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Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 4: Florida is for Explorers

Palm Tree!

Mandatory palm tree pic. Just getting it out of my system.

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!

Florida! Every family wants to go there. A lot of families and college kids can’t get enough of it. Our first in-person looks at the glamorous Sunshine State reminded us of every movie and TV show ever filmed there. Beyond the beaches and the theme parks, closer looks revealed details that don’t make it into the Hollywood stories. In some cases that’s for the best.

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Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 3: Mandatory Zoo Visit

elephant!

A zoo where elephants enjoy their own version of Walden Pond? Sure, why not.

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!

Longtime readers have seen the title before. If you don’t know the drill, it’s not hard to figure out. We had time for just one stop on Day Two in Atlanta, which gave us a nice option for crossing “zoo” off the to-do list. It was certainly one of the most sylvan zoos we’ve ever visited, and we had the privilege of seeing one set of very special guest animals that were only in town from overseas for a limited time. It was incentive enough.

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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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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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