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Observations From A Weekend Trip

March 21, 2011 · 33 comments

in Life, Travel

This past weekend, I hit the road with my youngest son and traveled to Lexington, Kentucky for a soccer tournament.

We live in Michigan, so it was about a 6 hour drive.  It was a very pleasant drive, even though many people do not enjoy driving through Ohio.  The thing I dislike the most about Ohio is the constant highway patrol that await you in hidden places.  Anyway, I must say driving that distance in my new Ford Escape was a very nice experience.  Very smooth, very roomy, and it handled great in the pouring rain.

While on my trip, several things struck me that I thought I would share.  None of my observations are earth shattering, just ordinary:

  1. I love getting glimpses of a different type of life.  Lexington is full of beautiful estates that are on acres and acres of property, many of which have horses.  I often wonder what life is like for the people living in those homes.  Do they get up at the crack of dawn to tend to the animals?  Do they wake up each morning, drink a cup of coffee on the front porch, and just look out on their property thinking they are the luckiest people in the world?  What do those very same people think when they come up to Metro Detroit and see how we live up here?
  2. Why do the police love to sit and wait to pull over the average speeder (the person behind me got pulled over in Ohio, it could have just as easily have been me as I was going about 8 miles over the speed limit, and the person was pacing me)?  Instead, the police need to be in the hilly areas of Kentucky pulling over the maniac semi drivers that whip past you at 80 miles an hour, splashing rainwater all over your vehicle.  (Well, my point really is, how come the police are never around when someone is driving like an absolute idiot?  One young woman almost hit me on the way home because she was texting while driving in a construction zone on I-75.  I wanted to call 911 and report her, but I figured she would be done with her texting by the time the police ever caught up to her.)
  3. I love southern accents.  I could listen to the people talk in the south all day long.  It is so soothing.  I also love English/Scottish accents too, but I didn’t notice many of those in the south, except from my son’s soccer coach.
  4. It can be hard to come home sometimes!  When we left Kentucky, it was 73 and sunny.  It was the nicest weather I had seen in ages.  By the time I got to northern Ohio, it was 38 degrees and pouring rain.  I will say though our homecoming was wonderful.  My daughter was baking banana bread, so the house smelled fantastic.  Plus, my husband and 2 kids that were at home cleaned the house beautifully.  (Thanks guys!)  I really am glad to be home with everyone, but I just loved that Kentucky weather!!  Not to mention the high for the week here in Michigan is 39.  Blech.
  5. Candlewood Suites are really pretty nice.  Consider them next time you are traveling.  Our hotel was brand new, but it had a full kitchen, including full sized refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, disposal, and 2 burner stove.
  6. Even though it is March, you still need sunscreen!  I got a little pink, but the soccer referees all looked like tomatoes!  I completely forgot to bring sunscreen or sunglasses, as the sun hasn’t been much of a factor where I live lately.

So, do you ever have similar thoughts about what life is like for those who live in the places you travel to?  I love traveling to new places, even if the locale is not an ‘exciting’ or bustling place.  There are so many wonderful, little things you get to see when you are on the road, I just love it!  (Although I am not sure how excited I will be on our upcoming 20 hour drive to Florida….)

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

The Lost Goat March 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I have driven from Michigan to Florida – it’s a nice drive, if done over two days. It’s really, really long if you drive it through in one stretch, even if you have 2 drivers to trade off shifts. I think West Virgina was my favorite part of the drive because all th hillsides were so beautiful and green (I made the drive in April).

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

We will be driving in April too. We drove straight through last year in February and even Georgia had ice. We are going to try and drive straight through, but we will see what happens. (My husband and I do trade-off).

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retirebyforty March 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

The truckers have CB and they know where the cops are so if you see them speeding, it’s safe to go 100 mph. 🙂
(joking about the 100mph)
I hate those speed patrol, it’s just another tourist tax since the local knows all the hiding spots.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

RB40- the truckers definitely know how to avoid the police, which is probably why you rarely ever see a semi pulled over.

