Odyssey – Book 2 – Chapter viii – The RoadTrip

9 Days; 3600 Miles (5800 Km); 9 Cities; 17 states; 2.4 GB of pictures; 6 tapes worth of video footage; 65 hours of driving and a deep hole in the pocket, mix it all up and what do you get? The great American roadtrip. After all my travels so far, it was finally time to make a official full function roadtrip. And what better way to do it than to use your parents as guinea pigs for the same! At the end of the day they did enjoy it!

As any great roadtrip should start, ours started with a plan, that there would be no plans. We knew where we would begin and end, while the middle was kinda(a lot) fuzzy.

The practice runs for the long drive ahead was me commuting two hours to work(one way) each day of the previous week, ofcourse I had to take the last day off to preserve my sanity being destroyed by Chicago’s traffic and prevent me from using my Marlin 30-30 in a way that would put me in the dock. Not only was it some of the craziest traffic I have seen on uncle Sam’s road, but the way people drove below the speed limit to talk on the cellphone/put on makeup/eat during the only time the Interstate seemed empty irked me to no end! If there must be laws of the road it must be for such people … also the smart Aleck that assume they were going really fast while the vehicles on the right side of the road were flying past them, need to either have their eye’s checked or their brains exploded. Anyhoo now that I have sung my sob story, on to more better and beautify things

The trip itself started off good, Chicago’s traffic delay was compensated by Indiana’s open roads and 70mph speed limits, with our first stop in Dayton, Ohio at Ravi’s place. Its always fun to watch the parents of bachelors trying to scheme together on changing the relationship status of theirs sons. Ravi came out the worse in this round with my parents getting enough info on him to add his profile to mine. A trip to the Air force museum would have been good but with a schedule like ours there was just not enough time.

Day two was a whole lot of traveling with a pit stop in Atlanta on the way to Tallahassee. Had a fellow traveler, Mike, join us on the leg from Atlanta to Tally. The pit stop was also a meet and greet with Katie and her family, who were unfortunately calling a hotel room their home ’cause of their neighbor’s sewage leakage, something that I thought happened only in India. Just a side note, Atlanta is a place I would love to live in, it’s got all the charms of a Big city with a markedly less amount of the problems. And ofcourse it south enough that I don’t really have to worry about waking up every winter day to snowfall!

Tallahassee, which was next on the list was the only place that we stayed the whole day for, as always courtesy of Koshy and aunty. My parents got a top class guided tour of the town and university courtesy of none other than your’s truly. Had a wonderful lunch with a few of my friends (If 40 is few) and their family. Learnt that mom’s are the same all over the world, after hearing that Mrs. Owens had concerned with my mom on have being clean shaven with a short hair looks better on me. Parents! always old fashioned, they don’t understand the effort it takes to look uncomly and unkept with holes in the clothes! While in Tally my dad decided that Florida beaches were in noway better than the ones in India, also he ‘felt’ it would sound cooler to tell people that he had been to Niagara rather than St. Augustine! I was all game as this saved me three hours of driving!

Day four found us slowing snaking through the picturesque Smoky mountains. Incidentally it is called so because of a natural blue colour haze that hangs over the mountain ranges. It’s a place I would recommend for a weekend of camping, if you ask me nice, I might even tag along!

The following day was spent traveling to Washington DC – one of the two things that has impressed me the most in the US of A, the other being July 4th fireworks. On the other hand my parents seemed to be more impressed by mobile homes, they just couldn’t comprehend the sight of moving homes. DC by night or day is a sight to look at. The monuments and the Smithsonian museums and the way the buildings are planned around each other thought I am yet to see the insides of any of these museums, a task for the next trip there. I recommend parking at the Union Station and taking one of the trolley tours around the city. Its a good way to see the city at your own pace. We did it in half a day, since we only walked around a few of the monuments. The last time I was there with a bunch of college kids, we walked to all the monuments, grossly underestimating the distance between them ’cause of their size. They are so huge that they look like they are just a block away. If get a chance to go there check out the golden Pegasus behind the Lincoln memorial on the way to Arlington cemetery.

The time saved by not going to the beach also helped us make it to NYC between DC and Boston. It suited well for me having seen NYC by with Ramya and Rajeev, this time was a good opportunity to see it by night, probably the only time you could drive in it without hitting somebody. But then for a person who learnt his driving lessons in the streets of chennai this only brought back fond memories of the lawless traffic back home. Its probably the Indian cabbies who transplanted the Indian style of driving to NYC. The highlight of the trip was driving through a city park and being stopped by a undercover cop for doing it. All I had to do was feign ignorance of any law that prevents us from driving inside a park and across a monument! Add a little bit of a hard to understand accent and you are home scot-free. This was also the day for me to try Korean food right next to the empire State Building. At that moment I felt like how countless Americans feel inside an Indian restaurant, the pictures on the menu helped, thought not enough to allow my parents to finish what it was they ordered. I’ll try anything ones!

Day seven was probably the easiest of the whole trip with only a driving of 4 hours to Boston from NYC, thought it was the most expensive tollwise. Don’t understand whatsup with the Northeasterners trying make us pay for all their roads, and to boot its not even cheap. The hotel that I stayed in Boston was probably the most snobbiest … be warned of Club Quarters, unless ofcourse you are CEO of some MNC. In other things though Boston is pretty nice, it’s old but nice.

Day eight brought us to Niagara falls, just after the lights had be been shut. Though we did get a good view early morning of day nine. If somebody tells you that the Canada side is better than the American side of Niagara … don’t believe them!! I have seen it from both sides and they are just different. You get to go to the goat island and the three sister’s island on the American side while its all big towers and hotels on the Canadian side. Though you do get to see the rainbow clearly from the Canadian side.

There was no rest even after we came back since my parents had to leave the early next morning. But then again sleep is overrated.

All in all a definitely wonderful try without any untoward incidents whatsoever. It was so good that it has warranted a posting on my main blog. But then again with all the confusion of the past few weeks, I really haven’t written much of a post.

Here are some pictures from the Trip …


Sep 20, 2006 – 27 Photos


Sep 20, 2006 – 248 Photos

2 thoughts on “Odyssey – Book 2 – Chapter viii – The RoadTrip

  1. Anonymous

    Do not use a cell phone when you are pumping gas. I heard it can be dangerous..something about electrical charges and fire..I am not sure if it is true..but then wouldn’t risk it..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *