I’ve always been a fan of those crazy road trip movies. You know the ones; The Sure Thing, Wild Hogs, Rat Race and, naturally, Road Trip. So I’ve always had these wild ideas about where I wanted to go and how I wanted to get there.
And like any college junior who is quickly approaching the dreaded time of finding employment and having absolutely no time for taking the “road to nowhere,” my best friend Haley (a Kent State girl) and I decided to take a little excursion across Ohio. Now I know this sounds about as exciting as watching a snail race, considering we both grew up in the great state of corn, concrete and construction, but we managed to make the trip a pretty worth while experience. Because really, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the song that plays over your travel montage.
Stop #1: The Longaberger Basket
After what seemed like the longest drive of our lives (complete with a goose-who-feared-nothing, dense fog and dirt roads) we arrived at our first destination. An office building shaped like a giant picnic basket is not something to be missed. Haley and I joked about how all that was missing were the picnic tables shaped like ants.
The Stops In Between
The whole point of this trip, besides wanting to do something fun, was to spend as little money as possible. So we choose to see things that were either free or really inexpensive. These stipulations led us to some interesting and odd discoveries, including a massive replica of a human spine carved into a tree, a dragon holding a toothbrush (aptly named “Dragonbrush 2005”) and three dancing rabbits made entirely of materials such as old tools, coins, other statues and even clothing.
Who even comes up with these things?
We saw several other little wonders like giant soccer balls, a field of massive corn ears (which by the way, did you know Ohio used to be one of the major corn producers in the nation? It’s still up there today,) and a topiary garden shaped to replicate Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884.” That’s the one with all the people enjoying a day in the park painted completely in tiny dots, if that helps any.
The Final Destination: Newport, Kentucky
The goal of our trip was to make it down to Newport, KY in order to check out the Newport Aquarium. Haley and I are both what you might call “fish nerds” and were way too excited about getting there and hanging out with our underwater companions.
We touched sharks, braved the terrifying world called “The Frog Bog,” which was my own personal nightmare come to life and made friends with a lovely attention-seeking penguin who I adoringly named Bill. There was also the biggest American alligator I have ever seen in my life, which made my bayou-loving heart soar. (Any Swamp People fans out there?)
To end this Spring Break recap for all of you, I would like to make two suggestions. One, take a trip like this at some point in your life, whether you’re young or old. There’s nothing like spending a couple of days with a best friend and an open road. Two, try a grilled cheese made on a glazed doughnut. Seriously, it will change your life.