Our show this week is on Road Trips for Adults. We’re leaving the kids and the rest of the family behind. This one is for GROWN FOLKS. No, “Are we there yet?”, unless you just want to irritate the other person. Bathroom breaks, well as we get older I guarantee you there will be a few of those but it won’t happen right after you’ve left the rest area. These road trips are just because and to unwind. Hit the road with abandon, take your time and become one with the asphalt and the scenery. You can make it up as you go along or you can have a plan. A road trip can be for a day or for an extended period depending on your time and destination.
Why not make it a theme and add some adventure to the in between of your origin and destination. Local fare is a great theme. Kind of like that show on the Food Network, Diners, Drive In’s and dives but make up your own. You could make it roadside food or fine cuisine, which ever floats your boat. Another theme could be off the beaten track or odd attractions. The Internet can give you some great ideas and places to stop along the way and www.roadsideamerica.com is a great website to assist you. You could make it all about historic sites, monuments and memorials. If your road trip is for several days you can incorporate some night life and dance each night away or take in some local live music. The point is have some fun and make it a filled journey.
When you’re traveling incorporate a day trip or a few. It’s a great way to see more of the destination, especially if you’re in a big city. Rent a car and venture to the country side or outskirts. I’ve often done exactly that and those day (road) trips have become the most memorable. Like, my road trip in Maui, Hawaii. We rented a convertible (you have to have a convertible in Hawaii). My father in law got sunburn on his head so if you’re sporting the shaved head make sure you put on some sun screen. We got up long before the sun came up and headed to Haleakala, a mountain in Hawaii. Note: bring blankets because at that altitude and that early in the morning it can be quite cold. Why did we get up this early? (I did get some complaints) To watch the sunrise. Believe me it’s worth it. You’re 10, 023 feet above sea level. You can feel the air thinning as you ascend. But the main attraction is standing there and watching the sun rise. It comes from beneath you and this big bright ball slowly rises and it’s so vibrant and appears so close you think you can touch it. Some folks have done a Sunrise Tour and this includes cycling down the mountain. There’s no pedaling, just coasting and yes, you’re given wind breakers. After we witnessed the sunrise we headed down the mountain to embark on our “Road to Hana“. The “Road to Hana includes some 600 hairpin turns, over a dozen one land bridges and beautiful and unique things to see along the way like Rainbow Eucalyptus trees. The barks of these trees have stripes of pastels as if someone had painted them. You can either pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the many scenic spots or wait until you get to Hana and have a fabulous lunch at the Hana Hilton. You can do this trip in a day or you can overnight in Hana.
Another one of my favorites is the Tuscan region in Italy. From Florence we rented a car, (most rental cars in Europe are manual shift, automatics are generally more expensive) and headed to the Chianti region. Actually, you can’t go wrong anywhere in Tuscany. The region itself is gorgeous. We went to the Verrazzano winery and castle. This place is gorgeous and postcard perfect. We had lunch with wine pairings, a tour of the castle, wine tasting, olive oil tasting and bought some of the most expensive balsamic vinegar $75 for 8ozs. This balsamic is like no other and is well worth every penny. You savor it and you dole it out with a demitasse spoon. This is not the pouring kind. Take a bite of sharp cheese and a drizzle of this syrupy balsamic and it’s magic in your mouth. Another great day trip from Florence is Pisa with a stop in the walled town of Lucca. This day trip is complete with a bicycle ride atop the Lucca Wall, lunch inside the walled city, shopping, climbing the stairs at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Gelato when you finish!.
My last favorite was my day trip in Cape Town South Africa to Stellenbosch, one of the wine lands in the area. The hubby rented a Harley Davidson and I hopped on the back. We hit the highway because we were going to do our exploring once we got their. We visited several wineries tasting wine. No, not my husband, the driver, just me. We then had lunch at Bellevue Manor, one of the guesthouses there that had an excellent view of the hillside and town. There’s nothing like hitting the road on a Harley with the Harley’s. Pun intended!
Here are some great sites and apps for a road trip.
http://www.travelmath.com/ tracking distance
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ offbeat tourist attractions
http://www.wunderground.com/ Weather Underground or www.weather.com