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The List: Nothing like the open road

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 11:56 a.m. CDT

Sure, flying is a more efficient way to travel for a vacation, but when I have the time, there's nothing better than a road trip.

On the open road, you are your own boss (as long as you respect traffic laws). When flying, you are at the mercy of others – pilots, the FAA, the weather, security, you name it. The open road has none of those barriers.

I'm headed to Texas for a week's vacation. And guess how I'm getting there – by car.

Here's a list about road trips:

• When I can, I avoid interstates. Because on the interstate, "all you see is the interstate," according to the cab driver in the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

You get a feel for a region by driving its 2-lane roads. Just about all you see on an interstate are cars, rest stops, fast-food joints, gas stations, billboards. Other than scenery, nothing really changes, whether you're in New Mexico or New Jersey.

• I pick up newspapers when I stop for gas. And not just the big metro dailies. I like to buy the small weeklies. They're the ones where you're likely to find out about the barking dogs in the 300 block of Maple Street and Mary's latest visit to see her grandchildren in Kentucky. Nothing is too small. (Maybe bigger papers could learn a lesson or two.)

• Some of my favorite destinations are in the South, much of which is hilly and forested. I've visited the National Civil Rights Museum, which is the converted hotel in Memphis where Martin Luther King was shot; Little Rock Central High, where the feds ensured the integration of blacks into the student body in 1957; and the French Quarter in New Orleans. I would like explore the Appalachian region as well.

• For my vacations, I choose warm destinations. Comfort is key. Putting on a heavy jacket and going skiing is not my thing.

David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at dgiuliani@saukvalley.com or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on Twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.

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