Road Trip Across America

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been on the road with my family. We wanted to visit several friends and relatives scattered across the country, so we decided to give our kids the educational experience of a cross country road trip.

In spite of the cost of gasoline, this was by far the cheapest way to visit all the people we wanted to visit. I also did some research and found that for this multi-destination trip, car travel was a more environmentally friendly method of travel than air travel, in terms of CO2 emitted.

It’s been a lot of fun, and of course we’ve made a lot of memories along the way. We started in Colorado, and went as far east as the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Here are some of the highlights…

1) Fishing the “I-80 Lakes”

I-80 is one of the Interstate highways that bisects the nation from coast to coast. Throughout Nebraska, there are over 50 lakes lining the edges of I-80, which were formed when the highway was built. Since the land is so flat, they had to scoop out areas of earth for road building material. The road builders worked in conjunction with fisheries biologists to turn those 50+ holes into clear-watered fish habitats. We stopped and fished five of them, which helped break up the monotony of the road, and also resulted in some nice catches…

Kids with fish

2) Story City, Iowa

We visited some good friends in this tiny city about an hour north of Des Moines. It has the feel of what you would hope and expect a typical American small town to feel like. Some of our highlights included riding the historical Story City Carousel (see picture below), and me catching a nice “smallie” (smallmouth bass) out of a nearby river.

Story City Carousel

3) Starved Rock State Park

We were hoping to do some more fishing in this beautiful state park in Illinois. However, the Illinois River was severely flooded (as were many rivers throughout the Midwest), and much of the park was closed. We still took a nice hike and got some great views of the Illinois River valley. Here are the kids overlooking the river…

Starved Rock SP

4) Sears Tower

My wife had never been to downtown Chicago, so I thought, what could be a better way to show them than to take them to the top of its tallest skyscraper? The Sears Tower used to be the tallest building in the world, but now it’s only the tallest in North America. We were fortunate to visit it on a clear evening, so the views were excellent. Here’s a pic I took from the top…

view from Sears Tower

5) Notre Dame University

I had the privilege of sitting in on a class with my brother in law, who is in Notre Dame’s MBA program. I actually learned a few things 🙂 . The campus is top notch… here’s a pic of the kids in front of “touch down Jesus”…

touch down Jesus

6) Warren Dunes State Park

We love beaches, so we jumped at the opportunity to visit Lake Michigan on a warm September afternoon. The main road to the beach was closed, due to a collapsed bridge, so the only way to access the beach was by hiking over a large sand dune. The result was miles of white sandy beaches almost exclusively to ourselves. The waves were actually big enough for me to do a bit of body surfing!

Warren Dunes State Park
Lake Michigan

7) Yates Cider Mill

My wife’s grandfather took us to Yates Cider Mill, which is on the outer edge of the Detroit suburbs. If you’re holding a cup of cider, you don’t want to stand in one place for too long or the wasps will find you, but it was worth it… They had the best apple donuts and freshest cider that we’ve ever tasted.

Yates Cider Mill

8] Niagara Falls

Having spent many of my childhood years growing up in upstate New York, I’d been to the Falls several times, but my wife and kids needed to see it.

We spent the night on the Canadian side, which also afforded us the opportunity to stock up on the Canadian chocolate bars that we miss so much in the USA (Aero, Mr. Big, Wunderbar, Krispy Krunch, etc.). Here was the view from our hotel room…

Niagara Falls Hotel view

The Falls are still beautiful, and still as powerful as ever…

Niagara Falls

9) More Fishing

OK, so the real highlight here was visiting my grandmother in Connecticut. But catching a big bass out of the pond at her retirement community was certainly a nice perk 😉

Largemouth bass

We also visited a “secret” pond with my wife’s uncle in Michigan and my son caught a mess of bluegill.

I’m actually more of a trout fisherman, but I love bass fishing too. Come to think of it, I like catching any kind of fish. (All of our fishing was catch and release, in case you cared)

We even stopped at a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Word on the way home, which is a fun store for anyone who is interested in fishing or other outdoor activities.

