The Driveby Tourist Beginning

  • Post last modified:July 13, 2019

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The Driveby Tourist Beginning

Once upon a time, in a city far away (from my home), the beginnings of an idea germinated. Basically, The Driveby Tourist Beginning happened in 1981 or ’82. Actually, I don’t remember the year. By the way, the pictures shown here are public domain pictures found on the internet. Couldn’t find the ones I took so many years ago. Here is a link to another post about this topic with less detail.

Initial trip

Several decades ago

“Back in the day” when this happened, I certainly didn’t believe something like “The Driveby Tourist” would happen. To begin with, the trip started with an unusual Frequent Flyer award from Northwest (now Delta). Remember, frequent flyer programs awarded flyers in several different ways. To emphasize, make that better! In this case, making a single trip to one of several different destinations in a certain time period earned the flyer a free trip. So, that led to my aimless driving!

…and the trip begins

While that’s great, I only received one ticket and not enough points for anyone else. So, “sorry family, I’m going away for a weekend by myself!”. While I didn’t (obviously) check out websites (!), here is a link to one I may have looked at, had it existed back then. This trip triggered other trips much later. Here are links to the starts of other trips: Route 66 (link); Great River Road Minneapolis to Natchez MS (link); and Lake Itasca to Minneapolis (link). So, again The Driveby Tourist Beginning!

Boston, here I come!

Consequently, I decided to fly to Boston and drive to four other states during those two days. Explicitly, visiting five states and seeing “some things” became my simple goal. Since I flew into Boston, I believed I’d see a few sights there. When I left the airport, I headed north on the interstate. Soon, I drove out of Boston so decided to continue and see a few things in Boston on Monday. It’s all part of The Driveby Tourist Beginning!

The Driveby Tourist Beginning
Boston Logan Airport

Maine (and lobster!) during The Driveby Tourist Beginning

At any rate, pulled off the Interstate and drove north on (I believe) US highway 1. I passed through New Hampshire as I continued somewhat aimlessly north. (Yet another example of The Driveby Tourist Beginning). Took a few pictures and stopped a few places in New Hampshire. Looks like New Hampshire has either 13 or 18 miles of coastline, depending on where the information is found. Came across that “fact” in several locations.

After a couple of stops, entered Maine. Again, stopped a few times, took a few pictures, talked with others at the stops, and generally just looked around. Subsequently, I decided dinner was in order. I can’t remember where I stopped but Old Orchard Beach comes to mind, However, I will neither confirm nor deny for sure. I found a restaurant that served lobster. Since I was in Maine, had to do that. (I didn’t Google it to find the best place!) I do remember the lobster was good. Then, decided to turn back south toward New Hampshire and Massachusetts again. More aimless driving!

The Driveby Tourist Beginning
Lighthouse someplace in Maine

Back into Massachusetts…

Generally, I just drove. No particular destination except that I was going to spend the night in Massachusetts. My stopping point became Worcester MA. Don’t remember anything else. Found a hotel, dinner, and breakfast the next morning and headed out again. Since my goal includes five New England states, I had to head south again into Connecticut.

Connecticut and Rhode Island

Connecticut becomes a place to drive across! Don’t really remember much about it, just that I did drive through. (For those of you who are purists about being in a state, I did go to a corporate class there many years later.) Following my aimless driving from Worcester, I headed for Providence, Rhode Island. I stopped for lunch there. Now, after lunch, where should I go. Since I’m here, might as well drive out to Cape Cod.

Cape Cod and more aimless driving

However, as long as I’m here, might as well do more aimless driving. While I still have no specific destination in mind, driving to Provincetown, for the full length of Cape Cod seems like a good idea! While I’m here, stopping at the Cape Cod National Seashore was well worth the drive in itself. Here is a link. However, the full drive was really worth the trip.

Provincetown after aimless driving!

Following the stop at the National Seashore, the future Driveby Tourist continued to Provincetown. Didn’t really have any destination in mind, just to see it. Ok, I’ve seen it, here is a picture. Let’s go!

Provincetown Commercial District
The commercial district of Provincetown

Back to Boston – More Aimless Driving

Subsequently, after visiting Provincetown, the future Driveby Tourist headed back to Boston. What better way to end the day than to find Plymouth Rock? Somehow, I found it along the highway. Wasn’t too impressive but took a few pictures anyway.

The Driveby Tourist Beginning
It’s Plymouth Rock. Doesn’t seem impressive does it?
Aimless Driving
Shelter/Marker of Plymouth Rock

Next day in Boston for The Driveby Tourist Beginning

However, before the next day, I had to find a hotel. As has been noted, Boston is a very difficult city to drive. Finally stopped at a bar that had a parking spot to ask about a hotel. One of the employees tried to explain it to me, but after seeing the “deer in the headlights” look from this naive mid-westerner, he said, “follow me, I’m off work now”. Soon I was at a decent hotel in a nice part of town. Next morning, Faneuil Hall. That drive took some aimless driving as well.

Faneuil Hall

Fenway Park and back to Logan

Finally, toward the end of the trip, had to find Fenway. So, used the GPS (OOPS, no, they didn’t exist). Good old fashioned map. Found the address. And here is a picture from way back shortly after Fenway was built.

Fenway Park
Fenway Park from early days

Now, imagine it 60 or 70 years later without any pennants hanging out and without the Fenway Park sign (or I didn’t see it). Does that look like a baseball stadium? I asked someone on the street where to find Fenway. She gave me the look again. (Naive mid-westerner in Boston!) Pointed further down the street. There it was, walked down the street and could see the Green Monster. (FYI, attended a game here against the Yankees in 2016.)

Summary of the Driveby Tourist Beginning

Last, after a quick 48-hour trip and driving I don’t know how many miles, headed to Boston Logan airport. Given these experiences in such a hurry, I still thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Although I did road trip vacations again, I didn’t get to do any solo trips unless they were business trips driving from one work location to another. Eventually, my family and I did take a couple of trips. Later, my wife and I took some longer trips as well. However, I didn’t take a solo road trip again until The Great River Road trip in 2017. Here is a link to the first post. Here is another link to people I’ve met while traveling.

However, before I finish, need to find songs that fit. So,

Bring back the Boston Rag
Tell all your buddies
That it ain’t no drag
Bring back the Boston Rag

By Steely Dan – 1973. And the Group “Boston”, of course. Also, James Taylor was born in Boston. And the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline” is sung during the 8th inning of every Red Sox game. If you want to keep looking there are others with Boston roots. Aerosmith, The Cars, New Kids on the Block, and others.

The Driveby Tourist #the-driveby-tourist

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Dylan Fan

    Is this post from many years ago?

  2. Beverly Blinde

    I can see you’ve made some changes in formatting (or maybe it’s that I’m reading this on my computer, not on my cell phone?). Anyway, interesting beginning story and photos.

    1. admin

      I’m working on some changes but haven’t done much so far. One of the formatting changes I need to address is how it looks on phones and tablets as well as phones. I do all the work on the computer but often look at it on the phone and wish it was more like the computer. However, because of such a smaller screen, it’s not easy.

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