Cars are so smooth now days that sometimes you don’t even realize you are speeding. I don’t think my 79 Sunbird would even go 70mph!

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Jeff @ Sustainable life blog March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Sometimes I wonder how people can live in certain places. I was in louisville ky a few years ago (in june) and it was hot. Every step I took I felt like I was walking through a big pile of mashed potatoes – it was very humid.
As for the 80 mph – that’s the speed around here.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

Jeff, I like the mashed potato analogy, never really thought of it that way before.

I do realize people drive 80 all the time, but it is very disconcerting when you are in the dark, it is pouring rain, its foggy, and semis are whipping past and splashing even more water on your windshield!

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krantcents March 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Your story reminds me of road trips with my children. We used to play games to bide out time. I remember making up things about cars which would spark discussion. It is a great opportunity to spend time with your kids.

My solution with the highway patrol was putting my car on cruise control. I once got of a ticket with California Highway Patrol because of cruise control.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

Krant- how did cruise control get you out of the ticket? Didn’t you have to admit that you set it higher than the speed limit?

I love cruise control. But, it was raining for quite a bit of the trip, and it isn’t safe to use cruise control on wet pavement. It is great for gas mileage on dry roads though.

Long rides with the kids are a wonderful thing!

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Kaycee March 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Driving thru Ohio is the worst because there is nothing to look at it. B-o-r-i-n-g! @@ Kentucky and Tennessee are gorgeous. And our friends to the south are so friendly.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

Ohio doesn’t bother me. Georgia is what gets me.

The worst part (for me) about driving through the south is the lack of quality rest stops, especially in Tennessee!!

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Squirrelers March 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I’ve been to 47 of the 50 states, and the ones I’ve been to as an adult, I’ve thought of what it must be like to live in them. Have to say, coming from Chicago, I really do like where I’m at. Not to cut on other places, but I generally end up finding reasons to appreciate where I live now while also finding good things about the other places…while in the end rationalizing my preference for here:)

The one aspect of other places I do like is the weather. It’s nice that so many people get to enjoy nicer weather than people like us do in the Chicago and Detroit areas.

The part of the country that has always appealed to me is coastal California, and to lesser degree Oregon as well.

By the way, we still haven’t gone on a family road trip here. Just flights. As a kid, we drove everywhere, and I totally think that great memories and learning can take place on those trips. Looking forward to having a few.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

Squirrel, you need to go on a family road trip, you will love it!

What 3 states have you not been to yet?

I do love where I live, usually. However, this winter has just be too long.

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Money Reasons March 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hmm, you got me interested to see what the temperature range is in Kentucky! I’ll have to keep an eye on it next time I watch the weather channel or go to weather.com

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

MR, I think I just passed through a cold front and the temperature change was an anomaly. I miss that sunny, warm weather, especially considering we are under a winter storm warning today.

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Money Reasons March 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Since I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m not so bad now 🙂

Hopefully, April will be nice and warm, soon…

I had no idea that you traveled as far as you do for your son’s tournaments!!!

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

MR- did you get the ice/sleet on Tuesday or was it just us to the north? It was a unique first day of spring, that is for sure! Oh, the weather just announced we are getting snow. Great.

I love traveling for soccer, and we don’t go as far as many. I know several people who fly to Florida and all over the place from Michigan. We have never tried out for teams that do that, too expensive and the parents tend to be a bit too intense for me.

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101 Centavos March 22, 2011 at 7:12 am

I love road trips. With all the traveling I’ve done outside the US, I haven’t been to nearly enough of the US states. A bucket list items is to visit each and every one. As for the cops pulling over speeders from where it’s comfy, an apt term could be “strip-mining the citizenry”.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

101, you need to take the boys out and see our country!! I have only been to maybe 18 states, so I have a lot more traveling I need to do myself. I was just talking to someone that drove from Michigan to Vancouver. Don’t know that I could do that, but I would love to drive out west one day.

