|Kampvilla dinosaur / Cindy La Ferle|
When I was a kid, my folks took me on a two-week vacation every year, driving to cities and landmarks where I could learn the history of our country -- Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Jamestown, Gettysburg, Boston, Concord, and many more.
With our AAA TripTik Travel Planner and a motel/hotel guide at the ready, we'd often take detours before reaching our destination, paying visits to historic battlefields and commemorative statues, homes of iconic American authors, and small, quirky museums. Best of all, my mom enjoyed taking the "scenic routes" in lieu of the expressway, and she'd talk my dad into stopping at gift boutiques or souvenir shops along the way.
I've been a fan of road trips ever since. Aside from the fact that I'm a fearful flyer, I can't think of anything more relaxing than viewing the countryside from a car window.
En route from Glen Arbor to St. Joseph earlier this month, Doug and I spotted the huge dinosaur (above) at the Kampvilla RV Park on US 31, about 20 miles north of Manistee. It was a gorgeous Michigan morning, complete with a cloudless, postcard-blue sky serving as the backdrop for a towering yellow brontosaurus. Of course, I was immediately reminded of a scene from Pee Wee's Big Adventure -- and had to pull off the highway for a few photos.
More often than not, unexpected discoveries are the most memorable parts of our travels. This summer, I hope you'll have time for a few road trips with meandering detours, whether you drive across this beautiful country of ours or revisit the wonders of your own state. ~CL