Why do I hate Neil Gaiman?  I’ll get to that.  Oh yes, I will…

Destination: Orlando.

Method of Travel: Volkswagen Routan.

Estimated Driving Time: 18 hours.

Yep, eighteen hours for the 2012 Spring Break Road Trip.  But I enjoy road trips. I love to see the scenery, even if most of it is viewed from the interstate.  So I finished work at 3 on Friday, we were on the road by 3:45 and, even with the numerous potty breaks (I have a weak bladder), we knocked off almost 7 hours of driving time that night.  Unfortunately however, the long stretch that is my home state of Illinois ate away most of the daylight hours.  By the time we crossed into Kentucky and then Tennessee (two states I very much enjoy driving through) darkness had crept in and there wasn’t much to see.

Neither I, my wife, nor my two children are fond of straight-through drives longer than 8 hours anyway, so we pulled over in Tennessee.  Luck would have it that we chose the same exit that everyone driving to Orlando chose and finding a hotel proved difficult.  We did find a vacancy, eventually, at a hotel with rooms that opened to the parking lot.  It looked like the kind of hotel where drug deals usually tend to go very, very wrong

Things worked out, though.  There was no gun or knife play anywhere near the hotel, we got a passing night’s sleep, and then set out early the next morning.  With large coffees in the cup holders, we drove through the hills of Tennessee and watched the pockets of fog laze in the nooks high in the hills.  As I drove, I stroked my goatee and pondered the natural wonders before me (see here  for a full description of my pondering-abilities) and did what any other want-to be writer would do in the face of such stunning  beauty:

I tweeted about that shit.

Then I felt pretty cool.

A few days later, Neil Gaiman (author of Coraline, The Graveyard Book, American Gods, the Sandman comic books, blah blah blah) tweeted that he had just spent a beautiful Spring day driving the back roads of Kentucky and Tennessee.  Reading that gave me a little glimmer of something–pride maybe, joy that I had done something similar to what such a fabulous author had done.

I stroked my goatee again. I smiled.

And then Mr. Gaiman posted a photo of what he saw during his super-special drive: Click here for Mr. Gaiman’s photo.

See?  That guy even travels cooler than I do… and he doesn’t even have a goatee.