Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Post & Giveaway: Kate Noble on Inspirations & Influences

“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

Kate Noble is one of my favourite Romance writers and I have loved every single one of her books. Her latest book, Follow My Lead is another great one (with SUCH a lovely ending) and to celebrate its release next week, we have invited the author to write a guest post about writing it.

Please give it up for Kate Noble!

I love a good road trip. There really is nothing like climbing into a packed-to-the-gills car, full tank of gas, Twizzlers and Diet Coke at the ready, and just taking off, with little more than a road map and general sense of geography to guide you.

Although, my love of road trips was not always so well-developed.

Every summer growing up, my family and I packed up the car and drove fourteen hours straight (up to eighteen if my mother was driving) to our summer cottage. It was cramped, and with a brother and a sister, annoying, and after a while the smell of Twizzlers can really get to you. Those few times we stopped for fast food, eating at an Interstate rest stop picnic bench were welcome respites from close quarters, a chance to stretch our legs. But soon enough we were on the road again, intent upon our destination.

Then came what I call the American Grand Tour. When I was twelve, my mother and her best friend packed up their kids and we hit the road together – to visit historic American sites, such as Lexington and Concord, the Luray caverns of Virginia, the St. Louis Arch, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Mt. Rushmore. It was one maroon minivan, two moms, three tweenage girls, two nine-year-old boys, and only one Walkman.

To this day, I consider Hell a maroon minivan.

The Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore, both of which young Kate visited at a time before digital photography, and since her dad is behind on his “digitize everything” project, there is blessedly no photo available of her at age twelve.

This killed any desire to be on a road trip for quite some time… until I got my license. Then, I made the drive to the summer cottage one year by myself. And it was GLORIOUS. It’s a very different thing being dragged along on a journey having agency over where you go and what you do. I would tuning into well loved radio stations, see old landmarks go flying by. Enjoying the time where I got to know myself.

When I moved to New York City, I didn’t have a car. While thanks to superior public transportation, I didn’t need one, (not to mention I would never in a million years be able to park it) I did miss the occasional road trip – so much so that during my vacations, I would plot a course, borrow or rent a car, and hit the open road.

So by the time I was plotting Follow My Lead, I knew I wanted to send my characters, Jason Cummings, the Duke of Rayne (and Jane’s brother from The Summer of You) and Miss Winnifred Crane, on a road trip.

Of course, when you’re writing a historical romance novel, there are a couple of things you have to take into consideration.

1. Travel in 1822 is HARD.

Not only did Jason and Winn not have the benefit of a combustible engine, air conditioning, and top 40 radio programming to keep their minds occupied, the roads they were traversing were not in the world’s best shape. In one section of Follow My Lead, Jason and Winn travel from London to Dover along the Great Dover Road (now the A2), which had by that time been turnpiked – meaning that anyone could travel the road for a small fee, collected at tollhouses, which was then used to maintain and improve the road. For 1822, the Great Dover Road was about as good as it got. But it was still a dirt-packed road, with ruts that made the traveler pray for a better sprung vehicle, prone to being washed out when it rained, and twisted with the lay of the land (i.e., not a direct highway that cut through the earth).

I had my characters not only travelling to Dover, but to Bavaria and Austria… I can only imagine the conditions of those narrow, untamed country roads!

A dirt road in the Bavarian Alps. Huh, actually it doesn’t look so bad…

2. Travel in 1822 is SLOW.

I have no right to complain about how long it takes me to get across town in my car. In the regency era, and for centuries before that (it would be another 20+ years before trains became prevalent in England) the main mode of transportation was via horse and carriage. The generally taken average speed for a horse and carriage is 4 miles/hour (taking into account starting, flat-distance walking, and the effort of going uphill, if necessary). Which means, if you’re on your treadmill at home, and walking/jogging at a pace of 4.0, that is how fast the horse and carriage went. Add to that the time spent changing horses, conditions of the road, etc, and a traveler would be lucky to cover 60 miles in one day.

3. They have to fall in love on the road.

What should be the easiest part of a romance novel is sometimes the most grueling when you place it in a new setting. You want your heroine to find your hero appealing? Try making her enjoy being with him when he hasn’t bathed in a week and smells like the salted fish he was bunked next to on their passenger ship. You want your hero to wine and dine your heroine? How is he going to do that when they have next to no money, and have no idea where they are going to get more?

