It has been an eventful week, but we have returned home after a restful vacation in New Jersey. After nearly 2,000 miles and countless hours in the car, we are back where we belong. It always feels great to be home after time away, even after an enjoyable journey. I made a few observations along the way that I would like to share.
First, having been born and raised in Illinois, I am always amazed at how much better things are done in other states. For instance, in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, there are several convenient travel plazas along the interstate. Most of these are very clean and have a lot to offer weary travelers. Illinois has very few of these, and the ones that are available are nowhere near as nice. Where does the money go from the tolls that motorists pay when travelling through Illinois?
Second, there are still a lot of good people in the world, despite what you may see on TV. Amanda and I met lots of kind people in New Jersey that were willing to take a few minutes out of their day to talk. Sitting outside a donut shop in downtown Asbury Park, we were greeted by several friendly people just out for a stroll. It costs nothing to be kind, other than a little time.
Third, it is always good to be with family. We may not see eye to eye on everything. Likewise, we may get on each other’s nerves from time to time. However, there is nothing like the love of a family. I am proud to say I have a great family both near and far.
Finally, can we stop putting gumball machines inside every travel plaza across the country? It seems like in every plaza we visited there were gumball machines just inside the door. At each machine stood kids who were much too young begging their parents for a quarter. Whoever came up with this idea must be making millions! On second thought, maybe Illinois could use some of these. Perhaps our schools and other essential services would then be adequately funded. If not at least we’d keep the dentists in business.