Before I tell the lengthy account of my week-long vacation, please enjoy the songs I loved from playing my song library during the trip!
I went on a roadtrip with my boyfriend. It was a good mix of nature and city. We went from Toronto to upstate New York to Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and, finally, New York City.
When it comes to lengthy roadtrips like this, it’s always advisable to get a second driver. You can cover more area and save energy for more activities if you can distribute the driving to more than 1 person.
If you know someone working at a hotel, ask whether you can get discounts as their relative or friend. Big hotel chains may have those kinds of benefits for their employees. Take advantage of it, especially when you’re going to a place like New York City. It’s a good place to pig out, and your hotel savings can open your wallet up to more food cravings, and gifts!
We didn’t really plan every little thing in this trip. We just decided to go away for a certain number of days and decided which spots to check out. We booked our hotel stays usually a night or two before we arrived at our destination. It usually freaks me out when there are no plans laid out. My boyfriend enjoys going with the flow. I now realize the value of his spontaneity. Vacations cannot be too regimented. There’s no specific time to enjoy yourself. You just have to enjoy now, wherever you are. Of course, this comes with the risk of spending more. But, this is why we save for vacations. Vacations are not the time to be uber-stingy. You can be thrifty but live a little.
There were times that really tried me during the trip. I have very high standards when it comes to toilets. One of the inns we stayed in at one of the small towns we visited gave me nightmares. I may be exaggerating but I clean my own washroom – a less than immaculate washroom irks me! That’s why I’m writing a paragraph about it. It offends me that I’m given a service as if I didn’t pay for it. We found a cheaper inn where the people were nicer and the place spotless, the following night. Thank the lawdddddd!
We wanted to set aside the biggest chunk of our budget in New York City. So, we ate a lot of turkey sandwiches from upstate NY to Rhode Island. We were amazed at how cheap ready-made food were. We were more amazed that fruit was very expensive. For a country that has plenty of arable land, this didn’t make sense. But, damn, I learnt to love turkey sandwiches. I’ve become an expert at making them. The recipe is easy: sourdough bread, hummus (preferably with tomato and basil), pepper jack cheese slices and turkey slices. The entire thing costs less than $10 and makes 4-6 sandwiches. Bring a water canteen with you. Buying bottled water can really become expensive. If you like your water cold, hotels have ice machines on each floor.
I’ll write about the New York City leg of our trip in the next post because NYC is an experience of its own.
We needed a vacation and we got what we needed. Traveling always gives one some perspective into the goings on in their life. There was a point in this trip where I started to miss Toronto. It’s not perfect here but I am proud to live in this city.
Coincidentally, this trip is the first trip I made as a Canadian. I am proud to bring that identity with me everywhere I go now. And I make sure that people think of us as good tourists. We signal before we turn or change lanes. We don’t litter nor spit. We don’t talk loudly because we don’t own the space. We treat locals kindly because it’s their home and we’re guests. We don’t trample on vegetation because ecosystems are fragile. I’m not writing these to brag. I’m writing these to remind fellow tourists that the places we visit are the places some people call home. Please respect their home.
Shoutout to the people of Vermont. Your towns are clean and you have good driving habits. Drivers in Vermont actually give way to emergency vehicles, and drive on the slow lane when they’re slow, fast lane when they’re fast. Plus, we like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Bernie Sanders. We also liked the double cheeseburger at Al’s French Frys in South Burlington.
And while you’re on the interstate roads, check for an IHOP nearby. The mozzarella sticks are worth the stop. Also, I’d like to mention the abundance of Dunkin Donuts branches during the trip. The last time I ate at a Dunkin, I was probably 16 or younger. It was such a 90’s thing to get doughnuts from Dunkin. Before we left the US, I had to get the munchkins. I know we have Timbits in Canada but my childhood can only identify with Dunkin Donuts munchkins. I’m usually an emotional mess when it comes to these things but I held myself together while eating a piece of little nostalgia.
We’ve done California before and it was a paradise. We have New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut (briefly) on our list now. The US is an exciting place, I must say. The terrain is varied across states and there’s all sorts of interesting things and people within those states worth discovering. I actually wanna experience the music scenes in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Chicago next time. I’m always game for another roadtrip!