That said – when you remove characters from where they are comfortable… you find out who they truly are. And just how ingenious they can be when the situation calls for it. Winn and Jason discover just how much two people from completely different walks of life can have in common when they are forced to be in each other’s company for as long as it takes to get to where you’re going.

For the record, I am, in retrospect, incredibly glad that my mother forced us all on the American Grand Tour. I’m glad that we would pack the car up every summer and drive all day north. I’m glad that I decided to spend a week, on a whim, driving down to New Orleans. Because when you’re on the road, you get to know your travelling companions in a way you never would otherwise. You get to know yourself.

Although the next time I go to the Grand Canyon, I’m taking a convertible.

Giveaway details:

Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married. Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying, so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society? Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance.

Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership the Society. So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect. But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…

Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession. As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals…. and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become. But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe? And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?

We have ONE signed copy of Follow My Lead to give away to a lucky winner! The contest is open to addresses in the US and Canada and will run until Saturday, April 30 at 11:59pm (PST). In order to enter, simply leave a comment telling us about your best or worst road trip experience. Good luck!


  • Stephanie
    April 25, 2011 at 5:50 am

    One of my worst road trips was during the four hour drive to Pittsburgh. The length wasn’t bad, but I have upset stomachs a lot, and during this trip, I pissed off everybody by by making us stop for a really long time in a gas station bathroom because my belly had to empty itself. I was miserable and in pain for most of the trip.

  • Sarah
    April 25, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I love road trips and take one every summer. Last year, I took a friend who had never been west of the Mississippi(!) out through the plains to Yellowstone and the Tetons. It was epic. Worst road trip? The time I left my passport in a town on the east coast of Ireland and didn’t realize it until we were at the west coast. Epic oops! My sisters still haven’t forgiven me for that one!

  • Vanessa
    April 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Mount Rushmore to Brownsville, TX. Straight through. Only stopping for gas (and the only bathroom breaks were gas breaks); eating in the car. Dad had to be at work August 1st. On July 30th we were at Mount Rushmore. We had to take turns staying awake to talk to him and he wouldn’t let mom drive until we were past Dallas. I got the shift over Oklahoma. It was the first time I ever saw heat lightning. 1616 miles. About 30 hours. To this day I can’t be in a car more than 5 or 6 hours.

  • Maya S
    April 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Driving back from NY, we (surprise surprise) hit traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. And by traffic, I mean 10 mile back up with cars stopped and people walking around socializing since we weren’t getting anywhere. I think I’ve actually blocked out how we managed to get out of that one.

  • jpetroroy
    April 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Driving to Washington D.C. overnight. Traffic, exhaustion, then getting sick. Worth it when we got there though!

  • CrystalGB
    April 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Worst roadtrip was getting lost and having to back track hours to get to our destination. Kate’s book sounds good. Love the cover.

  • Jen D.
    April 25, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Best road trip ever was an impromptu trip my friend and I threw together at the last minute. We drove from Vegas to Zion National Park in Utah. It was just us girls hiking through the mountains during the day and relaxing in our room with a few glasses of wine at night.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Robin K
    April 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

    My daughter gets car sick, so any trip without enough treats is hell. I also got car sick as a child and remember many a dirt roads that I “left my mark” on. *winks*

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • dana
    April 25, 2011 at 8:13 am

    my best road trip – at 20yo me and my best friend went backpacking in Italy. We took trains and buses and traveled through Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence and more. We both remember it till this day.
    Can’t wait to read this book!

  • Ava
    April 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Best road trip ever, summer driving to Indiana, off the interstate, going through all the small towns using a real paper map. I love real maps, not just GPS… makes the trip more real

  • Sarah
    April 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I was in Yellowstone National Park and it was beautiful but I had driven there from Arizona and my car was making a very high pitched noise. I was worried the car wouldn’t make the trip home to Minnesota but fortunately it did.

  • Amanda W
    April 25, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Best road trip: going to Florida with my college roommates our senior year. We didn’t even get lost once!

  • Sarah
    April 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

    My favorite road trip was traveling from Pittsburgh, PA to Poughkeepsie, NY, mostly because of the scenery. The ride was beautiful and very different from the topography which I am used to in Georgia.

