Friday Favorites: Road Trip Style
Who doesn’t love a road trip? Singing along with your favorite songs, hanging out with your best friend, and (of course) the snacks. Fresh and dried fruit, nuts, veggies, a mushroom pizza with truffled goat cheese, smoked mozzarella, and brie…I am all about the road trip snacks.
Road trips are a writer’s best friend. While I don’t usually write a ton during a trip, I am always looking out the window and tucking tidbits away for future stories. Writing is all about observing, and the constant change of scenery, people, and new experiences are an inspiration goldmine. Driving through the small towns that are sprinkled along the route often give me ideas for a setting. As cars pass me on the highway, I often wonder where that person is going or what her day has been like. Before I know it, I’ve got the beginnings of a story.
Most of all, road trips take me out of my element. When I’m traveling, my brain relaxes and just takes everything in.
9 hours is a long time, so you might as well make it fun. We do everything we can to make the trip part of the vacation instead of just driving time. Though there is quite a bit of napping, there is plenty of time to talk, laugh, and just enjoy some extra alone time. Some of the best memories of a vacation can come from the drive. Here are some of my favorite things about our road trip through Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend:
I love this city. Shane and I went here on a mini-vacation last September and had a blast. From the lake walk to Enger Tower, this town has some seriously beautiful views. Every time we pass through Duluth, we make pull over at the rest stop just outside the city. Situated on a hill, the rest stop offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Gorgeous.
I’m a cheesehead in every sense of the word. A road trip simply isn’t a road trip without stopping at one of the many local cheese stores and creameries. This past trip we visited Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet in DeForest and sampled dozens of cheeses from Vanilla-Carmel-Coconut Chevre to Bacon Muenster. In the end, we took home a pound of Brick cheese (my favorite), a pound of Smoked Cheddar (Shane’s favorite), and a half-pound of Ginger-Apricot Cheddar. Suffice to say that we’ve been enjoying exquisite grilled cheese sandwiches all week.
Audiobooks are amazing, especially when you are as busy as I am. Between graduate school, the book release, writing, work, and life, finding time to read for pleasure is tough. With audiobooks, I get to read while I’m driving. They are freaking fantastic! For this trip, we brought along The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien is one of my favorite authors and Shane’s never read him before!) and Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan.
What is your favorite part of a road trip?