Road Trip Across the U.S.

Bucket List: Road Trip Across the U.S. = Accomplished.

On the evening of Thursday, December 8th, I hopped in a beautiful black BMW with an old friend from my middle and high school days to embark on a road trip journey that would take us all the way across the country from one ocean to the other.  We literally started with our feet in the sand in Virginia Beach at 5th Street and ended in San Diego, California with another photo in the sand at Ocean Beach.  I’m not exactly sure why this particular event was on my Bucket List because as I was preparing for the trip, most people thought that I was crazy… “How are you going to handle being on the road so long?” or “What are you going to do for 14 hours straight in a car?” or most often” Why on earth would you want to do something like that?”

Well, for starters, it’s something I’ve never done before and I thought it would be a cool experience.  It would give me the opportunity to see parts of the country I’ve never seen.  Maybe I could see the largest ball of yarn in the world or a petrified piece of ham or maybe a larger-than-life dinosaur replica? (Yes to the dinosaur replica, and unfortunately we missed the yarn and petrified ham.)  I guess I just thought it would be fun.  Now hang on a second though, 5 days in a car would not be fun with just anyone.  If you were sitting next to someone really boring, or someone who had really poor showering habits, or someone who won’t let you sing at the top of your lungs, then that would NOT be fun.  But if you go on this trip with someone like my friend Ben, then you’re in for a good time guaranteed.

Ben and I have a somewhat unique relationship, so to speak. We’ve been friends ever since I can remember. Our parents went to school together back in the 70’s and when Ben and I started having classes together in middle school we quickly realized that our friendship would stick.  True story: Ben’s mom reconnected with my parents during an open house at our middle school and upon realizing that their kids were in the same Spanish class his mom said, “Oh yeah, Ben thinks Meghan is hot!”  I am told that my mom then asked “What does that mean?” and my dad replied, “Val, you remember ‘hot’.” Perfect example of my mom’s innocence and innate cluelessness about dating.  Hey, she married her high school sweetheart… who can blame her?

Anyway, after our days of Spanish class were over, we remained friends throughout high school and spent most weekends on bus trips all over the east coast for marching band, colorguard, and drumline competitions.  And let me just make a quick disclaimer, I was not in the band. I was in the colorguard. Which sometimes sounds worse. Unless you were in MY colorguard. Which makes you awesome. Just sayin. Ben was a drummer. And of course, drummers are just hot.  Always. Period. (Mom, that means cute/good looking/handsome/gorgeous/etc.)

So we spent a lot of time together. We went through the realm of being best friends, dating each other’s friends, dating each other, back to friends, and we went to Golden Corral for junior prom.  For real. Cause that’s how we roll. 

Prior to his moving back home a few weeks ago, I had not seen him in 6 years… so goes the story of our friendship.  Ben is in the Marines and has been in 27 countries (I think that’s the number) during the last few years.  Crazy, I know.  Since he’s gone a lot and when he’s “home” he’s not really home because he’s stationed in California, or North Carolina, or JAPAN for heaven’s sake, we go through spurts in our friendship.  Sometimes we talk daily, weekly, monthly, or we may go months without talking and then one day out of the blue I’ll get a random text or facebook message and we’re back on it again like we never skipped a beat.  We have both been through quite a lot of life since the beginning of our friendship as you can imagine.  We started this relationship when our biggest concerns were acne and where to sit in the lunch room.  And now I’ve been through college, grad school, relationship drama, traveling, career, etc. and he has seen and experienced more of this world (in good ways and probably not so good ways) than any of us could ever imagine.  Yet even though our lives change and our personalities change with it, he is one of the only friends I have from that long ago who I can still get together with and talk like nothing has changed at all.  After all these years, he can still make me crack up at the drop of a hat and this made for a great trip.

More to come!


  1. […] December 16, 2011: “Bucket List: Road Trip Across the U.S. = Accomplished.” […]

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