10) Mystic Seaport

This tourist attraction in Mystic, Connecticut is fun for adults and kids… especially if you enjoy learning. I think we visited at the perfect time, as the weather was perfect, yet there were no crowds. The best way I could describe it would be sort of a “living” history museum of seafaring America. Definitely one of the coolest things we saw on the trip.

Mystic Seaport

Oh, and we also ate at Mystic Pizza! Yeah, the real place where the Julia Roberts movie was based. I don’t know that it quite lived up to it’s motto: “A slice of heaven”, but it was fun and good.

11) Misquamicut State Beach

After traveling so far, we just had to make sure we truly reached the coast and saw some real Atlantic ocean waves. Visiting this beautiful state beach also allowed us to hit Rhode Island so our kids could cross another state off of their lists.

Misquamicut

12) Penn’s Cave, Pennsylvania

Supposedly this is America’s only “all water” cavern and wildlife park.
The boat tour did not disappoint, with a humorous guide and plenty of nice views of the cave.

Penn's Cave

Those are just some of the things I was doing over the past couple weeks. The ultimate benefit was obviously the time spent with my family, and with those we visited. My wife and I also took some time to film a documentary of each of our living grandparents.

I’ve travelled cross-country many times, and I always enjoy seeing America. Road trips like this one are a great way to see a cross section of the society in which we live.

I’m happy to report that in spite of our economic recession, America seems to be alive and well. From the big cities to the small towns that I visited, Americans are still doing their thing. I did notice some struggles in the retail sector, with stores and restaurants going out of business. But at the same time, I observed plenty of new construction and new businesses being built in every state I visited.

And of course there are problems in the finance and real estate industries. My wife’s grandparents are Realtors, with many homes listed, but the potential buyers aren’t able to get loans, which makes it very difficult to get deals done. So yeah, people are facing real struggles.

Nevertheless, small towns are having autumn festivals, and people are still finding plenty of reasons to celebrate life. We encountered friendly people from many different walks of life. I felt proud to be a part of this patchwork we call America. I’m confident that whatever happens in the upcoming months, our nation will pull though it.

But this blog is not about politics, and I’m aware that only half of my readers are in the USA… so here’s the main point…

Wherever you live, be sure to get out and enjoy the land and the people. Your life will be richer for it.

As always, you are welcome to post your comments below 🙂

Have a great day!

78 comments on “Road Trip Across America

  1. Edward

    Wow, looks fun, I hope to be able to visit America someday. Niagara Falls looks simply amazing!

    Reply
  2. charles

    Hi Eric, nice to see you and family having fun and you look refresh and recharged. Lovely photos.
    warm regards
    charles.

    Reply
  3. reg

    Thanks for sharing your photos, glad the whole family had fun… Makes me want to work harder at being a internet marketer so I can tour this beautiful U. S. A.
    talk later thanks
    Reg

    Reply
  4. Luca - Reach Success Online

    Hey Eric,
    What a great family you have. Good to see that you took some time out for R & R. I’m in Canada and would love to visit the States sometime. I have been to Chicago and had an argument well more of a disageement with my Chicago cousin as to which is taller the Sears Tower or the CN Tower in Toronto. of course I won.

    Hope you get a chance to visit Toronto – it’s a great city.
    Looking forward to your next project.

    Reply
  5. Arlene Johnson

    Looks like a wonderful vacation! Isn’t it wonderful that this business of internet marketing allows us the freedom to create memories like these?

    Reply
  6. Cindy

    Great Family Adventure, Wonderful pictures..

    Thanks For Sharing…..

    Cindy Williams

    Reply
  7. Kwame ofori-Atta

    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. It gives beginners like us the kind of lifestyle we can have when we have a strong growing business. I have been telling my wife about you since she does not believe in internet marketing.
    I told her I have a mentor in Colorado who is doing well through internet marketing.

    Reply
  8. Don

    Looks like a great trip. I think visiting Warren Dunes and having all to yourself would have been the highlight of the trip for me. Generally I’m an amusement park kinda guy, but occasionally a nice quite beach is good too.

    Reply
  9. Graeme Sutherland

    Inspiring to see your fam hit the road, Eric. Looking forward to driving to Italy with my wife :o)

    Best regards.

