As a child I spent lots of time on the road from New York to Virginia, and from Virginia to New York; occasionally on the train, but mostly by car. I remember Rt. 301 before I95 ever came along. In fact, other than Rt. 1, no other direct means existed. I also recall that dreaded William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge through Maryland, which by the way, has changed its appearance completely from the old days. Along with that bridge came the Verrazano-Narrows and the Goethals. Now, depending on what direction my father chose determined which of the later two spans we took. But regardless they are still what I consider nightmares of my youth. In my first children’s book, I decided to give the main character, Lally Summers a fear of bridges – since she is very close to my heart.
Being a child, those excursions for me had the impression of the longest road trip ever, and unlike most people, I did them without siblings. Therefore, my parents/grandparents didn’t have to endure the “Would you stop touching me?” scenario. Because they were long for me, I used to play games like checking out the farthest scenery. I would stand on the hump in the middle of the floor, in back – remember those – and peer through the windshield as far ahead as possible, marking a spot. I’d watch the highway until we got there, and then, I’d begin again. I did this until I wore myself out. As an adult, my husband and I have made that same journey many, many times. Occasionally, during his turn to drive I have found myself playing that same game. Then, I’d realize what I had been doing and, I’d chuckle at myself.
Recently, we went to Disney World from here in Virginia. We chose to drive, because we thought it would be fun, since neither of us had explored the land anywhere south of North Carolina. As always the adrenaline rush, due to our excitement, shortened the ride down. Now, although we had the best time – halfway through the week we could only think of our return home. FYI: I would say from a bit south of Washington, D.C. all the way to the Rt. 4W exit off of I95, the scenery is completely unchanging. Therefore, do yourself a favor, and fly. You would think that as an adult I’d have a hint the games of a six-year-old, simply helped pass the long hours. So, what does one do as an adult?
Talk about long hours in the car, we have many friends who have driven from New York/New Jersey to Florida where they split the driving, and make it in twenty-four hours. But, as I go back and recall my childhood game – it simply tells me, I wanted to be elsewhere. Being cooped up in that tiny space created a world of anxiety. Now, with all that in mind, why would that same person long for, yearn a cross-country trip? Fourteen hours from here to Florida is one thing, but three thousand-plus miles? Solution: Find something of interest in each state; map out so many miles per day, and lastly, set aside three months at least to do it all. What’s the old adage – It’ll cure the itch or…. Share your extreme car outings with me.
Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto
Bridge Information courtesy of Wikipedia