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Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 2: Signs of Georgia

Giant Peanut!

Behold the World’s Largest Peanut, according to the good people of Ashburn, Georgia. Also possibly the World’s Most Hypoallergenic Peanut.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, marvels, history, and institutions we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2007 we changed up our strategy a bit and designed an itinerary for what would prove our most kid-friendly outing ever. Granted, my son was now twelve years old and less kid-like than he used to be, but the idea was sound in principle.

Thus in this year of our Lord did we declare: the Goldens are going to Florida!

When most people think “road trip” in the fanciful sense, they imagine a long drive through a scrolling sideshow of creative oddities, specialized museums and giant-sized objects and whatnot. Some American interstate landscapes are boring and not worth treasuring — the grassy plains, the heavily commercialized thoroughfares, the forests that look exactly like ours back home, those scenery-censoring noise-canceling barriers that have become the norm in cities whose residents have grown sick of hearing or looking at cars. In some unfortunate areas you can drive hundreds of miles between points of interest while your camera lies undisturbed and nestled in your pocket lint.

We still need to devote a vacation to Georgia itself someday rather than just passing through like we did in 2007. But even in passing, the way south didn’t lack for eye-catching displays.

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Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 1: When Dinosaurs Ruled the South

T-Rex Attack!

“CALM DOWN, KID! I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU HOW YOU CAN SAVE 15% ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE.”

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, marvels, history, and institutions we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. Beginning with 2003’s excursion to Washington DC, we added my son to the roster and tried to accommodate his preferences and childhood accordingly. The next few vacations worked for all of us as a family to varying degrees, but for 2007 we changed up our strategy a bit and designed an itinerary for what would prove our most kid-friendly outing ever. Granted, he was now twelve years old and less kid-like than he used to be, but the idea was sound in principle.

Thus in this year of our Lord did we declare: the Goldens are going to Florida!

Today we kick off yet another special MCC miniseries representing the original travelogue from our 2007 drive from Indianapolis to Orlando, Florida. Some hindsight editing will be included along the way as part of the “special edition” processing. Enjoy!

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The Class Upgrade: Our 2007 Road Trip Prelude

House!

Y’know those snazzy upscale homes that rule all the best magazine spreads? Yeah, that’s not who we are or what we do.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in recent weeks we’ve been sharing the stories of our annual road trips that we undertook before I launched MCC in April 2012. Starting from the beginning and working our way forward, so far we’ve covered 1999 to 2005; our 2006 trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota was remastered before its 2014 sequel. That brings us to 2007, another year that brought two major changes to our lives. They didn’t affect our travels, but they gave us better reasons to want to return home.

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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 10 of 10: Familiar Gateways

Gateway Arch!

Bonus points to any longtime MCC readers experiencing deja vu right about now.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

Eight states, seven days. That was our goal. San Antonio is roughly 1,145 miles from Indianapolis, the second-farthest point we’ve ever visited away from home, a minimum 17-hour drive without obstacles. The eternal specter of road construction ensures intermittent hassles and delays no matter how many contingencies you plan.

By the end of our week we were exhausted and exasperated, tired of highways and ready once again for the comforts of home…which was still hundreds of miles away. In a smart move our Day 6 itinerary concluded with a kind of special attraction we’d never before stopped to see on any of our previous road trips: family.

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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 9 of 10: Oklahoma!

Buffalo Bill!

Leonard McMurry’s “Buffalo Bill” welcomes you to the wonderful world of the wild, wild West!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

State #5 on our seven-day, eight-state journey had its pros and cons, but at least we can say we crossed it off our list of states to visit. To its credit, unlike our home state of Indiana, it’s had its own famous musical. We haven’t watched it yet, but I expect we’ll get to it someday and develop a deeper appreciation for the Sooner State, or at least understand a few more pop culture references. I’m assuming it generated some, anyway. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a famous musical if everyone forgot the songs ten minutes later, right?

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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 8 of 10: Dr Pepper Picked a Place for Prepping Peppers

Dr. Pepperbot!

Dr Pepper-bot welcomes you to Waco, not to Westworld.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

I’d love to say our whirlwind tour of Texas was a two-week sightseeing spree through all the major cities you’ve heard of from movies and TV, but time didn’t permit and they’re not all in a straight line five miles apart. (Houston and Corpus Christi were particularly disappointing to miss because at the time we knew folks who lived in each.) If all our Plan A’s had worked out, right about here would be a bonus chapter on our first expedition into Mexico, but time didn’t permit and two of us three travelers chickened out. Part of me is also annoyed at past-Me for skipping out on any Austin research altogether, but time didn’t permit because we hadn’t earned enough vacation time in our respective office jobs to take more than the single week we’d set aside.

But as always, we did the best we could with what we had to work with. And if that meant taking a slight detour to go Be a Pepper, so be it.

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