Saturday, August 19, 2017

Going Back Part 1: On The Road

Yes, I am back!! It's been over a week since I posted that I was going on a break. Now I can share with you exactly what that break was. 

For the first time in 7 years I went back to the Pennsylvania/New Jersey to visit my family & friends. This was a solo trip whose purpose was attending this year's family reunion. More on that later in this series. 

To start things off I would like to share with you some of my travels and how I made the solo trip across 4 states to visit the places where I spent my first 38 years. 

I made the 750 mile trek from south central Kentucky to the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania on Thursday August 10. Here is a link to a video I shot along the way. BTW, this was shot safely and hands free using a dash mounted phone.  Movin Right Along I-71

I ran into some construction delays on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati. You can see the bumper-to-bumper traffic in front of me, the Riverfront area sign on the right, and Paul Brown Stadium in the distance on the left. 
After I got through the slow down in Cincy, it was mostly smooth sailing all the way through to Pennsylvania. I stopped a couple of times along the way to get a drink, fill the car's gas tank, and other things. My choice of places included truck stops, Cracker Barrels, and Speedway convenience stores. 

I ran into a bit more of a delay between the Pennsylvania state line and the turnpike. But I passed the time by listening to a baseball game on the radio. The Reds made an unlikely late inning comeback against the Padres. It was an afternoon game played at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, which I had passed earlier in the day. 

The PA turnpike was the next to the last leg of my trip. If you've never traveled it before let me tell you that there is a series of tunnels that you have to go through. In the middle of the day it makes for a cool transition. Here's a quick video I shot. 
After a rest stop at one of the service plazas, I got off the turnpike at Carlisle. I ran into some more construction along Rt 81. But once I got on Interstate 78 it was clear sailing to Easton. 

I parked in front of my sister, Peggy's house on Berwick Street at 8:30 EDT. That was 12 1/2 hours after leaving the grove. I was tired but not exhausted like I usually am on such a long trip. 

Let me quickly skip ahead to four days later. It's Monday August 14 at 7AM. I have checked out of my hotel and stopped at my sister, Shari's house. She lives right near the I-78 on ramp so I stop to say "good-bye". 

My drive back home is pretty much the same as the one the previous Thursday. The only exception was that due to a lousy night's rest, I was rather tired. I yawned a lot during the first few hours on the road. 

On my way through Columbus I was getting a little road weary. I took a bit of a detour north of the city to find the Lego Store in the area. This would give me a much needed break. 

I was a little curious about the store. When I got into the area I received a double surprise. The first was that my GPS was guiding me to a town called "Easton".  
The second was that the Lego Store was part of a very large shopping area called "Town Center". It was very much like the "Commons" area Paula and I spent time at while in Destin, Fl this past may. 

Here's a bird's eye view of the fountain that's the centerpiece of the area.
I found a parking spot and, after asking directions from a family eating on a restaurant's outdoor patio, found the Lego Store. There was a fun "Lego Friends" sculpture sitting outside. 
The store was sold out of the Najago Movie mini-figures I was looking for so I came away empty handed. 

As I mentioned, the Town Center was quite a place. Here's a link to a video I shot just looking around.  Easton Town Center

My wife and I have talked about taking a weekend trip to Columbus sometime to visit their famous zoo. Now, that I know there's a nice shopping area to visit as well. 

Rush hour traffic and yet another construction detour made getting through Cincinnati quite a chore but soon I was back on track heading down 71 toward Louisville. 

A quick trip on the Gene Snyder Parkway around Louisville got me on my final leg of my trip; an 80 mile drive on I-65 South. 

I pulled into my driveway at close to 7:30PM CDT; making my travel time getting home close to the same as the drive there. 

My total mileage for the entire adventure was just under 1700 miles. 
So there you some of the details of my time on the road during my "Going Back Home" trip this past week. 

Now that I've shared the details of my travel time, the next few posts are going to share what I did during my stay. 

That includes revisiting some of my childhood hangouts, "stepping" back in time, meeting some family & friends again after many years, and going back to a unique church. Come on back and I'll be happy to share the details. See you again soon. 

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