many states that way. It must have been fascinating to be in Alaska … even just in pictures, it looks like such a beautiful place.

  3. So…I have this feeling that some of these places that have not been included in your past books might wind up in some future ones? ;)

    • And you asked me to take that picture in Nashville! Goodness, it seems like such a long time ago now, definitely more than four years. Thanks for all your kind comments, both now and then!

  4. Oh, too many road trips to name. My parents are big on those. I guess two of the more memorable ones (mainly because I was older when we took them) were to Big Bend National Park on the east side of Texas (where we took a canoe over a narrow river into Mexico to get lunch in a border town) and a different one to Mount Rushmore (which was just cool — AND the audio guide was narrated by Avery Brooks from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Of course I recognized his voice without anyone telling me hehehe).

    • How fun! That canoe ride sounds like such a neat experience. How many people get to say “oh, I had lunch today in Mexico.” It must be really nice to page through your memories of all the trips … what a special scrapbook it is now. :)

  5. I’ve never taken a road trip. I’m just like you…I HATE driving on busy roads, especially when I’m not sure where I’m going, but I love the idea of road trips. The freedom of them, the new experiences. I love traveling and definitely want to do it more!

    • I was lucky – Sara loves to drive and was happy to be behind the wheel the entire time. We’d probably have ended up in Canada if I was driving … or Mexico … or at the very least on all the slower backroads without the high speed limits! :P

  6. Road trips are awesome. I did one from my home town in Victoria all the way over to Adelaide in South Australia, up the centre to Darwin back in 2007. Then Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand in 2010. Great adventures!

    I didn’t realise they had a whole kangaroo conservation centre in the U.S. Awesome sauce!!! Fun fact: There are nearly two times as many kangaroos in Australia than there are people.

    • That sounds like such a great time! Did you go with friends or family? Either way: so fun!

      Oh my gosh, and I am officially SUPER JEALOUS of you, getting to live somewhere with all those kangaroos! They are just adorable. The conservation center is in the mountains of Georgia, and it’s awesome — most of it is open space where you can see the animals (there are others, like wallabies, in addition to kangaroos), but there are also informational talks, trolley rides through the fields, and things like that. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip, especially when we got to see a baby kangaroo in its mama’s pouch!

      • I went with a school group both times :) It was so much fun.

        I correct myself: there are MORE than twice as many, I apologise. The little ones in the pouch are the most adorable thing ever…

  7. I wrote half of a road trip novel inspired by several road trips my sister and I took as teens to North Carolina at the spur of the moment…without reserving a hotel…or packing. Oh to be young again. :)

    • Oh boy … no packing and no hotel reservations? I never could’ve handled it! I am totally that person who researches every hotel forever before deciding on one (aka: a clean freak/germaphobe). Ha. It sounds like an amazing time, though, just to be so carefree and go where the road takes you.

  8. Your trip sounded like so much fun! I’d love to take a road trip sometime! The last time I went on one was when my family and I went to Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas. We drove from Arizona to the two other places and it was fun. I’d like to do something like that again. :)

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