    Reply
  10. Sabrina O'Malone

    Outstanding Eric. Welcome Back. Who knew you grew up in upstate NY? No wonder you speak with a cultured “East Coast” accent.

    Our kids love the Falls too. Let me guess…based upon the picture from your hotel room, I’m guessing you stayed at the Fallsview Marriot -15th floor?

    -Sabrina

    Reply
  11. Ollie

    Eric great trip come back in show us how to make some money so we can do the same thing. Take care have a safe trip back home God bless!

    Reply
  12. mara

    Hi Eric,
    I think it’s the first time I take your offer to add a comment. Although there have been many occasions when I might have done so I just kept to reading other people’s comments oe questions.
    Today I feel you really deserve to be thanked not only for so many beautiful sights of your country and your family but for your thoughtful relation towards your readers and fans as well. It’s been a great pleasure to follow you across the country to watch your love for nature and to find that you care for your family and your kids. (I loked up all the names for the fish – but didn’t find any in my dictioanry

    Reply
  13. Jay

    Eric, you are so right! In Atlanta we have our heads buried in the dashboard of our car, waiting in line for gas–we have to remember why we do what we do every day and what for. It is hard to remember sometimes. Thanks for sharing and making the scenery a little better 🙂
    Jay
    http://www.TheSmallBusinessNanny.blogspot.com

    Reply
  14. Eric Post author

    Yeah I’d like to take my family to Toronto some time. I was there a year ago to film Jaime Luchuck during the Next Internet Millionaire.

    Reply
  15. mara

    oops unintentionally interupted.
    hope you don’t mind my misspellings – as I couldn’t reread the text.
    But to add a last little comment on what I find got lost in most of the big businesses and their bosses is that you make the visitors of your blog experience a part of the USA which seems to have disappeared for long in the understanding of many of your readers, visitors, customers or whatever you might all them.
    Therefore I want to say again
    Thank you for your invitation to accompany you on your late summer trip through those amiable and impressively beautiful stretches of your country.
    All the best to you and your family in a time where a lot of unexpected turbulances will change the lives of too many

    Mara 🙂
    http://newbienews.blog.de

    Reply
  16. Eric Post author

    Absolutely. It’s one of the biggest benefits of this business for me 🙂

    Reply
  17. Eric Post author

    Sounds awesome Graeme. I can’t wait to go to Europe again… we’re planning on it next spring.

    Reply
  18. Eric Post author

    Hehe, nice guess! It was Fallsview Marriott, 14th floor 🙂

    Reply
  19. ROSEMARY MACKEY

    hi nice pics iwish u visit the bahamas some day and take some nice pics to show everyone i think u and your family will love the bahamas if u visit here already send some pics thank u

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    Eric, thanks for sharing your family’s good time together and you are doing what we as humans should remember to do STOP and small the roses and enjoy the people that love us.
    Peace
    Lee Wade Lee Wade

    Reply
  21. Robyn Valade

    The best vacations I ever had were traveling with my family. We went out west and saw so many things and places. I will always remember them fondly. Thank you for sharing your families pictures with me.

    Reply
  22. t-shirts

    amazing qulity-time that the kids will take with them forever.
    bravo

    Reply
  23. Bob Wolfe

    Great pictures!! Lovely family—good fish. Thanks, brought back memories of similar trips with my three children MANY years ago. Not so lucky with the fishing.
    Love your tips. If I may, I will offer you one. Start thinking of starting regular family reunions while your family is young. It is a great way to pass the family culture forward. If interested there is free info on the website.

    Reply
  24. Andre Reggio

    Hi Eric and the fam.

    What a nice jaunt you took with the family and stopping in on your friends and relatives. I think that this would be nice for me to achieve too. “Some day” I’ll be joining you, at this time don’t know how or when.

    Reply
  25. Marcial Virginia

    Hi Eric,
    Great pictures! It’s an honor to have a share in your family matter. I feel like part of the family.Thanks
    Marcial

    Reply
  26. Eric Post author

    Thanks Bob. That’s a great idea, I’ll check out your website.

