Wow, my travels last week connected me with friends, colleagues, and family. I traveled from Birmingham to Memphis, to Knoxville, on to Cincinnati and time in Pittsburgh. Saw a friend and client there and did a quick stop in Philadelphia and you know why, and then to New Jersey where I re-connected with clients who I had met in person, both in Iceland and Buenos Aires, but never in their home, but that has now happened. And finally, yesterday, made a quick train trip to Atlantic City round – trip and the drive to New York where I did two very important things, something I always do first upon arrival and that is to visit my maternal grandparent’s gravesite, a promise I made to myself years ago and continued this time around. Finally, I re-connected with one of my best friends in the world and enjoyed a few slices of New York pizza and just catching up with the family.
In all, to date, I have driven nearly 6000 miles, stopped and or eaten at 11 Hard Rocks around the country on my Wandering Puffin’s Hard Rockin’ Road Trip around America and traveled to and through 17 states and still have a few more days left and one more Hard Rock to experience, when I start the last leg of my trip on Wednesday. What I can say about these 2 ½ week are the amazing experiences I have had, the people I have met and just feeling the open road again after some 35 years since I was a road warrior. The landscapes I have seen. The characters I have met. The music I have heard and the food I have eaten in local eats places, diners, local favorites, the Hard Rock Cafes and even the food trucks I have tried. They have all given me a very positive thought that when it comes down to it, people are people and truly want to enjoy life and be happy. I had so many conversations with owners, managers, waitstaff and felt a true, but perhaps, lost, Americana. Route 66 is not the only place where you can see this as every little town has those mom and pop shops, little candy stores, and a good ice cream here or there, and I spent some time on Route 66, as well. Trying the local fare is what I am all about and that won’t change.
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin