Road Trip!

The summer is soon upon us and we are thinking about getting in the car and driving. The Saab is still in good shape (for a 13 year old car) and so we are getting into planning mode. As Sue told you in her last post, I have started a new job where, horrors of horrors, they actually expect me to show up and work. Not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to this. But, I have now been there 2 weeks so it is time to explain to them that every summer I need to be on the road for (hopefully) 3 weeks.

This year, we have to be in Boston in late July for a wedding, so our thought is to drive there via Canada. The outline of the plan is to head for Montreal via Toronto, then to Quebec City to see three great Canadian cities. Then drop south into Maine and visit Acadia National Park. After we hang out with the blue bloods in Bar Harbor (pronounced Bah Hahbah) for a few days, will set our sites on Boston for the wedding.

Thank you SomeEcards for capturing my sentiments perfectly.

While in Boston, we will (hopefully) have time to go to Fenway (and lustily root AGAINST the Red Sox). From Beantown, we will head to the Big Apple (home of the Yankees–the greatest baseball team EVER (he is delusional) and Sue’s team–the Mets!!!!!!!), because we both love that city. From New York, it is pretty much a straight shot westward across Pennsylvania, Ohio & Indiana until we get back home to the Windy City. All in, about 2,500 miles and 42 hours of driving. Sue would to go to Nova Scotia from Quebec City, but that will add another 700 miles and 10 hours of driving, so we will see.

All in, I figure it is a 20-day trip, give or take. That assumes a minimum of 2 days in each city and no driving days of more than 6 hours. We haven’t really started to do the nuts and bolts planning (hotels, what we want to see, odd ball places to stop, etc.–ahem, who’s going to watch that giant beast of a dog?), but I think we will probably start that pretty shortly–once I ask for the time off…

What is in a Name?

I know that I have said it before, but I love to drive.   Put me out on the open road with the top down, good music, good company, and an interesting destination, and I am as happy as can be.

Another great Yankees fan (By definition, there are no great Yankees fans.)

During our trip out west, I noticed that lots of the highways have been named after people.  In southern Illinois there is Paul Simon Highway (route 55) which, as a true New Yorker (if you consider upstate natives to be true New Yorkers), momentarily puzzled me.  Why would they name a flat and boring highway after the ’60s (’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s) singer? 

The Pauls
Paul Simon with a politician

Granted, the bow tie logo sort of gave away that it was really named after the senator from the “great” state of Illinois.   I guess he must be famous because I found a photo of him with the real one 😉

Later in the trip, we saw many roads sponsored by various organizations (especially in Utah, but that could have been because we were on smaller roads).   I wondered what one had to do to sponsor a highway, so I looked it up.  Many states have a section of their highway department that deals with it, but some places subcontract the process to third parties (similar to baby brokers?) .  downloadOn one of the third party sites, I found that they charge between $600 (for a small road) to $10,000 (for a highway) per month for sponsorship.  I guess that is not unreasonable if you are a business and want to use it for marketing.  It appears that all you need to do is fill out a form, pay the money and they will put up your sign.   I couldn’t tell if they vet the organizations for propriety (and if they do, on what basis do they do it?).  Unfortunately for me, it is too expensive for my “waste money on foolishness” budget so I can only dream of the signs I would like to see.