I just drove in from New Jersey and boy, are my arms tired!
Ba dum bump!
Wait, that’s wrong. That’s an airplane joke.
My arms aren’t tired at all because I didn’t fly to New Jersey. Also, I’m not a bird.
Maybe I’m breaking that down a little more than necessary.
Maybe you’re clicking awaaaay….WAIT!
Over the past few years, my fondness for road trips has grown immensely. There’s something about being totally in control of where I’m going, when and why I’m stopping, and all kinds of other things.
When I was planning my third annual fall visit to see my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh and the rest of her (our!) family, it occurred to me that perhaps I should try driving instead of flying. We’re “only” about fourteen hours apart by car.
Of course, driving all that way by myself in one day wouldn’t really be the smartest decision, so I did a little bit of geographical research to figure out where I could stop overnight if I split the trip over two days each way. I was overjoyed to discover that Pittsburgh would be an easy stop because I mentored a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER team there this past spring and perhaps they wanted to meet up? (They all did, but only one could, and we had a great dinner!)
As an added bonus, I discovered that Fallingwater, the masterpiece designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (my very favorite!), is located an hour south of Pittsburgh. Visiting Fallingwater has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.
Momo’s home in Columbus is ever-so-conveniently located on the route to/from New Jersey as well, so that was a no-brainer.
I had a blast. Everything about being on the road went smoothly and I got the extra enjoyment of being able to enjoy beautiful fall colors along the way, something that hadn’t occurred to me when I was planning the trip.
The scenery was so beautiful that I ended up making my trip longer by pulling over a few times just to snap some pictures. It was a massive internal struggle along the way: take the time to grab photos, or just GET THERE SOONER? I met myself halfway and made stops because YOLO.
What I found interesting, the more I thought about it, was that now that I’ve become a semi-regular road tripper (I just drove to Memphis and back—1100 miles round trip–two weeks ago, remember?), nine hours in the car seems like only five hours. Or four. The miles fly by. I’m comfortable in the car. I do some of my best thinking in the car (and in a float tank, and in the shower, and while ironing). I can catch up with friends while I’m road tripping. I can–and did–take work calls in the car. In fact, it occurred to me on the way home yesterday that all I need is a secretary to ride shotgun and I’d be all set as far as working on the road goes.
While I worked, caught up with friends, and enjoyed the scenery on the road I also did a lot of thinking about how grateful I am to have the freedom to hit the road. In addition to just having the kind of life circumstances to be able to take off like I do (grown kids, flexible job, etc.) I am so thankful to have a husband who gives me wings. Best husband ever, seriously, and his knowing that this kind of thing makes me happy makes coming home even more of a pleasure at the end of my adventures. He is truly the best.
It was a lot of driving, but totally worth it on all counts and I’d do it again. Round trip mileage was around 2500 (including the side trip to Cape May), which is actually about 500 miles longer than a one-way road trip to Los Angeles.
Which gives me an idea…