Monday, June 19, 2006

Brief Road Trip

I'm just back from a quick trip to St. Louis with stops in Springfield, Il. and Hannibal, Mo. It was a nice little trip, not quite up to the standards of our magnificent trip to San Diego, but a good break from the ordinary. Now that my daughter is 15, I foresee the approaching end of our little trips, so it makes me more desperate to cram more in -- when time and money allow.

When I was growing up, our family took at least one vacation each summer -- roadtrip odyssey around the Midwest or East Coast. Most of the time there were 3-4 of us kids packed in the back of family sedan with Mom and Dad up front. Dad was a road warrior and loved the long haul across the country -- going 500 to 600 miles a day. Mom would find little places along the way to stop and see something. Those of us in the backseat generally looked forward to the hotel pool. I saw a lot of the country that way --- sneaking peeks out the side windows, while I straddled the infernal hump in the backseat. I loved those trips because we got to eat out all the time, see stuff and spend time with Dad. He worked so much back then, it was the only time we had more than a day with him. By the end of the trip, I think he was ready to return to the office for another 12 months.

This little trip was a partial re-run of one of my family trips. Though it was only to the two of us, I tried to pick a couple of fights with my daughter, just to give her a taste of my experience. We sailed across the cornfields to Springfield to see the new Lincoln Museum. The Museum is very nice, it seems to be catering to today's Disney experienced traveler. There were several "interactive experiences". My favorite little display was a video map which gave you the Civil War in 4 minutes -- you see the battle line change, as well as the mounting death tolls. I was sorry that the Gettysburg Address was not recited anywhere in the museum. I think it is the most perfect speech ever given; parts of the speech were mentioned, but I think it should have been given in it's entirety.

The Museum was really the only landmark we visited in Springfield. We didn't go to the Lincoln home, law office or cemetery. Unlike my old family roadtrips, my daughter has a great deal of input into the trip -- for better or worse. Fifteen year olds can be picky about their time, where they eat and what they wear. It takes a while to head out of the hotel room when there are clothes to press and hair to straighten... high maintenance. Luckily, somethings don't change -- she loves the hotel pool and so do I.

More on my trip later...

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