Hurray! It’s time to plan this year’s annual fall road trip. Like in years past, I could tell you about how we meticulously planned for the road trip, making a comprehensive list of all the sights and attractions throughout the American West. Then we research every prospective locale and make a tabulation of the pros and cons of each, taking into account weather, accommodations, culinary establishments, nightlife, scenery and cultural attractions. After that is complete, we winnow down the list until we have the top fifty destinations. Then we feed the destinations into a computer program that a team of MIT grads was hired to develop. Unfortunately, the computer program was designed to make trades on commodity markets and thus is not terribly good at selecting the optimum places at which to vacation this year. But it’s an expensive and impressive program with a voice output system for which Morgan Freeman supplied the vocals, so it’s extra specially impressive. After we get the same fifty destinations back out of the program, along with a recommendation that we buy pork bellies, we put them all in a hat and randomly pull out the three to five places we’ll visit this year.
I could tell you all that and I would, but it would be a lie. This year, as in years past, Mary got the idea for the annual trip from a travel magazine. So we’ll be going to Yosemite.
Now we could fly out to San Francisco and drive directly to the lodge in Yosemite but then it would only be a pale imitation of a road trip. A proper road trip requires more than a quick and efficient excursion between points A and B. There should be some backtracking, a few stops at weirdly unappealing roadside attractions, and diversions onto scenic byways that only see a few tourists a year, and they mostly end up fleeing for their lives after encountering the seriously inbred and highly homicidal locals. Or so I have been given to understand from watching too many horror movies. So I had to tack on some other places to go. First we’ll drive up to Napa, as I am given to understand that there is some wine to be had in and around this locality. Then we’ll drive over to Yosemite, so Mary can sit on the deck of the lodge, sip tea and admire the mountains and valleys views. I’ll be hiking up a mountain, and down into a valley, and up another mountain, at least till I sweat out all the wine I drank in Napa.
Finally, we’ll head over to the Big Sur area cause we need to do some more driving. And we must see some more big trees, only a different kind of big tree. Instead of drinking wine while watching the sun sets over the vineyards, or drinking wine while the sun sets over the mountains, we’ll be drinking wine while the sun sets over the Pacific. We like to think of it as a well-rounded vacation experience.