On the Road in 2018

With 2018 winding down quickly, ’tis the season to take stock. Since retirement, my biggest avocation has been travel. Counting all of the nights this year that we did not sleep in our own bed, I counted 114, or almost a third of the year. All of our travel this year was domestic, with only two day-trips to Canada. From our centrally located home in Saint Louis, we visited 21 states. Because most of our travel was by car, we also won the license plate game twice, with both times finding Hawaii, the holy grail, within a mile of the house.

21 States Visited in 2018

We put somewhere north of 10,000 miles on the Prius. Driving first to Key West, next to Glacier and finally to Lake Superior. We flew twice to California and then into NYC and out of Boston. We also sandwiched in a few overnight driving trips, where we remained closer to home and stayed in the Midwest.

Five photos really don’t do justice to all that we have seen this year, so here are a few more. We are already making our 2019 travel plans, so that in a year, we will have even more to report. 2018 has been a fun journey. See you on the road again soon, in the new year.

Nickels Arcade

Nickels Arcade

Yesterday, we left Ann Arbor. First, we bade goodbye to Bubs and Harry. Then we met Jane for breakfast at Mark’s Midtown Coney Island, near I-94. Across the parking lot was a liquor store that I took to calling Superior Liquor I-V, as if it sold intravenous booze. Jane offered to drive Dave to the airport, more goodbyes and then we were three. I did most of the driving, as is my wont. Anne spelled me and Dan supplied the audio, first some music, but soon he switched to podcasts.

This Podcast Will Kill You was featured most in rotation. Two women, both named Erin host this show. Each episode features one disease that could kill you. We listened to the ones on diphtheria and HIV/AIDS, some of the old, some of the new in epidemiology. The host bring a lightness to an otherwise dark subject, but there is a certain morbid curiosity that drives you to listen.

Diphtheria has been around forever, has an effective vaccine and even if contracted can be treated. Untreated, it has a 50% mortality rate and primarily affects children. This topic opened the door to what I suspect is one of their favorite crusades, vaccination. The latest diphtheria contraction rates do appear to be on the rise.

The HIV/AIDS episode offered even more opportunity for them to vent their political beliefs. I’ve lived through this modern epidemic, but still learned a lot from listening. Most of this show was centered upon the earlier stages of the epidemic. Both shows were educational and helped to pass both the time and miles, as we bounced along, past stubbled Midwest corn fields.