Random Words from the book "365 Things to Write About"
Today’s random topic is road trip.
I love road trips! I have been on quite a few, especially living in Ohio with my family in New Jersey and New York.
I try to visit my Brother in Rochester, NY at least once a year, around Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend for Rochester Institute of Technology. Over the weekend there will be three or four RIT Hockey games; one or two games for each of the Men’s and Women’s teams.
Going home to New Jersey is a longer drive, so I try to make that trip every other year. In 2012, my friend and I drove to NJ to surprise my Dad and Step-Mom. All my siblings knew we were coming for a family get-together, but we kept it from our parents. That was a great surprise.
While home in NJ for the weekend, my Step-Sister, friend, and I spend one day walking around New York City. We took the New Jersey Transit Train from the Metro Park Station in Edison, NJ to Newark, NJ, and then we jumped on the PATH to take us into Manhattan, dropping us off near the new One World Trade Center.
In 2010, my family planned a family reunion at Roosevelt Park in my hometown of Edison. I met two of my cousins for the first time. We all had a blast grilling burgers and hot dogs, and then playing a game of kickball. It was a great way to spend time with my family.
Two years in a row, Spring of 2009 and 2010, we visited my husband’s sister when she lived in Washington, D.C., my cousins in Baltimore, and one of my friends when she lived in Williamsburg, VA.
In DC, we visited monuments, museums, and famous food joints. The food joints we visited included Ray’s Hell Burger and Ben’s Chili Bowl, both of which were featured on The Food Network.
My favorite monument in D.C. is the Jefferson Memorial, followed by the World War II Memorial. My favorite museum was The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. There was also a separate hanger for the Air and Space museum where aircraft such as the Enola Gay and an SR-71 Blackbird (aka Jetfire from Transformers) were being stored.
However, the museum that meant the most to me was the Holocaust Museum. I don’t think I talked much while touring the museum. It’s just a very somber memorial, that puts you through every emotion possible.
It was also very humbling to walk around Arlington National Cemetery and watch the changing of the guards. The soldiers buried in this cemetery gave their last breath to defend our freedom. They don’t know our names, and we only know their’s by the gravestones, but they gave us more than we could ever understand.
Gettysburg was a stop along the way to D.C. in 2010. Walking around the sacred grounds was another extremely humbling experience, and at the same time, my mind was blown; I never realized how expansive the battle was.
When I was in 12th grade, my family took a road trip from NJ, down I-95, to Orlando, FL. It was a long ride, but there was stops along the way, such as the tourist attraction South of the Border. This is just south of the North Carolina / South Carolina border. I remember stopping there when it was dark out, just like in the picture to the right.
The weekend before Thanksgiving 2011 was a business conference for my Dad’s company in Orlando, but we extended our stay and spent Thanksgiving Day in Magic Kingdom. We went to other Disney Parks and Sea World while we were down in Florida as well, before taking the long trek back home.
The other big road trip I remember was when I was about five years old. My Mom, Dad, Brother, and I were going out to Toledo to visit my Aunt and Uncle, but we made some detours on the way. First we went to Albany to visit my Mom’s friends before heading further north to visit Niagara Falls. I think we stayed on the Canadian side, but I’m not 100% sure.
After visiting the Falls, we drove to Michigan to visit more friends of my parents, and then headed down to Toledo for my Cousin’s college graduation. We spent a few days with family, and then drove the ten hours back home.
Those memories above are my favorite road trips. I’m sure I have been on others, but those are the ones that stand out. I would love to go on a really long road trip. Long as in I take a month or two off from work, rent a car, and travel to all of the 48 contiguous states.
There are so many places that I want to visit: including, but no limited to the Grand Canyon, Four Corners, Mount Rushmore, San Diego Zoo, and Alcatraz. The western United States is so geologically interesting; I know I would enjoy it.
Like I said, I need a good month, preferably two, off from work to cross this off of my bucket list.