  • Samantha R.
    April 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I did the RV thing with my family every summer. My aunt, uncle, cousin, grandma and myself (plus 3 dogs on this particular trip) piled into the RV. We then spent three weeks on the road and made it to Alaska eventually. It was one of the best road trips ever.
    At first everyone gets along, but time and cramped space takes it toll and it took a week to regress into our ‘real-selves’, lol, but that’s part of the fond memories. 😀
    The scenery was amazing and I would do it again tomorrow if I could.

  • Marie B.
    April 25, 2011 at 10:24 am

    My family has a long history of road trips – my dad had a conference in a different state every summer, and we would always plan a two-three week long family vacation around it. One mini-van, my parents, me, my brother, and often my grandparents and one great-aunt. Definitely some personality issues with that many people in tight quarters, but mostly it was fun.

    But I must say the trips I’ve been able to take with friends now that I’m an adult have been more fun. Best and worst – a 4 week trip around western Europe via bus, rail, and plane while my best friend and I were studying abroad in the UK. We had a lot of fun, but she developed a major sinus infection in Germany. When we finally saw a doctor, she told us that if we had waited another 2 days to get my friend on antibiotics she’d have ended up in the hospital. Yikes!

  • Tipsy Reader
    April 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

    My mom and I drove to the Sequoias one Thanksgiving and it was so awesome because we brought two audiobooks to keep us entertained. At one point we both had to pee (and the next rest stop wasn’t for miles) we rewrote the Oscar Mayer Wiener song so the last line would be “I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Wiener so I wouldn’t have to pee so badleee.”

    Hilarious fun and Thanksgiving dinner that year just ended up being how much whipped cream we could squirt at each other! 😀

  • Joder
    April 25, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’m not a big fan of riding in the car for long distances, I’m way too antsy to sit still for long. So road trips are not in our family plans.

    I LOVE Kate’s previous stories and would very much like to get my hands on this new one.

  • Rena
    April 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

    my cross country trip when i was twelve was both best and worst…

  • jayhjay
    April 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    We used to road trip from DC to Indiana every year. One summer we listened to the Evita soundtrack (on cassette) about 2000 times. To this day I can sing every word!

  • Emily Thompson
    April 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    My favourite road trip that I ever took was when I was seven years old. I went to Montana with my grandparents and my cousin, driving more than two thousand miles. We stopped at Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, all that jazz. I had a blast, and got to putz around in the rocky mountains for like two weeks, looking at the beautiful wildlife and landscape. I was a very deep seven year old. (;

  • Adena
    April 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Oh boy. One of the worst road trips I have been on was about three years ago. It included a seven seater mini van, five children from 9 to six months old, one grandmother, my very pregnant sister in law and my self. We were going to California in the middle of the summer. Since we couldn’t leave any child unbuckled and it was out of the question to ask my grandmother to go without, myself and my sister in law took turns sitting on the floor board by the door. It was the longest, hottest, stupidest and the most memorable trip ever. Would I do it again? Probably.

  • Darcy
    April 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I love the interview,a dn your sharing your road trips with us. I love road trips,and have been on so many with my DH over the last 35 years *S
    I love your description of just how they were. Much like a ever ending camping trip…LOL, without a car or camper etc..*S*

    In 1999, my hubby and I went on our first vacation by ourselves without children. We had had been married 21 years, and still had our 19 year old daughter at home still. We drove from home from the North Idaho panhandle up through Montana to the Yak River. We then drove from there down to central Idaho to Winchester. I wanted to see the wolves at the “Wolf Educational Research Center”. They ahd been the wolves from the documentary “Wolves at the Door”. I have a passion for wolves since I was a little girl, and it was quest that I just had to go on. It was the most wonderful trip of our lives. We sat in our motor home outside the gates waiting for them to be opened for the day. As we waited, all of a sudden the howling began. It was a sound that created a tingle at the base of my spine and traveled up to the back of my neck. The goosebumps just increased and I started crying as the soul touched my soul. I just could explain that feeling up such excitement and contentment at the same time. It was like reaching out to feel and connection with them. My husband and I just looked at each other and smiled…it was the most amazing journey just to get there and be a part of the experience and we hadn’t even seen them yet….:)

