Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heading East

We're hitting the road early tomorrow for a much-anticipated 10-day trip out East. Yes, we're driving, although we are normally a "flying family."

See, I firmly believe every kid needs at least one long car trip with his or her parents. It's like a rite of passage. My own memories of driving across the country cooped up in the backseat with my kid sister while my Dad grumbled and slouched behind the wheel as my Mom lectured him on his driving skills are, well, not so great. But hey, it's still a rite of passage.

After a two-day drive, we'll spend six or seven days at the Washington Hilton near the Capitol. The wife has a Newspaper Guild convention there, so Brennan and I get to be tourists while she works. I spent nearly twenty years attending such conventions all over the country (including Hawaii!), so I've earned the right to lounge on the National Mall with a cigar while she works.

We've been to Washington and Baltimore several times, so we know all the cool places. And I know several people who work at the Capitol from my political days, so we always get some cool tours. Last year, Brennan and I got to tour the Senate wing of the Capitol and sat at Sen. Dick Durbin's desk. We also sneaked a peak into Harry Reid's office and watched them set up the scaffolding for President Obama's Inauguration. It was incredibly cool to get up close and watch the set-up. Brennan especially liked all of the Secret Service guys with their scoped automatic rifles.

On Sunday, Brennan and I are taking the train to Baltimore to meet up with blog friend Tracy to catch lunch and an Orioles game. I'm excited since it's the first time I'll get to actually meet an online blog friend and fellow author! We're also planning on hitting a Washington Nationals game Tuesday night (the wife can attend that one).

Next Wednesday, we're heading off to Virginia for some historical tours (Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown) before ending up at the world-famous Busch Gardens amusement park for some serious roller coaster action. After that, we'll have a couple of days for a scenic trip home through the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky before heading back up into Illinois.

I'll have the laptop and there's wi-fi at the hotel in Washington, so I will be able to post some short updates and read all of your cool blogs. That said, we probably won't have an Internet connection until Thursday night or Friday morning.

Oh, and for any would-be burglars out there, be advised we have housesitters. ;)


  1. Have a great time. I love DC and the whole Virginia tour. Drive carefully and don't forget to put toilet paper in the car. Seriously, you never know when you'll need it.

  2. I love D.C.! It's my hometown (sob, sob, sob). I'm so jealous.

    The zoo is a great place to visit -- I think it opens at 6:00 a.m. Get off at the Woodley Park (red line) Metro Station and walk uphill one block. The bird house is awesome, and so is the Amason building with a rainforest and huge floating fish inside. Since you're going to the Capitol Bldg., you could step next door to the indoor Botanical Gardens (can you tell I like nature?).

    Yes, I remember those family roadtrips. I went on one when I was ten years old. The canned peas, the canned tuna fish, the hours staring at the back of my mom's head while she rolled down the window and looked at the map (she couldn't think with the window up), the gorgeous scenery... you'll have a blast.

  3. Supposed to be Amazon, not Amason.... wow, I can post today, though. The blog is cookin'.

  4. Sounds like you have a nice trip laid out! Glad it's you and not me, though!

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  6. Have a great trip! I agree that every kid needs to have at least one road trip experience (Sans game boys and movies and things)

  7. ROAD TRIP! (Cue Animal House scene.) Have fun, Terry.

  8. Stopping by from a Muse in my pocket - hope you are enjoying your vaca - DC is a great city (just returned from a trip there in May). Hope it was a great trip!