“Afoot and lighthearted, I take to the open road; Healthy, free, the world before me. The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose. Henceforth, I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune…. “ (Walt Whitman)
Let’s face it. Many restless individuals have been waiting for the Corona pandemic weakening to occur in order to fully experience again life’s travel possibilities. Yes, I’m assuming that they’ve been successfully vaccinated and thus feel willing to resume exploring desired locations in those time tested ways. I can also reason that they no longer fear massed crowds in sporting arenas or concerts halls and can walk calmly along a densely filled pedestrian street again. I can foresee as well their willingness to wear their mask only when situations dictate it and perhaps hug a friend in need once more. Perhaps the media may at times still confuse them as well with politicized views on the health status of country or state they wish to visit. But I trust that they’ve mindfully disregarded those alarming statements to make the right travel call. Furthermore, I’m confident that they’ve also done their research about what actions they might need to take in order to receive clearance for crossing a designated border.
Are you then such a travel savvy person that I’ve previously described? It might be comforting to know then that Ruth and I represent two of those globetrotting addicted optimists who’ve been ready, willing and able to continuing road tripping in the past year under some most self-isolating conditions. So now knowing that our completed CDC vaccination cards are stowed safely in our possession, we naturally desire to adventure out again without excessive Corona worry on our upcoming road trip this summer. We will reach out and find fresh opportunities to chat face to face with people as we stand again amongst crowds during our three-four day stays at some of our favorite city destinations. We’ll broaden our options for places to stay by tapping into people-friendly proprietors of Air B&B rental housing more extensively as well. When summer heat or rain becomes a problem, we’ll likely find greater confidence in being able to duck into a museum or eatery at will. In attending live events of scientific or historic interest, we’ll have little qualms about volunteering our time in such social situations again when needed. So I invite you to feel the thrill of our latest road trip indulgence as you check out our planned activity list below for our upcoming July – early August journey. Refer to the numbered locations on the map corresponding with the descriptions below.
FLORIDA (1) – St. Petersburg- Crossing over the majestic Sunshine State Skyway, we’ll settle into a small, pension like motel nearby the historic downtown St Petersburg waterfront. From there we can take a local trolley to attend an Indians/Rays baseball game at Tropicana Field. Other touristic options for this visit will include the eclectic Salvador Dali Museum, and the relaxing beachside presence of Fort DeSoto State Park.
(2) Leesburg – Traveling northeast into more rural environs of North Central Florida, our first Air B&B waterfront cottage will offer us some interesting birdwatching/wildlife sighting opportunities. A short distance away at Lake Griffin State Park, we also plan to rent a canoe or perhaps hop on a charter pontoon boat there.
GEORGIA (3) – Cordele – We’ll next absorb some Southern hospitality and savor a romantic balcony view during our next extended hotel stay at Lake Blacksheer Resort & Country Club. I’m also excited about taking a side trip to Plains for an authentic look at former President Jimmy Carter’s birthplace home.
LOUISIANA (4) New Orleans – From our second Air B&B location, a bohemian looking duplex in uptown, we’ll travel to the Bourbon Street corridor and the World War II Museum complex by way of a nearby St. Charles Streetcar line connection. If time permits, we‘ ll also take a look at Frenchman Street for any eateries that offer some nighttime jazz entertainment.
TEXAS (5) Houston – Our third Air B& B apartment in the Montrose district downtown provides excellent access to Minute Maid Park for an Indians/Astros baseball game. On another day, we head south to the small Gulf coast of Seabrook to check out day use, hiking opportunities around Clear Lake Park.
OKLAHOMA (6) Broken Bow – This picturesque setting lying along the westerly perimeter of the Ozark Mountains provides easy access to Beavers Bend State Park. At Broken Bow Lake nearby, we’ll explore on our own amid remote pine forest trails hoping to observe plentiful wildlife along the way. The original Choctaw Indian reservation in this area also arouses some curiosity as we hope to obtain an authentic “feel”for the surrounding tribal culture still remaining.
MISSOURI (7) Kansas City – From our fourth Air B&B condo south of downtown, we can easily reach our favorite KC restaurant, Jack Stack’s, to savor the best barbecue rib meal of this trip. Exiting the cafe, we’ll stroll through the nearby Power& Light District on foot, paying particular attention to historic Union Station and the Hallmark Crown Center. On a second day excursion east of the city to Independence, Missouri, we’ll take a look at rare, western themed artifacts housed in the National Frontier Trails Museum. After a restful day in our condo on our day of our KC “leg”, we‘ll travel in the evening to Kauffman Stadium, to enjoy a White Sox/ Royals game.
ILLINOIS (8) Chicago – We’ve been fortunate to book our fifth Air&B rental at a historic Victorian mansion in the Frank Lloyd Wright district of Oak Park, directly west of Chicago proper. From this ideal location we plan to utilize public rail routes by day to access lakefront tourist sites around Millennium Park such as “Taste of Chicago” and the famed Summer Concert Series. Our nighttime offerings for baseball at night via rail will include a Reds/Cubs game at north side Wrigley Field and an Indians/ White Sox contest at south side Guaranteed Rate Ballpark.
OHIO (9) Columbus – While I’ve often passed through Columbus by car, on the way to Cleveland, where I was born, Ohio’s capital city entices me as a strong second choice place for us to visit this summer. For I’m interested, most of all in immersing myself amid the stimulating campus “feel” of Ohio State University, north of downtown. Lying a bit further northwest of the city center, we also plan to spend a day at the renowned Columbus Zoo. Food options in Columbus seem centered in Germantown Village where we can indulge in some some tasty Bavarian cuisine specialties. Lodging accommodations here as yet undetermined
MARYLAND – (10) Washington D.C. – Our final Air B&B apartment will take place in suburban Kensington, north of DC proper. For much of our time on this last stop of our road trip, we will prioritize visiting my family in the nearby Rockville vicinity in lieu of taking time for touristic fun. Yet I’m confident that D.C’s efficient Metro system will tempt us at some point to venture downtown for a repeat look at the time honored monuments/museums along the famed National Mall. To conclude our baseball portion of this road trip, we’ll have a choice of a Nats/Phillies day game at Nationals Ballpark or a night Rays/Orioles Game further north in Baltimore at Camden Yards Stadium.