I'm just back from a long road trip to RWA in NY. My husband and I love these long trips. We meander and explore on the way to our main event (which usually is a conference for me!). Along the way, I take notes on places and sights, thinking I might use what I see in a book one day. I love to play the "what if" game while we're on the road.
We stayed in some strange hotels--which always makes me think of "The Shining". Not that they were big and spooky, but some had smelly hallways and lamps that seemed to have a mind of their own. Bathrooms are always interesting along the drive. I could write a book on the best and worst public bathrooms along our Interstate highways!
People are fun to watch, too. I eavesdrop on conversations in restaurants and hotel lobbies, hoping to get an idea or two. I'm alway more observant about these things than my adorable husband. I'll lean close and say "Did you notice that couple in the corner?" To which he will reply "Where?" He doesn't have a clue. But he is good with a GPS and a map!
New York, of course, was full of interesting characters. From the sidewalk vendors to the street preachers and the Nekked cowboy and girl!!!! strange characters seemed to roam in packs around Times Square. But I also saw good, sweet people who had the spirit of humanity in their smiles. People just trying to get by and make a living. My husband is good about conversing with people who help us. I listen and see the smiles on their faces even when they are tired and weary.
That's the beauty of a great road trip--people, places, times, views, weather, sights, sounds, smells, taste (the food is always a pleasure) and touch. It's what our stories are all about. There is danger and intrigue out there in the big old world. But there is also beauty and mystery.
I love being a writer!!!