The Road to Ithaca: Day 1

Hi everybody! As you may or may not know, this past summer I took a week long road trip up the East coast of America. I traveled with my best friend, Armando, as we set our destination to Ithaca, New York, where a summer long internship awaited us at the Hangar Theatre.

Now, for as long as I can remember, it had been a small dream of mine to drive up and down the East. Since middle school I have drawn maps, planned routes, and researched itinerary. Yes, at first it was an expedition based on cryptozoology, but now as a senior in college I aimed at stops centered on the theatre and history. Of course, I saw some odd things and I most definitely encountered some strange happenings, particularly in New England, but I’ll get to all that in due time.

Therefore, after seven days on the road and travelling through sixteen different states (and the District of Columbia) I can say that… we barely scratched the surface! But what we did scratch is certainly good for now.

Monday May 28, 2012

The first day began early, at roughly 4:30 in the morning. Jaynee and I had gotten ready and drove over to Armando’s house in order to pick him up for the scrumptious breakfast Robert was fixin’ up for us. We ate like kings. So after our goodbyes we started out on the open road towards Melbourne where we would catch Interstate 95 North to Washington, DC. This would be our road for more than 1200 miles. Now, I think I’m good with goodbyes at the time, but once I’m gone and start thinking about them that’s when I start to get choked up, especially with how my mind works, all weird and stuff. I can’t help but think about how I’m going on a life changing odyssey where I’ll be meeting new people, learning completely new things, and I might come back in September a whole new me. A line from “Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band always rings in my ear:

“Goodbye to all my friends at home; Goodbye to people I’ve trusted; I’ve got to go out and make my way; I might get rich, you know I might get busted…” 

So there I was driving farther than I had ever been from home in my life, for longer than I had ever been away, and I was already feeling homesick. But alas, that’s what being in a car for ten hours will do to you.

This is Pedro.

Anyways, we got to our first stop to stretch our legs and I had planned on it being at the tackiest,   most low life, and dumb-as-bricks place I knew (and had always wanted to go): South of the Border. This is the pure definition of a road side attraction and the sprawling “Mexico” laid right on the border of the two Carolinas. Not only was it a little creepy, but there were gorilla statues and reptile pits and ice cream stands, just an amalgamation of things that shouldn’t be. All the while it is lorded over by a figure named Pedro, that I swear is a step away from cult status, but one of those nasty, margarita-laced-with-strychnine ones. With that said, there was no way we were eating there so after a quick rundown of the gift shop we Speedy Gonzalez’ed it out of there.

And just where did we high-tail it to? Well, while Washington, DC was our destination, we knew we didn’t want to drive all the way there that first day, so we could just ride in the next morning. Also, it was dark and we were tired so we camped out at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Only an hour away from DC, it also offered something I love and that Armando had never done. Battlefield!!! Yes, Virginia was ground zero for the Civil War and the land around Frederickburg was the bloodiest of the War, seeing four huge and decisive clashes in a matter of years. I won’t go into a history lesson, but it’s pretty hallow ground, and we decided that we would do that early in the morning before driving to Washington.

Tuesday May 29, 2012

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