    Thank you for the chance to win your book! 😉

  • TXDee
    April 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Having made more than I wanted of road trips on my own with my two children, I have several to choose from for the worst category. Which will it be–when we started out on a trip to a nearby beach without real directions only to find, three hours later, that the road to the beach had been closed due for repairs or the one where the ancient VW bus with no horn and no radio and a side door that flew open when not properly latched threatened to break down 1000 miles from home? What was I thinking? Obviously, not a whole lot. Such is the blithe ignorance of a twentysomething way back when. Oh, we did finally get to the beach(because I am too stubborn for good sense), spent 30 minutes and had to head home–it was getting dark…

  • Johanna Jochum
    April 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Worst road trip was with my best friend and we were on our way to Sanfrancisco and it was the middle of the night and we were both tired and needed a motel. The first one had prostitutes hanging outside and the second one was a little better but the toliet did not work! They sent us to a new room but by then we were tired and fed up. Lucky for us the rest of the trip was better!

  • Sue P.
    April 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    We used to take trips every spring break. We had a destination, but still took days to get there. These were the best, except the time my big sister threw up on my favorite sweatshirt – white w/red striped hood (stripes on the inside)- while driving through the Grand Teton Mountains. To be fair, we were all suffering from the flu (or food poisoning)and she was using my sweatshirt as a pillow against the window in the front seat. Because my Mom was in the back so I could lay my head down on her lap, with my brother laying on the other window in back. It was a mess and I was so mad. Too bad because the scenery was probably fantastic! Needless to say, I’ve never been back there; call it superstition. We’ve even forced road trips on our sons when they were younger. But all in all, a good experience.

  • Anonymous
    April 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    My absolute worst road trip happened when I was in sixth grade. We were comming from Ohio to South Carolina in our car. Driving for 10 hrs with 3 highly (younger) irratable siblings. The DVD player wasn’t working and that just made everything worse! And then my sister rubbed peanut butter in my hair and we couldn’t get it fully out until we got to the hotel we were staying at. The actual beach time was lovely but the car trip was so awful.

  • Rae
    April 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    oh i have a name its Rae
    (above commenter)

  • Memory
    April 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    My best road trip was to Montana, with my family. I think I was thirteen or fourteen, and we had so much fun zipping from town to town, stopping at every point of interest. I had my very first bleu cheese burger on that trip, from Big Dorothy’s in Helena.

  • Ebony McKenna
    April 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I’m in Australia, so I can’t enter,
    but wow, I love me some Kate Noble. I have all her books too and adore them. Cheeky romances with a strong sense of fun.

  • Kelley B
    April 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    My worst road trip was from Monterey, CA to San Francisco on Highway 1. Not a very long trip and supposedly scenic but I couldn’t wait to be finished with all the driving up and down mountains.

  • pamelia
    April 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Worst road trip was driving from our cottage through rural Ontario. My husband and I noticed a large dumpster being hauled ahead of us with a tarp tied over the top. We noticed a rather gross smell we couldn’t quite place. The closer we got the more ominous it looked and the worse the smell got, until sure enough I noticed that flopping about around the edges were definitely sheep feet. Yes, it was a whole dumpster full of dead sheep with a sign on the side “meat not fit for human consumption.” That smell HAUNTED us for the rest of the 5 hour drive home. It was 10 years ago and I still recall the smell.

  • Mariee
    April 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    My best trip was ten years ago when me and my now husband went on a road trip in Europe. Sleeping in a tent on the ground was freezing and uncomfortable, but spending all that time with him was priceless.

  • Katie
    April 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    My best road trip was driving from DC to Michigan to Georgia and back to DC with my husband. It was our first time in close quarters in a car for several days. True test of love!

  • srs
    April 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Best and worst was probably when I was 10 or 11 and my parents decided to take my younger brother and myself on a 10 day road trip through the Rockies. I spent most of the trip in the back row of the family minivan with my nose in a book, trying to ignore my mother’s attempts to get me to look at yet another mountain or lake or whatever bucolic wonderland we were driving by. I remember reading the entire Narnia series and, when I ran out of books, picking up my mother’s copy of Jane M. Auel’s ‘The Mammoth Hunters’.

    Midway through the trip we camped out during an incredible thunder and lighting storm. We didn’t have many storms like that where I grew up and the sight of lightning flashing through the thin material of the tent was the most awesome thing I had ever seen.

  • Alexandra
    April 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    When I was 15 my parents took me and my brother on a three month trip to France, where we’d drive around the country, staying at a single place for about a week. Which was of course amazing and awesome…but…at 15, 3 months with family isn’t so great. Some teenage depression set in and I was pretty awful at times. It’s probably both the best and worst trip of my life.

  • MarieC
    April 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Best and worst road trips usually happen with family.

    Getting stopped in the Grapevine in April due to snow (Northbound on the 5 in CA), locking the keys in the car during a potty break, finding out that the cruise control is broken, seeing baby seals and otters frolicking in the ocean at Monterey….ah, road trips…

  • Arhcadia
    April 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I love road trips. One of the best was the summer before i moved away to do my MA – my best friend and i drove out to the east coast of canada – anne of green gables, fossils, cheap motels and even a car accident. This trip had it all!

  • Lieder Madchen
    April 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    My worst road trip was between Bitburg, Germany and Paris France. I was with my brother, my sister, and my baby niece and the car broke down at around 10 a.m. Eventually, we managed to get towed to a little town called Etain (Which lacked in public toilets.) Then, we had to wait for the mechanic’s three hour lunch break to end. We finally made it to Paris after 11 p.m. and couldn’t find our hostel, so we spent another hour driving around the Bastille with the baby crying in the backseat.
    Our time in Paris was wonderful, but getting there was hard. 🙂 This was during my month in Europe, which was the most fantastic month of my life.
    Thank you for the great giveaway! I look forward to reading this book.

  • Courtney
    April 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    My best road trip, just happened a few weeks ago. Some friends and I decided to skip classes and drive 6 hours away to see a concert. We had a blast listening to music and de-stressing from school.

  • Ginny
    April 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I think my best road trip was the first time we went to Ocean City Maryland. Driving down from Philadelphia to OCM is a 4 hr drive but my sister and I were so excited for it was our first time going there and we were competing in a dance competition for the first time as well. It was very exciting, especially for a 5 year old.
    Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

  • Melissa (Books and Things)
    April 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I rode with 2 of my cousins to FL from CO. We made it to the FL coast in 24 hrs. It was all to see CU beat Notre Dame in a bowl game. That was fun. 🙂

  • JenM
    April 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I love road trips and have taken some great ones, but the worst one I ever took was when my dad and I had to drive from Ft Lauderdale to Arkansas and back over a 3 day weekend to pick up some equipment. We were driving a van and a couple of times, my dad wouldn’t even stop to change drivers, we did it on the fly as the van was hurtling down the highway at 60 mph. We did make gas/bathroom stops but that was pretty much it.

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I am not too crazy about road trips because I tend to have to go the bathroom alot. So when I am on a road trip I wont eat or drink alot. Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book.

  • Alex
    April 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve always loved road trips. We tried to go on one at least once a summer – usually it was to Alberta, but once we traveled North/South Dakota. Our family had a van with a tv/dvd player, which kept my two brothers occupied (and therefore less annoying), and I had the very back seat to myself. Sure I was crammed in there amongst all of our stuff, but I had a bucket of books and lovely scenery (especially once we got to the Albertan Rockies – such a contrast to the flat prairies!) to keep me company.

    The most interesting incident to happen to me on a road trip was coming back home to Manitoba from Alberta on a band trip. We got caught in a late snow storm (in May!) and couldn’t go any further – so our entire band/choir group stayed in a church basement for the night.

  • Bethie
    April 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Our best road trip was when my hubby, our two boys and I drove from NJ to Florida. We just had such a blast.

  • Pam P
    April 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Love your books, Kate. I like the historical road romances as the characters get to know each other more than in the regency ballroom, and more realistically.

    We use to drive to a summer lake cottage every year, tho it wasn’t a real road trip sll ince it wasn’t far away. The worst driving trip was the year we had car problems over a weekend and repair shops down south closed early on Saturday, got stuck in one town where they tried to rip us off. Had to stay overnight after getting jerked around, then called my BIL mechanic back home to tell us what to do to drive to our destination finally. Least we had a great time after getting there and found a legit dealer to fix the car.

  • Priya
    April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    my worst roadtrip wasn’t really a roadtrip- a 20 minute drive turned into 3 hours on a random highway because my mom made a wrong turn 😛

    would love to win this!

