Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cities With Friends

As I compile a list of cities/places/landmarks/outposts/etc/etc/etc I want to visit/stop in/drive though I am keeping in mind which friends of mine live in these cities, and do I feel comfortable enough sleeping in their homes and eating their food. Mostly the answer is yes, except when I find a city like Phoenix, AZ that is possibly worth seeing but the only person I know living there was a friend from elementary school (possibly even nursery school) who I haven't had face to face contact with in at least 7 years. Facebook is such a falsity when it comes to "friends" and friends. Everyone seems to be your friend, but really more than 80% of people listed as friends on Facebook, are just "friends". Is it worth going to cities where I don't know anyone? Of course it is, it just means I have to work a little harder at getting the funds to stay in a hotel/motel for a night or two. That being said, this is the list of cities I have compiled where I have friends (not the kind in quote marks) living in or nearby.

Seattle, WA - Nicole G. (LiveJournal friend who I have not met)
San Francisco, CA - Brandon B. (Boston U. friend), Arash P. (LiveJournal friend), Jamila D. (Pomfret HS friend), Tamara L. (LiveJournal friend who I have not met)
Los Angeles, CA - Adrinne D. (Livejournal friend who I have not met)
San Diego, CA - Sarah Beth (LiveJournal friend), Shannon N. (LiveJournal friend)
Houston, TX - Theresa S. (LiveJournal friend), Nick L. (friend of life's randomness)
Jacksonville, FL - Nicole F. (LiveJournal friend who I have not met)
Moultrie, GA - Nathan B. (LiveJournal friend who I have not met - though he may not live in GA at the time this trip takes place)
Raleigh, NC - Karla (LiveJournal friend)
Washington, DC - Liz M. (PHS friend), Eddie S. (Southampton HS friend)
Philadelphia, PA - Asher S. (Facebook friend, seriously)
Fairfiend, CT - Caroline S. (PHS friend)
Boston, MA - Hope R. (SHS friend)
Portland, ME - Kevin F. (childhood friend), Cara G. (randomness friend)
Charlottetown, PE - Kelly H. (LifeJournal friend)
Port Huron and Detroit, MI - Kara B. (LiveJournal friend), Jennifer D. (LiveJournal friend)
Columbus, OH - Jen S. (randomness friend)
St. Louis, MO - Grandma, Aunt M., cousins and their children
Tulsa, OK - Grandma R. and Grandpa B.'s graves
Denver, CO - Cammy F. (PHS friend)

Now to plan an itinerary that includes as many of these cities worth going to as possible with stopover in other great cities worth going to along the way.

Do I need to bring my own pillow and toothpaste?

It Begins

I am about halfway done with "Neither Here Nor There Travels In Europe" by Bill Bryson. This travel memior of sorts is filled with dry humor, personal agendas, and on a whim adventureousness. Whilst reading this book, I have discovered that this is how it all comes together. I am to take a break from "the real world" (employment, apartment, responsibility...) and fulfil my fantasy of taking a road trip. Once upon a dream I imagined this trip with another individual. The current fantasy is a solo trip, though not one without friends and persons of that general nature. I will drive alone. I will travel alone. I will simply use my friends in certain cities (though use is such a harsh word) for their free couches or guest bedrooms, bathrooms that don't require "shower shoes", and kitchens that produce meals without having to order off a menu. Though it is actually not fair at all to say that I will be using my friends for their inexpensive and inexplicably convenient lodgings, the trip is about them. This recent road trip fantasy derived from my deep desire to visit my friends from high school, college, random knowings in life, and the internet who I haven't seen (or met, in some cases of my internet friends) in a period of time that is unsuitable if I am to consider these people my friends.The plan is this: to visit as many friends in as many cities as possible but still see some great American (and Canadian!) outposts (Grand Canyon, Redwood Forest, Niagara Falls to name a few) while driving full circle from NY. It seems impossible... or at least undesirable.Now if only I could pick up a car in Yellowstone National Park and leave it in Fairfield, CT with ~10,000 miles or so added on...