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First Gen American March 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

I’m jonesing for some warm weather myself. It snowed here yesterday.

Before I was a home owner and back when gas was $1/gallon, I’d take long drives out of the city and look at people’s country homes. I used to dream about living in one and having a bunch of land. Now that I’m a homeowner, I just think about how much work some of these places must be to maintain.

I love road trips, but my husband thinks it’s a strange form of torture to take a long car ride with young kids, so for now, we’re at odds about that kind of journey. I’m still trying to determine vacation plans for this year.

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

I love road trips! However, I do remember when my youngest was little and just driving an hour was sheer torture. He did not like being confined in that car seat, and he made you pay!

Driving has always been how I escape. Sometimes the mental health break is worth the $3.60/gallon price I have to pay.

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DoNotWait March 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

I too often wonder how other people live, what they think, if they’re happy or not. Even when I’m near home and driving on the highway, I look at other people in their cars and wonder what are they doing as a career, are they going home or visiting, are they living near, what kind of music do they listen to… We often do that as a game too and see who’s guessing the better! But I wonder if we’re really right!

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Kris March 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

DNW, I also look at the people next to me and wonder what their life is like. Or, sometimes in a restaurant I will want to go up to someone who is sitting alone and just have a chat with them. Especially if they look sad or lonely. However, if I ever actually did that, it probably wouldn’t be appreciated…

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The Biz of Life March 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I’ve never been to Kentucky, but I hear it is beautiful as long as you can stand blue grass music. 🙂
Ohio is definitely a boring drive, with lots of smokies.

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:51 am

Ohio is notorious for having a lot of police on patrol- going back to when I was a kid. (And probably before.)

The one thing I struggle with when I get south of Detroit is the music on the radio. I heard so many Journey songs when I was in Kentucky!

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Little House March 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I’m nosy and love visiting new places and imagining how life is different for those residents too. Driving isn’t my favorite mode of transportation after about 3-4 hours, but it’s great to see every detail of a state through the windshield.

I’m surprised by how warm the weather was only 6 hours from your home. At least you had a couple of days of warm, sunny weather. It gives you something to look forward to over the next few weeks. Hopefully it will warm up in MI soon. 😉

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

Little House- we got a nice dose of sleet/rain/hail/snow yesterday and this morning. It does make my trip to Florida even more appealing. I think it was just strange timing regarding the temperatures. One of those cold fronts came ripping through, although I don’t think Kentucky dropped like Michigan/Ohio did.

One day, I am going to just hop in my car and drive. No plan, no map, no nothing. Maybe some clothes though. I will just stop wherever I want and have no schedule.

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Jacq March 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

This is why I LOVE the motorhome so much. Being able to stop wherever you want, check out cool local places, I find something to like even with the “boring” places.

And yeah, it’s not so glamorous – they’re out feeding the animals on rural properties at shortly after dawn. 🙂

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

Jacq, your motorhome plan sounds so fun!!! I wish gas prices would come down for you though. I also look at motorhomes with envy on the highway because it seems like a great adventure. Although I would be a bit nervous driving one at first.

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Jenna March 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I just completed a road trip to SXSW and had some similar thoughts. Mostly on comparing the Pacific Northwest to Texas, lots of similarities and lots of differences. Thanks for sharing some of yours.

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

That is quite a difference comparing the Pacific Northwest and Texas. I need to travel to Oregon/Washington one day. The closest I ever got was Yosemite, which is an absolutely beautiful place.

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Barb Friedberg March 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I think Lexington is BEAUTIFUL. I love driving through horse country. And I’ll second enjoying southern accents. BTW, Dr. Dean has a very nice southern accent 🙂

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Kris March 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

Barb, it was so pleasant to drive through. There were tons of foals too, which were so darn cute. It was also nice to see green grass again, as ours (when you can see it) is an unattractive shade of brown.

Maybe I will make an appt with Dr. Dean! 🙂

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