Happy National Virtual Vacation Day! It’s Time for a Road Trip!

by Saranda Rasmusson

I have to say I’ve really enjoyed going on all these fun vacations with you, and I hope you have as well, because guess what? It’s National Virtual Vacation Day! And since today is National Virtual Vacation Day, I thought we could all go on a very special adventure: a road trip! We’re going to hit the road and see what we discover along the way.

You get up bright and early, but you’re way too excited to be tired. The weather is perfect for a long drive with the windows down, and you can’t wait for this trip! You’ve just loaded the car and it’s stocked with snacks, drinks and all the essentials for a successful road trip. You jump in, turn the radio to FM89, and you’re ready to set off. Where are we going? I don’t know yet…but that’s what makes a road trip fun!

After about twenty minutes on the road, you turn into your favorite coffee place’s drive-thru and pick up a huge cup of coffee for the long drive ahead. As you watch the iconic spots of your town pass by, you get this warm nostalgic feeling. You remember all the fun and important moments that happened in your life in this town, but at the same time it makes you even more excited to see new things and make new memories.

Wait! One of the hundred road signs that just zoomed by caught your eye. There it is again! Exit 17! You take advantage of this opportunity to be spontaneous and head toward a restaurant known for the tallest stack of pancakes in the world. How could you pass that up? You walk into this homey diner and you’re not sure if it’s intentionally 50’s themed, or just hasn’t been updated in over 60 years. After you’re seated in a cozy booth with a huge window view of this small town’s main street, you order your world’s tallest stack of pancakes.

As you wait, you sip on your steamy hot cup of coffee. All of a sudden, you hear clapping coming from the kitchen, followed by the oohs and aahs coming from the people sitting closest to the kitchen. As the clapping gets louder and faster you start to see your pancakes coming around the corner and you’re shocked! That’s a lot of pancakes! Sitting in front of you is a plate bigger than your face, filled with the tallest stack of pancakes you’ve ever seen in your life. You pick up the piping hot side of syrup and attempt to reach the top pancake. After eating about a third of the way down the stack, you’re finally able to slather them with syrup and butter, which makes these already fluffy and flavorful pancakes even better!

Two hours, three refills of syrup, and about five to-go containers later, you’ve managed to finish about two thirds of the mountain of pancakes that was in front of you. A quick wave to your waitress and you’re on your way down the street to your car. Everyone you meet gives you a smile, and upon seeing the abundance of to-go containers in your arms, congratulates you on your pancake victory.

As you pull onto a rural road that weaves through a beautifully wooded area, your favorite song comes on the radio and you have no choice but to turn it all the way up, open all the windows, and sing along at the top of your lungs. You watch as the towering trees zip by and you see glimpses of the native creatures scurrying through the woods. You see a trail and pull over. It’s a trail lined with signs detailing all the different wildlife in the area and it looks like a fun hike. While you walk down this path, through the trees and wildflowers, you read each sign and learn interesting facts and tidbits about the region. As you come up a slight hill, you start to see the trees part and a breathtaking pond stretches out in front of you. There are frogs croaking and birds chirping. You see multicolored fish swimming by, rabbits hopping through the bushes, and birds flying from tree to tree. It’s so peaceful, so you decide to kick off your shoes and sit on a nearby rock, hanging your feet into the water to bask in the beauty all around you.

The sun is starting to go down, so you decide it’s time to get back to the car. As you walk back down the trail, your stomach rumbles and you can’t believe you’re hungry again after eating your body weight in pancakes just a few hours before. A few miles down the road, you notice a small drive-in a restaurant where all the servers are zipping around the cars on skates. You pull into an empty spot and order their yummiest looking burger, loaded fries, and a large hand-scooped milkshake. As you wait, a car pulls in that’s blasting their stereo, but you don’t mind because it’s a good song. By the time your food comes out, the music has created a party out of the mass of cars around you. People are dancing, laughing, and having a great time, and you’re so glad you listened to your stomach and pulled into this place. The burger was juicy, the fries were fresh, and the shake was thick and creamy. You almost don’t want to leave, but there’s still so much left to explore! You pull back onto the main road and head on to the sunset toward your next adventure. I wonder where we’re going to explore next?