Road Trip!! Vote on which way we drive!

Do you know that we haven’t been on a vacation or road trip of ANY kind since I got that first-place award in Beaumont (Texas) (*stinky*) back in around 1990 at the Golden Triangle Writers’ Conference? Before that, we had been to Hot Springs over a Memorial Day weekend, but that was ruined because we arrived home to find that my husband’s brother’s wife had been killed on the way home from a family vacation . . . and before that, we hadn’t been anywhere since our honeymoon (which we enjoyed, but which we ended by blowing out the two left tires on the TransAm as we rolled into Richardson on the way to the grocery store so we’d have something to eat in the house) . . . and since then, we just haven’t traveled except on business or on “duty” (meaning a family member or close friend needed help–usually because hesh was in the hospital or worse.) Aaack!! And we have house-to-phobia now, cabin fever, insanity of staying home.

But! BUT! And again, BUT!!

Around the end of April, my closest cousin is going to Savannah with her hubby to participate in a motorcycle event. (Don’t ask . . . ’cause I don’t really know. I only know he’s going to ride up into the mountains with a group that is presumably not the Hell’s Angels.) They’re going to drive. It’ll be a two-day trip, but the countryside is beautiful and we could stop in some interesting towns. We wouldn’t be alone on the road, so that would be cool–we’d follow their truck. (He’s going to ride the motorcycle part of the way, and we could bracket him from the back while she brackets him from the front.)

Okay, well, we have the vacation time, assuming no one gets the flu again and so forth. We could do this!

But! (etc.) Many of y’all know that the place I have always wanted to go back to (and show to my family) is in California. The Big Sur/Pacific Grove/Carmel-by-the-sea area. Highway 1, the 17-mile-drive, Big Sur, the little town of Pacific Grove, the places in Monterey where author John Steinbeck held court, the Monterey Aquarium, Lovers Point beach, and so forth. On the way there, we’d go through Albuquerque (where I have an acquaintance who runs a B&B) and right past the Grand Canyon. However, it’s mostly desert and there’s a lot of “Nothing” to be seen. It’s a little farther, by about 500 miles as the SUV putts. But it’s the place I’ve always wanted us to go!

There’s the dilemma. Should we go on the family trip thing and travel around 1,037 miles (about 15 hours and 36 minutes as the Google drives, but longer because we stop at every tinkle spot and scenic overlook) to Georgia and see the pre-Civil War sights in a town so purty that General Sherman didn’t burn it? OR should we say, “Hell, if we’re gonna roll the tires off the car, let’s go where we have wanted to go,” and travel 1,695 miles to Carmel-by-the-sea (about 1 day and 2 hours by their calculations, but actually much longer, I’ll bet)?

We may not get to go anywhere at all. But if I’m going to spend the money (ga$ at three dollar$ plu$ a glug, and a minivan!) and the time, I’d rather make a sensible choice. So (as tradition dictates in this world) I’m putting it up for a vote!

Have you been to these places? Do you know the route? Have you experienced anything not-to-miss or a weird roadside attraction (such as the Cadillac Ranch or the biggest peach in the world)? Do you have a suggestion? Love to hear it in the comments!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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