St. Patrick Day: Road Trip Memories

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I will start by extending my lucky cyber four leaf clover to you through this post and hope all your green wishes come true today. In realizing that it is St. Patrick’s Day, it caused my mind to wonder and recall a road trip I once took with several co-workers to Chicago for the traditional dying of the river green. That trip provided me with some sound travel experience and I would like to pass along the valuable lessons I learned.

First: diversify your group. Traveling in a van with 4 gay men and a proper British woman can be quite entertaining. They had nothing at all in common but home decor and clothing; so needless to say listening to the conversations they had while I drove was both educational and comical.  Shall I just say that the definition of Queen had two entirely different meanings?
Second: if you are a power shopper and have been limited to number of bags you are allowed to bring, pack an empty one. I never understood this about one of my male passengers until he went shopping. Lord, I was glad he brought his bag empty; how many pairs of black boots does one man need?

Third: always know the people you are about to room with. For that trip I roomed with a co-worker that snored so loud I had to sleep in the bathtub with headphones on. Thank goodness I had asked early on for extra pillows and that he never woke up to go the bathroom.

Fourth: it is extremely windy and cold in Chicago; the travel channel does not do it justice. We had to wait two hours, in 30-degree weather, braving a stiff 20-mile per hour wind, for the dying of the river green. By the time the river was green my feet were blue and no, I did not stand outside any longer for the parade.

Last: never let a blond, carrying a Parda bag, that had one to many green beers, and one you do not know decide the destination for the group. After a two mile hike of endless meandering, I will never forget us sitting down to dinner and someone asking, “where are we and how did we get here?” None of us knew, including the Parda toting blond and so we embarked on a 4-mile hike back to the hotel.

I hope these travel tips help at some point in your journeys and that you do get the chance to see the Chicago River turn green. Believe me pictures do not do it justice. Just travel smart.

Going UP