  • Throuthehaze
    April 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Worst road trip was when my friends and I went on a 10 hour trip to a music festival. On the way up the mountain to the festival there were cops along the route. Well, we ended up getting pulled out of the long line of cars because the rear window was obstructed by all our gear. We were delayed an hour while our car got searched by police dogs, etc. Of course there was nothing to find but because of the delay we ended up having to set up camp in the dark.

  • Josephine
    April 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Best was when I best friend and I went to ComicCon, then drove in a RV to famous extra terrestrial sites and en route we found a real alien. Unfortunately we almost lost our lives because some guys in suits were chasing after us, looking for the alien.
    Nah, that was the movie Paul. I’ve never been on a road trip, maybe one day though!

  • Carolyn Hester
    April 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Growing up, I was forced on annual “Family Bonding” road trip vacations which usually resulted in resentment, motion sickness, and disaster (ie the year the car ran out of gas and we had to push it partly up a mountain). It wasn’t until last summer that I learned how much fun good road trips can be. A good friend of mine and I took a road trip to visit his family, and on the way we decided to stop at every place we thought looked interesting. By the end of the trip we’d gone to a “ship in a bottle” museum, a (horrifying)taxidermy zoo, a dinosaur garden, a Gengis Khan-themed restaurant, and at least sixteen independent bookstores. It was a wonderful couple of days and my best road trip by far, even if I smelled like beef jerky for a week afterwards.

    On an unrelated note, I ADORE Kate Noble’s novels; Revealed is pretty much my idea of a perfect romance novel. Thanks for the guest post and the giveaway!

  • Audra Holtwick
    April 26, 2011 at 12:48 am

    My favorite road trip was to KC MO. with my family to go to a wedding – we took the kids to the zoo. The kids were great and the trip was effortless!!!

  • Escort Service London
    April 26, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Take a couple of family nights to plan the trip together. Get out your atlas and look at stops along the way that are of interest to the children. Recognizing that children can become stressed on a long trip, we made sure we had some of their favorite items. we made sure that we planned to stop at spots along the way for a little fun. I remember my dad on road trips getting so frustrated when someone needed a stop for the bathroom at a gas station or rest stop. I learned from his frustration and anticipated the extra time needed for rest stops. We also allowed a few extra minutes for kids to run around and stretch on these periodic stops.

  • Etta
    April 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

    My worst road trip was to a friend’s wedding. It should have been a four-hour trip, but there was torrential rain, and it took about seven hours. And I had a migraine for the whole drive. Luckily, I didn’t have to drive, but it was a brutal trip.

    I love the idea of an 1822 road trip.

  • Beverly
    April 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

    My worst road trip was when I went with my family to my aunt’s in san francisco. My grandma’s bag had a smell to it (I was sitting at the back of the van near the luggages) and it made me sick. I had a bad case of stomach ache and threw up my lunch when we got to san fran… old people and weird smells… =(

  • Pam S (pams00)
    April 26, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This looks great! Took a two and a half week road trip around Florida. Hit most of the major cities and a ton of smaller ones. Amazing the varety the state has.

  • jenmitch
    April 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

    i LOVE stories where people fall in love on the road. i think its because i read “the far pavilions” when i was in middle school and it set my notion of romance. 🙂 (kristin cashore does a good job of that in “fire”, as a more recent example).

    anyways, i’ve been on lots of road trips, short and long. i went on one with my partner and my family a few summers ago, driving from NJ to alabama to tennessee to visit family members. it was great to get to spend time with them. but, ugh, i am so happy i don’t live further south — i haven’t the foggiest how people deal with summertime alabama heat!

  • heather
    April 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Worst roadtrip – there’s this road in Northern Arizona that has what feels like thousands of crosses along the side along with multiple warnings that THIS could be your last drive. Terrifying to go through at night! Especially after breaking down in the middle of Podunk, Nevada and having to wait days to get your car fixed because there was no one around that even had supplied. I was nearly late for my first day of college! 🙂

  • Lillian Maloney
    April 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    My worst road trip had to be when my dad received a duty assignment for Alaska and he thought that it would such a great idea for us to DRIVE all the way from Michigan to Washington, hop a ferry for two days to Alaska and then drive the rest of the way to Fort Richardson. Six people and two drugged dogs in one car for about a week and a half is never a good combination. And don’t even get me started about the drive BACK to Michigan.

