Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)
We arrived in Columbus, Ohio, at 10 p.m. and checked into the Red Roof Inn, a must-do on a budget-minded trip. It had decent amenities, including a previous guest's lunch still in the fridge. We woke up early the next day to walk around Mark McPhillips's childhood home and to a park across the street. Columbus was a short stop for us because our next big destination was Chicago, where we planned to stay with Mark's friend from high school Sophie. We drove through Indianapolis, Indiana, where we stopped at White River State Park to stretch our legs out and to experience a little bit of the state. In the park there was a little public library with donated books, sculptures, and a zoo.
We got back on the road to Chicago, with Mark at the wheel and Samuel navigating, and arrived in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. and ascended a metal staircase to a beautiful balcony outside of Sophie's apartment. Sophie greeted us with a homemade meal of steak, mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts, which tasted especially good after a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and an assortment of fast food. We hung out for the night talking about our trip and Sophie's recent experience at Lolapalloza, a music festival that ended the day we arrived. When we woke up, we walked around Chicago's Wicker Park area in search of deep dish pizza. It was immediately apparent that this area was a haven for hipsters, evidenced by a sign on a nearby daycare center that referred to children as "Hipsqueeks." We had an amazing pizza and even convinced Hoboken-native Mark that Chicago pizza is better than New York. We left Chicago to head to Saint Louis, Missouri, and I drove for five hours on the same stretch of highway until we reached the Hyatt Regency hotel, located right next to the Saint Louis Arch.
Some rules of the road I have learned:
1) Fast food is everywhere and pretty much all tastes the same.
2) Some people (Samuel and I) get way more sleepy after driving than others (Mark).
3) If you're driving through the Midwest you WILL see A LOT of corn and wonder where it's all going.
4) Even if you have really long playlists (like Mark’s playlist "the good ol' roadie" which is 10 hours and 19 minutes long) you will repeat songs, some will become anthemic/representative of your journey.
5) Parents appreciate when you text them pictures of you doing quintessential tourist things.
6) It's hard to save money when you do not have a kitchen to cook in and buy fast food for most meals.
7) Even in today’s world of Google Maps, it's almost impossible to navigate perfectly. Your friends will send the wrong way sometimes.
8) Postcards are surprisingly difficult to find.
9) You should pay attention to signs because some are really funny.
10) Improv games work really well but also really badly in the car.