I have always enjoyed road trips. I remember going with my family to Michigan, the Outer Banks and Maryland. Little did I know that I was going to drive over 4,000 miles in two months this summer. When I took my job in Akron, I thought that I would be bored in Akron. Instead an opportunity to go somewhere crept up almost every weekend. I am not complaining, it kept me busy and fueled my desire to travel for at least a little while. I did all of the traveling alone, which was also good; it gave me time to think about a variety of things and refine my karaoke skills. Yes that was a joke.
Some trips were short, two hours home to Columbus or an hour to Sandusky, but my Michigan trek was a beefy eight hours. What I did for this post was break down my summer of road trips to an itinerary of every weekend (is it still an itinerary if it was already done? Oh well, that is what I am going with).
Weekend one: Despite it being my first weekend away from home for the summer, my mother gave me a guilt trip into coming home for the weekend. In all fairness it was for my brother’s birthday and Father’s Day. I visited the family, updated them on my job and living in Akron. I also visited old friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile.
Weekend Two: Friday Night I had some friends from High school drive up and I showed them around Akron. We took the time to walk around the campus of Akron University, which proved to be much nicer than I had expected. Saturday morning I drove to Norwalk, Ohio to visit my girlfriend and her family. Later on Saturday I went to Cedar Point’s Soak City for the first time. It was great weekend weather wise; a bit too good, I got my first sunburn.
Weekend Three: Almost time for Fourth of July! My family had booked a vacation in Northern Michigan many months back and I was hoping that I would be able to squeeze it into my work schedule. Thankfully, I was able to crank through the week and get my projects done so that I could take the following week off and have some vacation time with my family. Friday night, some of the other interns and I hung out. The following morning, I trucked the 500 miles to Michigan .There was some great family bonding, great food, shopping for the women, and plenty of the time spent on the water boating and skiing.
Weekend Four: Halfway through the internship and I haven’t stayed in Akron over the weekend yet. Our rental period for the house in Michigan ran out on Saturday and I finagled a way to extended my vacation another day, not wanting to face the reality of the office quite yet. I drove another hour and half to Gaylord where I met a buddy from school and his family. Again, more time at the lake and great food. Come Sunday, I made the long trek back to Akron. Unfortunately, I did hit a lot of holiday traffic and I got a flat 40 miles west of Akron, not the ideal way to end a vacation but I didn’t mind all that much.
There is a Bobcat somewhere in Northern Michigan…
Weekend Five: Nikki had bought tickets to Toby Keith for my birthday so she came into town and we went to Blossom for an entertaining show of both Toby and his fans (I don’t care if you care for the music or not, country concerts can be some of the most entertaining because of the fans).
Weekend Six: I worked late on Thursday allowing me to skate out of work early and blast to Cinci. A group of us planned to meet for a Rascal Flatts concert. Friday I saw a Reds game as the sun sank behind the city; it was a picture perfect night. The next day, we all met up and geared up for the concert. I had seen Rascal Flatts in concert three times prior but this was the best show I had seen of them yet. Then I drove the four hours back to Akron from Cinci on Sunday night to make work in the morning. I was called crazy, but driving on the interstate with no traffic into the wee hours of the morning was actually relaxing.
Weekend Seven: I headed back to Norwalk for dinner in Sandusky and Cedar point in the morning. A group of us Bobcats got together and headed to the land of the Dragster, Maverick, and Millennium Force. After eleven hours at the park, we decided we had enough, grabbed a pizza on the way home then crashed. Sunday consisted of being lazy by the pool; check sunburn number two.
Weekend eight: I determined another trip home was in order. I took the time to catch up with my family and some friends before they went back to school. I was also craving some home cooking again.
Weekend nine: There was a turning of tables this weekend. I decided last minute that I was going to go support my dad in something he was doing. After several years of him attending swim meets and polo matches, I met him at the halfway point and finish line of Peletonia—a 100 mile bike trip that raises awareness and funding to fight cancer. Then it was 71-N again for my final trek to Akron. I was growing tired of hearing “turn left onto Interstate 71 North and drive 99 miles” from Laura, the computer automated voice of my navigation app.
Dad and Bella at the 50 mile mark
Weekend Ten: I wrapped things up at work, finished projects, said my goodbyes and had an offer in-hand to come back next summer. My Jeep was packed to the brim and I headed south on Friday to come home. I had six days of which I had to fit all of the activities I usually do in a summer.
Akron in the Mirror.
That meant, I said goodbye to friends before they left for school, went back to a polo practice, did some house projects, went to the dentist, caught up on some work for student orgs, got my car serviced, went to Alum Creek for mountain biking and walked the dog. Summer 2012: it’s been real, see ya! Hello Athens, it’s good to be back.