    Reply
  27. Halina

    Hy Eric,

    It is so wonderful to sharing not only the knowledge.
    Thanks a lot, it is a great stimulation for us.
    Everything is affordable for everybody.
    Best regards

    Reply
  28. William

    Thats awesome,

    Looks like your kids are about the same age as mine…. Maybe next year I will get to do the same!

    Reply
  29. D.C. Wartenberger

    Hi Eric,

    looks like you and your family had a great trip. The best thing you can do for your kids’ education is to travel and show them nature and different cultures.

    Greetings from Germany

    Dougi
    http://mindpowersource.net

    Reply
  30. Paul R

    Hi Eric,
    Beautiful family, looks like a great trip. Thanks for sharing with us. R & R is good for the soul & the family.

    Reply
  31. Gary Pettit (Instant-Paysites.com)

    Hi Eric,
    Looks like you and your family had a GREAT trip!If I remember correctly you’ll be at a seminar in San Franciso this weekend so that will be coast to coast for you!Always a pleasure to read your blogs.
    Gary
    PS: Just signed up and interested to find out more about your trading pro system next week 😉

    Reply
  32. Sally

    Those are great pictures! Thanks for sharing!
    Sally

    Reply
  33. ????

    That is what some would call….a lunker. Nice job Steve…err Eric!

    Reply
  34. Stephanie

    Wow – that looks like a trip of a lifetime! It was nice to see that you were in ‘my backyard’ at Starved Rock State Park! Welcome home!

    Reply
  35. Leeuna

    Eric,
    You have a beautiful family and the trip looks like it was great fun for the whole family. Thanks for sharing your vacation with your readers. The documentary of your grandparents is a wonderful idea. Perhape more people should do that and preserve a bit of our history.

    Smiles and Blessings 🙂

    Reply
  36. Mike Wong

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you for sharing with us your Great
    Adventures with your family.Looks like you all’re having a good time. Wow!I just
    love to see some of the beautiful pics you
    captured!
    What a nice treat for your family!

    God Bless and to your success,
    Mike Wong

    Reply
  37. Jose Damaso Ramon

    Congratulations! Your kids are a great motivation force and sharing with family is awesome.
    American scenery is inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience and your expertise too.
    Jose Damaso Ramon

    Reply
  38. Student discount locator

    Thanks for all the support you have given us.

    Its great to see you having a fantastic time with the family Eric, you deserve it mate.

    I also hope to be able to give back to people one day and also take my family on an amazing holiday

    Reply
  39. John

    Hi Eric, Great pictures. My wife and I were in the Marriot a couple of years ago, and had lunch overlooking the falls.Words can’t describe the beauty that is there.I have been to all of the states and taken my wife to most of them.What wonders God created.Bless your famiy.I’m glad that you are wise enough to see
    all of this and to cherish your wife and kids
    Thank you for being you. Sincere thanks to you.
    John Taylor

    Reply
  40. virginia bennett

    Eric you have a wonderful family and I am glad you and yours had a good time.Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Reply
  41. Rob

    Hi Eric

    Thanks for sharing your pics and thoughts as you cruised across the USA. Looks great.

    I have to try to do the same with my family one day although it is a long way from Australia.

    cheers

    Rob

    Reply
  42. David

    My inlaws are also from upstate NY, next time around visit Watkins Glen State Park, theres a 2 mile long canyon cut by a glacier there with steps all the way up and down also a neat caribou farm just behind it.

    Reply
  43. Scott Foster

    Hey Eric, Lake Michigan looks the like the ocean! Great pics 🙂

    Reply
  44. Vance

    Beautiful Eric!

    You only live once.
    Make the most of every minute.

    Vance

    Reply
  45. Floyd Dorrance

    A great article. Makes me a little home sick after being out of country for fifteen years now.

    Floyd Dorrance

    Reply
  46. Company formation

    Hey Eric,

    Fantastic blog, really love the rapport you build with us it makes it so much more then just discovering how to make $ online.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Rich

    Reply
  47. Joe Almeida

    Eric, looks like you had a great time with the family! Glad you had fun! God Bless.

    Joe Almeida

    Reply
  48. Ray schrader

    What a great experience and education this must have been, mainly for the kids! Looking forward to the Investment portfolio- Ray

    Reply

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