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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Welcome home, you guys. What a journey. Hugs.

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Lovely writing! And Roadtrip are the best.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Loved this. Boston drivers though, come by their reputations honestly. Almost a contact sport. A couple of examples. We have come up with different names for their shenanigans. Ass Riders in the Sky(must be sung with a chorus of yippee yi yay yippee yi yo) squeavers, you can see them coming up behind you and they are always going about 15 mph faster than current traffic AND by god they are squeezing and weaving between any lanes. A gentle reminder for anyone coming to visit, Boston, is an hour away from Boston. Plan accordingly. Oh, and my personal favorite bumpah stickah evah: If you’re going to be riding my ass, at least be pulling my hair. Ahahahahaha

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Sep 7, 2023·edited Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Californian driving schools must use the same instruction manuals as French ones! Driving in France is full of trepidation, even in rural areas they think that getting as close to your boot is a necessary requirement, along with pulling in (after overtaking) as close to your bonnet as they can possibly get, perhaps there is a prize for these idiotic manoeuvres? As for speed limit signs, I don't think they understand that they are indeed speed limit signs, maybe they think that they are placed there merely for decoration peut être? Mind you, having said that, driving in the UK is quickly becoming like The Fast and the Furious framchise these days!

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I have been phobic about driving since I was a teen, a problem compounded by totalling my mum's car just a few weeks after passing my test. I gave up driving altogether for the same reason as you – you don't need it in Sydney, Cardiff, Cleveland OH, or London. (And when I did need it, in Sheboygan, WI, taxis existed).

Back in 2007, my husband learnt that hard way that you don't let the non-driver plan the route as we drove from Cologne to Bologna over two weeks on a trip that came to be titled Driving Miss Lazy. Moving to the US, I discovered that even functional road trips, Wisconsin to Dallas to see family, are fun if you plan your overnight somewhere interesting. Although I also discovered that Americans don't mess about when they name winter storms, and that driving home through Winter Storm Goliath was very definitely a Bad Idea.

Road trips in the UK just aren't the same, not least because if you drive for 18 hours you're either lost or you end up falling off the edge of the island.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Once again, I feel you've made a rod for your own back because, as a paid subscriber, I now require you to write monthly travelogues from around thew world.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

looking forward to the road trip novel in about 4 years time.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Wonderful post. Counter-coincidentally I went to collect my daughter from the airport this week to start sixth form after she’s been two years away (summers with me). I found the drive there oddly disconcerting, maybe because I left at about 4am and the A303 is a weird road. Journey home was great and I’m still beaming to have her back.

Your road trip sounds fabulous. Looking forward to your future posts and sending love and regards to you and family.

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Glad you enjoyed the trip! Let's get together for beers sometime next week and compare road trip notes.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

I want to go on a big american road trip now.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

“The West is the best,” sang one of my more beautiful heroes, and if he was singing about road trips, he was right. From my first trip up highway 1 from Orange County to Davis, exploring Sant Cruz for the first time (Berkeley felt like my school, but Santa Cruz my city even then), I have never had a dud in the Western states. Some relative disasters, part of the unbidden of any good road trip, but so much pleasure! Glad that you two felt that too, and welcome back!

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

I've been reading my way through your back catalog this summer, so the petroglyph picture made me think of The Anomaly. :-)

I always think I want to take side roads and stop to check out random pretty rocks, but when it actually comes to travel my anxiety takes over and I feel like I just need to get to the destination as quickly as possible. Maybe I need to plan a road trip where meandering is the point.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

Glad you’re back. Let’s catch up this weekend. And I miss the cats.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

So much of this resonated: the only child empty nest (9 years ago for us, not quite over it), the area (we live in Colorado, son went to college here and now lives in California, so we’ve leisurely driven every possible route between Denver and Pasadena) staying in so many places along the way. If you love hot springs, add Avalanche Ranch (also near Glenwood) to one of your trips. The first time my now Californian son saw me drive out there, he shook his head sadly and said, “Mom, let’s face it: you’re way too nice to drive in California.” I took it as a compliment. Good luck to you and your wife on the adjustment.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

I love a road trip! Your piece has me jonesing for another! We drove to Glacier National Park once and it was memorable.

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Michael Marshall Smith

And those California drivers weren’t born here or raised by humans…

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