by Kathy Coogan
In the 1978 movie, Animal House, the fun-loving bad boys of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity evade annoying problems with the cry, “Road trip!”
Those boys knew what they were talkin’ about. My husband and I also apply this logic, revamping the more conservative slogan, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” to, “Road trip!”
Things are crazy at work? A Saturday drive along the Ohio River from Cincinnati to Madison, Indiana files that Type A stuff for Monday’s To-Do list.
One more black-tie cookie-cutter fund-raising event? Send in the check and take off for Lake Erie. Jeans over tuxedo, sneakers over stilettos, what would you pick?
Aging parents or whiny kids got you down? Get them settled with a reassuring phone call or a blessed sitter, pack a lunch, hop in the car and drive for an hour.
Any direction from our home in Ohio will provide a river, a lake or a valley to over-look. Thick ham sandwiches satisfy the palate when your car window is rolled down to let in a spring breeze, a fall gust or even a spatter of snow-flakes.
Road trips require no destination. “Outta Here,” is satisfactory. Though the Delts sought any Sorority Row where they were unknown, we are just as willing to simply take off N, S, E or W as we are to plot out a specific route.
Over-nighters require more planning only if a View from the Hotel Window is required. American highways have a buffet of motel choices for the not-too-picky.
Road trips can last for days or less than an hour. Many summer nights, we put the top down on the old convertible and back out of the driveway, rejuvenated when we pull back in forty-five minutes later.
Favorite vacations that lasted many days have taken us east to the Atlantic then up the coastal highways to Bar Harbor, Maine. Or north to the finger tips on Michigan’s map. The trick with a Road Trip is to make the “road” a fun part of the trip.
The goal is not only the arrival but the journey along the way. If you can’t make the travel a pleasant part of the trip, hop on a plane.
Another Trip essay
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