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American Road Trip, 1998


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1998-07-02 - 11:35:34

The Beginning

American Road Trip: The Beginning

SOMETIME DURING THE SPRING SEMESTER of my senior year at Notre Dame, I decided I wanted to travel around the country during the summer. Iím not sure where the idea actually came from, but I recall hearing that my Uncle John, Momís brother, was thinking of driving to California with my aunt and two cousins. I did some rough math ó the only math I do these days since the two consecutive Cs I got in freshman calculus ó and figured, based roughly on Johnnyís age, that it would be 20 years before I had a chance to do this again. This is when I first thought I might actually do it.

It was maybe April, and I started telling people of my plans, partly as a way to see who might be interested in joining me. My roommate, Bryan, considered it, but then he found himself a job in Boston a month after we graduated, and two weeks before I planned on leaving. Jaime, a friend from high school Iíve stayed very close with, also thought about coming with me, but then she received an offer to do some graphic designing for a small company near Philadelphia.

So it was just me and a 1986 Volvo.

I came home from a week in New England for two graduation parties, and had an invitation to visit Laura, a fellow graduate from Marylandís eastern shore who spent the summer as an intern in Washington, D.C. Other friends in our clan ó Bryan, Mia, and Kathy ó were planning on staying with Laura to celebrate Americaís birthday at Beer, Hog and Crabfest V ó Beermageddon. Thatís where I decided Iíd start my trip. The timing was perfect because I wasnít going to leave before June 28, a date for which we had tickets to see the Mets and Yankees wrap up their three-game series at Shea Stadium. It turned out to be the only game the Mets won.

So thatís how it came to be that I loaded up the Volvo and headed south right around noon on July 2 to begin my summer tour of America.

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