Road Trip!

I love road trips.

I have so many great memories of vacations on the road with our kids including one epic trip covering thousands of miles visiting a half dozen National Parks.

Sometimes, if Peter’s work schedule was too crazy, the kids and I would set off in the car and Peter would fly to meet us at our destination. A win-win for everyone.

My recent adventures  involved a road trip from Chicago to Boston and back again.

My sister-in-law, Kate, was kind enough to do the front end of the journey with me.

road trip

On Monday morning, in a car filled to the brim with goodies from my daughter’s baby shower, we hit the road.

We were well stocked with our road snacks of choice: Goldfish crackers, Twizzlers and Krispy Kreme donuts. Culinary bliss!

One of these days I would love to take a long, meandering road trip, stopping along the way as the spirit (and the local attractions) move me.

Although this was not that trip – we needed to get to Boston to get ready for the next baby shower and to spring Kate’s puppies from the kennel – we decided to take notes for the future.

Remember when I said my dream was to visit a winery in each of the 50 states? Along the way we saw signs for wineries in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts! I could check off five states in one trip!

We also passed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I’ve never been there and would love to go.

Other Halls of Fame available along the I-80/I-90 corridor include but are not limited to:

  • The Professional Football Hall of Fame
  • The Boxing Hall of Fame
  • The Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame
  • The Basketball Hall of Fame

Be still my Hall of Fame heart!

Are you a fan of the I Love Lucy show? Then you would want to know that the Lucy & Desi Museum in Jamesport, NY is on this route.

But the most exciting place, the attraction that almost made us throw our schedule out the window, taking every ounce of our willpower to resist:

The Jello Museum

I’m not kidding.

My bucket list just got a little longer.

We broke the road trip into two days but did not have a particular place picked out to stay for the night. We thought we’d just press on until we felt like stopping. After seeing a sign like this, though, we were compelled to drive on a bit further.

Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers

Alas, we made it to Boston safe and sound, unloaded all the baby gifts and kicked off another week of festivities.

Finally it was time for me to drive back to Chicago, solo this time.

Armed with my Garmin GPS and Google Maps on my iPhone I was ready to go.

I took a different route on the return trip so that I could stop overnight in Pittsburgh to see my pals Byff and Marie.

My GPS gave me great confidence even though I had never traveled that particular route. Great confidence until it went crazy in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania.

You know how the screen shows your car on the road, indicating your progress on the path? Well, on the screen my car was shown driving through the cornfields on the side of the road while the sweet voice of the Garmin launched into a soliloquy:

“Make a u-turn, recalculating, turn left on Butternut Lane, recalculating, bear right, recalculating, continue for 102 miles, recalculating, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around, recalculating…”

Was I ever glad to have my iPhone and Google Maps as a back up. (And I was VERY glad I had not yet updated my IOS software.)

Phew…. back on track.

In the mountains of Pennsylvania, the fall foliage put on a beautiful show. I wish I could have taken some pictures but just as texting while driving is monumentally foolish, the same could be said for taking pictures while driving.

One of the most memorable sights along the way was when I crested a hill and saw an immense structure rising up in the middle of the valley.

What the heck is that, I thought.

I’ll give you a hint: It was a Happy Valley. The structure was the Penn State football stadium.

Now I’m from Notre Dame. We know football. We do football on a pretty grand scale. But this place – WOW! The stadium looked like a giant monument in the middle of the rolling Pennsylvania countryside.

(I still like our stadium better.)

After a lovely evening and a restful night at Byff and Marie’s, I was ready for the home stretch.

Although I passed more wineries along the way, I resisted the temptation to stop. I could just imagine the scene.

“Hi, I’m here by myself to do some wine tasting and then I’m going to get back on the interstate to continue my road trip.”

I’m pretty sure my next stop would have been the State Police facility.

Instead I traveled on, eventually rounding the curve in the road that revealed the most beautiful skyline in the world (even through the haze of Gary, Indiana pollution).

chicago skyline

Sweet home, Chicago.

Home, sweet home.

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  1. Twizzlers are a neccessity when traveling! I had that happen with my google maps over the summer on a trip to northern Michigan. Luckily I sort of knew where I was going – it’s kind of tricky when you are alone and if you’re like me rely on the voice, since I need my reading glasses to see the screen 🙂

    • Oh, that would be a problem! I do rely on the voices and had to laugh when the Garmin was going crazy and Google Maps was the voice of calm and reason.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Road Trip!My Profile

  2. We could so take a road trip together! I LOVE your snack choices!! YUM!! Am totally putting a visit to the Jello Museum on my bucket list, too! :)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Celebrity Baby Name Or Kentucky Derby Winner?My Profile

    • I’m almost thinking the Jello Museum should be a destination and not just a stop along the way. It seems way too important and special to play second fiddle to the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Road Trip!My Profile

  3. Ooh, I would be very interested to see that Jello museum! I went to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of fame on a road trip once, I highly recommend it.
    Bev recently posted…Life latelyMy Profile

  4. Thank you for providing a road map Mo. I’m bleary on the part of the States so it was really cool to see how close you were to the part of Canada I am recently becoming very familiar with! Apologies for ending that sentence with with. Love your road snack choices and your willpower when it came to the wineries. This post reminds me of the time my niece brought along her GPS as we tootled about on Maui. She set it to the loveliest Irish accent and we purposely drove in the wrong direction to hear her lilting “recalculating, recalculating …”
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?My Profile

    • Oh, Kelly, that reminds me that my dear sister set her GPS to a British accent and she said the same thing about purposefully misdirecting to hear the melodic tones. Thanks for bringing back that great memory!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Road Trip!My Profile

  5. Hello dear Mo… What a fun trip! Lucy and Desi museum AND the Jello Museum? I’ve got to get your road map! I love to drive on long trips – much better than standing for hours in airport security! Glad you’re home safe and sound! Have a great weekend!

  6. Sounds like a fun, but long, road trip! I have done Chicago to NYC so know the route. Next time you will have to plan more stops along the way! Have a great weekend! xoxo

  7. Come to Texas, tour the wineries. 🙂
    susan recently posted…Labeling our passion can hinder itMy Profile

  8. We just got back from NC attending a family wedding, while we were there we stopped at the botanical gardens to look around and rack up some fitbit steps. In the bathroom we saw a sign that they use reclaimed water in the toilets, at the bottom of the sign there was a line that read “please don’t drink the water(not that we thought you would)”. I worry what this world is coming to when we need to be told this! Looking forward to seeing you soon

  9. Sounds like a good trip.

    I’ve been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and would really recommend it. Actually, we enjoyed several days exploring Cleveland.
    Kathy G recently posted…CinnamonnyMy Profile

  10. Wow – that is a pretty courageous trip. And a LONG drive. I’m afraid my back would have been complaining. But I love a road trip because you really experience places in a different way when you are chugging along. I’ve almost given up on my car’s GPS and always use Google Maps now… they just seem to be more accurate. My daughter is looking at colleges in Chicago so I may be headed there next year…we’ll see!
    Seana Turner recently posted…Jumpstart Holidays… OctoberMy Profile

  11. Glad you avoided the prison area! I would love to take my time driving cross country. I’ve done it a couple of times from Florida to Massachusetts and had a lot of fun.
    Kate recently posted…My Other ExMy Profile

  12. so fun. i have not been on a roadtrip in such a long time, but i love them. just getting out on the open road! so thrilling.
    catherine gacad recently posted…Death with DignityMy Profile

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