  • Jasmine A S
    April 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    The most memorable road trip I was on was also, oddly enough, the least memorable. My family drove about ten thousand miles in a total of 8 days for a family reunion that was placed centrally for MOST family members. So I have a single, very clear memory, of staring at corn fields go by the windows of a camper van. For five days.

  • SaraC
    April 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Best road trip was the one my friends and i took to the ben and jerry’s factory in vermont. Our sole purpose: eat some ice cream.

  • Lynnd
    April 27, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I love road trips – especially driving along the little country roads through the small towns and villages. My husband and I have had some great road trips through Northern England, Scotland, Ireland and Southern France (not all at once). We didn’t have any specific destinations or itinerary, just went to places we thought were interesting or where the road took us. For the most part we stayed at B&Bs and got really good recommendations from our hosts on things to see and do in the area.

  • Mollie
    April 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

    My best road trip was driving all over Ireland and only getting lost once! I can’t wait to go back…some day!

  • Olya
    April 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    For our honeymoon, we drove from Milwaukee to Upstate New York, via South Carolina.

    Worst part: getting stuck on the Beltway for three hours because of bridge construction (seriously, people got out of their cars and played frisbee, it was surreal), then desperately looking for a hotel to sleep in (no room for us at any inn), finally finding Cadillac Motel in the middle of nowhere – owner in a dirt wife beater, paying cash only, and no money back after 10 minutes. We got in the room, smelled the fumigation chemicals, saw the roaches skittering away, TV and remote control both chained to their stands, cigarette burns all over the carpet and bedspread – used the bathroom and left in horror.

    Second worst: getting lost in New Jersey and being unable to find any roads other than the Turnpike. Oh, and it was 90 degrees, our car had no air conditioner and was overheating, so we had to stop every 30 miles or so to pour water on the engine and wait for it to cool.

    Fun times.

  • Katrina
    April 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    My family used to drive from British Columbia to Oregon a few times a year to go camping on the coast. I remember Beatles songs and audiobooks!

  • Chelsea B.
    April 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    My best road trip experience was to a dance competition. I honestly don’t remember the ride up there, but on the way back was a blast. My friend and I laughed so hard we had makeup running down our face. And by the time we got home we looked so scary because of it we snuck into her house and scared the mess out of her brothers. :mrgreen: 😆

  • Amy
    April 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Worst road trip – a 4-hour drive (including part of the time as the driver) after being sick the night before.

  • hapax
    April 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    This sounds like a charming read!

    Worst road trip (why are there more of these than “best”, I wonder?) was driving to my new in-laws for Christmas. Except the state closed the highway for excessive ice at around midnight, and didn’t open it until dawn; so we had to spend the night pulled over to the side of the road, in an old Ford Maverick with intermittent heat, so stuffed with suitcases and presents that there was no room to push the seats back, let alone stretch out and sleep.

    The only silver lining was I remember us talking even at the time, “Well, I guess we’ll never have a worse road trip than this!”

  • Maureen
    April 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Our worst road trip was going to Williamsburg on fourth of july weekend down I95. The highway looked like a parking lot for most of the trip.

  • Marlene Breakfield
    April 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    My best road trip was going to West Virginia to see my brother. The scenery was spectacular.

  • Diane P. Diamond
    April 30, 2011 at 10:45 am

    My worst road trip was many years ago when my Mother-in-Law, brother-in-law and my mother-in-law’s friend came to visit us when we lived in England. They decided that they wanted to go to Italy and, my husband said that he would drive us all. Consequently, there were 5 adults, 2 children and our luggage all crammed into one vehicle. We got the ferry to France, drove through the Swiss Alps (Beautiful) down into Italy (lovely) then drove back through Austria & Germany (again beautiful) to France. Tempers were very short, and nerves were frayed what with my mother-in-law and her friend complaining about my 2 year old when he started to cry. Right as we were driving down the road to get to the ferry, somebody drove right into the back of our car. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Then after returning to England, we were driving and, as we approached a roundabout, somebody smacked right back into us again. Luckily, nobody was injured that time either. That trip was an absolute nightmare.

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