The Library Club Guide to Road Trips

Let's face it, weekends on Stony Brook are boring. Everyone either goes home because they cannot bare to be stuck here; or they sit in their room, wishing they had gone home. Well boredom be damned because I have discovered the art of Road Trips. And I have decided to share this delicate art with the rest of you, so you too can bask in its wonderful glory.

1. Gather a group of 3-4 friends. One of them better have a car, otherwise you won't get very far.

2. Decide where to go. I would suggest starting off with places no more than 2.5 hours away and working your way up. The perfect city to start with is Philadelphia (highlights per city to come later).

3. Get directions. Take your address and the address of one place you wish to visit in the city you and your friends have decided to go (ex: South St. in Philly). For the safety and sanity of everyoneinvovled, USE RANDMCNALLY. Otherwise you WILL get lost. Trust me.

4. Everyone should meet up no later than noon. Only losers get up at 6am. You need your energy to wander around the city, so try and make sure you get some sleep the night before. Road trips with out sleep, or hung over, are a lot harder and are not meant foramatuers.

5. Rest stops are half the fun. I've learned to appreciate the smell of rest stop soap, and the hands free towel dispensers. It's gauranteed that you will stop at one (the very least) of these fine facilities on your way to or from wherever you are. It has everything you're little heart may desire at the time, but watch out, its terribly overpriced. This brings up the subject of food….

6. Food can be purchased at rest stop if need be. But if you value your health, you're going to find little or nothing to eat. Everything is fast food. I always opt for french fries and a side salad when I have to. Otherwise bring food in the car. Peanut Butter and Jelly is your best friend. This also applies to drinks. Bring them, don't buy them.

7. Have fun! When you get to where you're going remember to have fun. Typically I have a sort of itinierary prepared that has addresses, hours of operation, and phone numbers for everywhere worth visiting.

Other tips of the trade: (a) Make sure you have directions home; Its not always as simple as reversing the ones there. (b) If you do get fast food, immediately clean you car out when you're done. Otherwise your car, your friends and yourself will smell like fried food. (c) Bring money. Bring more than you think you need. Have an emergency fund at all times.

If you are the driver: There is always tolls and gas involved. Obviously it is not fair for the driver to pay for all of that. Before anyone goes anywhere in the car, start a money pit. The more people you have the less money each needs to put in. Typically 10-20 dollars per person is enough to cover all gas and tolls.

Cities and things to do: Being that I'm rather obsessive about certain bands and certain music, I travel for namely concerts. That means I'm not usually in the city longer than it takes to eat food, see the show, talk to the band, and leave. Typically this goes on for many days, in many cities. So here is a list of the cooler places to visit.

Philadelphia (2.5-3hrs). Stay on the right side of the tracks. Between South St. and the historical district you will find plenty to fill your interest and stomach. If you so desire vegetarian food, there are amazing places just off South St. all over. But fair warning, do not cross the train tracks (literally).

Washington DC (5 hrs). Most of DC is a ghetto its true. Which is unfortunate because all the venues are immersed in this HUGE ghetto. But outside the ghetto, in the business and tourist district, is an amazing city. There isn't much to eat outside of overpriced delis, and chain restaruants, but there are a ton of museums, shops and government buildings to OOO and AAAHH at.

Boston (4.5hrs). This is my favorite city. It's tiny, but each district is entirely unrecongizable to the other. Harvard Square is the MECCA of college students, where you'll find some funky overpriced shops, plenty of bars, a toy store or two, and generally people our own age hanging out.

Other cities of interest: Baltimore (4hrs.), Cleveland (10hrs) (only for the professionally nuts, you will probably need to stay the night), Albany (4hrs).

Most cities have websites with things to do. If you're like me, most bands will eventually play these cities, and always appreciate traveling fans.



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