I have kidnapped a friend. I think that I’d be great at improv, because when I commit, I COMMIT.
My great friend just hit U.S. soil after a long deployment somewhere unsavory (or very savory–depends on your point of view, I guess) and as soon as her debriefing finished in Nevada, she grabbed a flight home to Ohio to see her family. Now, I consider myself family, so I assumed that I would be invited.
Travel is addictive for me and my trip to St. Thomas was exactly the heroin hit I needed to drag me back into the abyss. I needed to stay home for two days, mostly for laundry and urgent care needs–I had to get a tetanus shot. A SHOT! Can I say that I was a soldier during and a toddler after? But once I had run a load of laundry and assured my husband that my self destruction was in check with a sufficient injection of prophylactic and a bottle of what I’m sure are equine anti-biotics, I packed a knapsack, hugged my kiddos, and hit the road.
I choose travel routes based solely on the “Interesting Shit” factor. This means that I don’t care about travel time, don’t care about tolls, never plan further than the little red dots of crazy excitement spaced along a line that heads generally in the direction that I am going and then hopefully arrives somewhere in the vicinity of my destination. All in all, I NEVER sweat the small stuff. If I get hungry, I eat. If I need gas, I stop. If I get tired, I find a hotel. It’s a Pam Style Road Trip. This meant that, instead of the two shorter routes, I chose to take I90 to Ohio–through Mass, up along the northern border of New York, a quick jaunt through Penn, and down along Lake Erie to my final destination outside of Toledo. A twelve hour trip on a good day, I was pretty sure that I could add in a couple of roadside stops to make it a solid 15 hours.
The trip, titled, “Kidnap Sarah” in my GPS passed so many interesting sites that I had to hit social media for a weigh in. I narrowed my options to: The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, Betty Beaver’s Fuel Stop, The International Boxing Hall of Fame, Angel Was Here — an angel statue in the VERY place where The Book of Mormon was dug up, A Two Story Outhouse, The Longest Covered Bridge in the U.S., The Jell-O Museum, The house where A Christmas Story was filmed, The Flintstone house, The World Capital of Duct Tape, and The National Hot Dog Bun Museum. The weigh in of friends and family did absolutely nothing to help make my decision. They were all over the place and I really only had time for a couple of stops! As it turned out, the decision was made for me by daylight savings time–it got dark right before five–so I stopped along the way until I ran out of daylight then powered through to a cold beer and lots of Sarah hugs.
I’ve reviewed each attraction that I was able to see (just click on them here to read) and I was able to hit quite a few: The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (closed), Betty Beaver’s Fuel Stop, Angel Was Here, Two Story Outhouse, and The Jell-O Museum, but I was strenuously disappointed to miss the house where A Christmas Story was filmed. Strenuously. Soooo, after spending two WONDERFUL days pretending that Sarah’s family was mine (It was easy. Her family is the same kind of loud, hilarious, ice cold beer and hilarity filled good time that mine is, kinda made me homesick.), we set back off together in the opposite direction! I usually don’t advocate taking the same route twice–how can you possibly absorb the entirety of the world if you are always rutting the same path–but I really wanted to hit a couple more destinations AND I discovered that an old high school friend that I hadn’t seen in TWENTY TWO YEARS was living in Niagara Falls, NY and I wanted to catch a very long awaited hug. This meant that, on the way home, I was able to see the house where A Christmas Story was filmed, The Flintstone House, and Niagara Falls (not only did I get my hug, but it turned out that I had stopped by on her birthday!).
I stumbled into my entryway at about two a.m. on Monday night, gave my hub and kiddos a smooch and got on a train later that morning for Manhattan. But that’s a different story for another post.