Have you ever noticed how much planning goes into planning a vacation? Even one as “free-wheeling” as my vacations tend to be requires preparation: what clothes to pack, how much updating needs to be made to the drive time playlist, what electronic and paper documentation to gather, even what munchies should I carry. And, of course, what maintenance does RB need to make her road ready for a long-distance trip.
Since my needs had mostly been addressed in previous trips, I’m at least fortunate that I’ve only needed a new hat and some walking shoes–the shoes are ugly as can be, but I got them online at half price. So, I was also able to satisfy a want: a dash cam that will hopefully handle those occasions where I’ve previously wanted to preserve images of the drive itself.
I got a chance to test all three yesterday with a quick trip to Winterset, Iowa (see the Iowa?!? blog for specifics). The shoes are ugly, but they provided the comfort and support I need. I love the hat’s 7-inch brim; however, that makes the hat desperately in need of a means to hold it on my head in high winds. (Think “The Flying Nun,” but in my case, only the hat goes anywhere.)
I also need to make sure both my AAA and AARP memberships are up-to-date. Both have come in handy for scheduling last-moment housing for the night–my only known stop is in Miami, so those are the only reservations currently in place–and for roadside assistance and other discounts. And I’ve made upgrades and additions to the apps on my new smartphone and laptop to make it easier for me to have wi-fi access and for my whereabouts to be known by family–something I hope makes my mother more reassured while I venture forth. Even with the electronic gizmos, though, I still got an updated, printed atlas and Trip-tiks.
As for music, I’ve transferred my playlist to a 16GB SD card and will add new music from 2015, Steppenwolf, The Partridge Family, etc. It’d get a test during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Oh, after talking with my mother and oldest sister, I decided to add Hot Springs, Arkansas, and New Orleans, which I haven’t visited since before Katrina, to my proposed trip. So this is how the map looks presently. Projected total distance is still less than 3,900 miles.
I’m also looking forward to stopping by Tallahassee to see old friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in more than 15 years. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see any of my former teachers at Florida State University, but I still anticipate walking the halls of the School of Music (or whatever they are calling it these days).
The count down for the trip continues….