Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's fortune: December 16, 2011

Today's fortune: You will have a pleasant trip.

I almost discarded this as a duplicate, thinking I'd surely opened it before. But upon review this morning, I realized the word "Trip" has never appeared in a fortune cookie message. Lots of times I've seen the word "Vacation," which I think we can all agree is different from a "trip."

So we've planned one - a trip, that is, not a vacation. Tomorrow we're going to swing by my parent's house and pick them up, then we're going to head south to the small town of Louisburg, Kansas, home of Louisburg Cider Mill. That's our destination. We're gonna sample some cider, maybe buy some apples, and do a little last-minute Christmas shopping at the mill's country store.

There's also a winery in Louisburg, and you can bet your boots we'll be stopping there as well.

The road trip is not an American invention, but I can't think of a more American way to spend a day. And some of the best writing generated in the past century has been the result of road trips. Kerouac's On The Road was a novelized version of one man's road trip through American life. Steinbeck's Travels With Charley placed the famous author on the road re-discovering America. William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways is a near-perfect road book and an unprecedented view of America and her people.

My life was shaped by road trips. All of our annual family vacations were road trips, because it was cheaper than flying, and a lot more fun; I saw America, every bit of it, through the tinted glass of a conversion van. We also took (and still take) numerous trips each year to central Missouri; the path between Kansas City and Jefferson City is well-worn by Kelsey family car tires.

My dream road trip would be a coast-to-coast jaunt from San Francisco straight through the middle of the country on Highway 50, which cuts through the Rocky Mountains, the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Kansas City, the industrial Northeast and right past the White House on the way to the Atlantic in Ocean City, Maryland. That would be one hell of a trip.

But I'm a fan of small day trips too. Jamie and I have had a blast driving around the Kansas City area. And I know we'll have fun tomorrow. It's a road trip - how can you not enjoy it?

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