Houston Holocaust Museum

This is a very moving and emotional museum that traces the history and illustrates experiences of people who lived through the Holocaust. It is very somber and solemn conveying the sadness and desolation of these events on a backdrop of gray and black hues. It tells the story of the Jews during this horrific time period in history. It talks about their hardships and suffering, and their uncommon strength, perseverance, and hope during the darkest of times. Very informative. A worthwhile visit. Not suitable for kids.

休士頓猶太人大屠殺博物館
這個博物館講關於世界第二次大戰猶太人大屠殺的歷史和猶太人的經過。博物館用灰色和黑色背景來加倍傳達這些事情悲傷和沉重的程度。博物館讓參觀者了解猶太人在這個險惡的時期的困難和痛苦。也讓我們了解他們在這個黑暗的時期的力量,毅力,和希望。這個博物館真是讓人很感動。題目不適合兒童。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/地址: 5401 Caroline St., Houston TX 77004
Parking/ 停車: free parking at museum/博物館有免費停車場
Hours/開放時間: Mon- Fri 9-5, Sat-Sun 12-5
Admission/門票: always free/ 不收門票
Website for most current info/網站- 最新資料: hmh.org

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

Houston Museum of Natural Science

The HMNS is one of those museums where you choose the exhibits you want to see and get tickets for each one. There are many international traveling exhibits that come through here, exhibits like the Terra Cotta Warriors, Genghis Khan, and Dinosaur Mummies. These exotic, one-of-a-kind exhibits are usually something that you would have to travel to a foreign country to see, so naturally ticket prices are high, generally setting you back $25 for the exhibit. Of course, it’s a lot less expensive compared to a plane ticket and accommodations in say, Xian to see the Terra Cotta Warriors.

There is also an enclosed greenhouse butterfly center, an IMAX theater, and a planetarium that offer shows.  These also charge a separate admission if you want to visit.

Then there are the permanent collections with a variety of very well done exhibits on the natural world typical of natural history museums. The permanent collections are covered under the general admission price and are accessible during museum free times. So…happening to catch the museum on a budget friendly freebie afternoon and wanting just an introduction to what the museum had to offer, you can guess where I went. My favorite exhibits were the rocks and minerals and gems and jewelry. They are very comprehensive exhibits. The rocks and minerals come in all different formations and textures and it was really neat. The gems and jewels were impressive and really pretty.

休士頓自然博物館

在休士頓自然博物館,每一項展覽分開來收門票。你只要選擇自己想看的展覽,然後買門票。有很多國際級展覽都在這個博物館展出。近來曾展出過兵馬俑,成吉思汗,和恐龍木乃伊。因爲展覽很獨特,價錢自然很貴。只是看一個特別展覽,門票都要大概 $25。但門票都比坐飛機到別的國家看展覽便宜得多。

博物館也有溫室蝴蝶中心,IMAX 影院,和天文館。全都收自己的門票。

博物館的常設展區有很多描述自然世界的展覽。買一張普通票可以看全部的常設展覽,而且周二免費參觀博物館就是指常設展區。我在常設展區最喜歡的展覽是岩石礦物和寶石首飾。岩石和礦物有多種形狀和體積, 很奇妙。寶石和首飾閃閃發光,漂亮極了。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址: 5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston TX 77030
Parking/
停車: best to park along the street or at Hermann Park (free) and walk over/ 在路旁有地方停車或在赫曼公園免費停車然後走路過去
Hours/
開放時間: Mon, Wed-Sun 9-5, Tues 9-8
Admission/
門票: $15 permanent exhibits/長期展覽室, various for other exhibits and shows/ 其他展覽和活動另外收票
Free Times/
免費時間: Tues 2-8pm for permanent exhibits only/ 周二 2-8點下午只限長期展覽室
Website for most current info/
網站- 最新資料: hmns.org

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

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Contemporary Arts Museum and Health Museum of Houston

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

This is a cozy museum centrally located in Houston’s Museum District. There are 2 floors of exhibit space with 1 floor usually dedicated to each exhibit it has on display. The exhibits change about every 2 months. I don’t really get the contemporary arts, maybe some if it is too abstract for me, so this was not a particularly interesting museum for me. Perhaps also because when I went they were in the process of setting up a new exhibit and an entire floor was closed. However, it has a pretty neat gift shop with a lot of creative and one-of-a-kind items. Admittedly, I found the gift shop to be more interesting than the museum.

當代藝術博物館

這個小博物館位于休士頓博物館區。博物館有兩層,每層展出一個藝術家的作品。大概每兩個月就換新的展覽。我總是不太懂當代藝術,覺得太抽象,所以對這個博物館不感什麽興趣。可能也是因爲我去參觀的時候一樓被關閉來設立一個新的展覽,所以感覺得博物館更小,更少東西看。但是博物館的禮品店很有趣,有很多創意性和獨特的禮品。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址:5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX 77006
Hours/開放時間: Tues,Wed, Fri, Sat 10-5, Thurs 10-9, Sun 12-5
Admission/
門票: always free/ 不收門票
Website for most current info/
網站- 最新資料: camh.org


The Health Museum

The Health Museum is located across the street from the Houston Garden Center in the Houston Museum District. It presents basic information about health and the human body in interactive exhibits and larger than life dioramas. Kids would enjoy the exhibits in this museum. I liked the challenge exhibits where you test your strength, reflexes, and muscle memory. I would’ve liked to try the activities in You: the exhibit that explore age, gender, and ethnicity but they were broken. It looked like an interesting exhibit.

休士頓健康博物館

休士頓健康博物館在休士頓花園中心對面。博物館提供基本人體健康的資料。有互動展覽品和大大人體器官模型。小孩子會喜歡這博物館的展覽。在一個展覽裏,有幾個項目測試你的力氣,反應速度,和肌肉記憶能力。我覺得很有趣。我本來也想試 You: the exhibit 探索關於年齡,性別,和種族的展覽。可惜我參觀的時候展覽的機器都被弄壞了。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址: 1515 Hermann Dr., Houston TX 77004
Parking/
停車: there is a charge to use Health Museum lot, park at Houston Garden Center or Hermann Park lots and walk across instead/ 健康博物館停車場要收費,把車停在休士頓花園中心或赫曼公園然後走路到博物館
Hours/開放時間: Tues-Sat 9-5, Sun 12-5, Mon 9-5 from June to August only
Admission/
門票: $8
Free Times/免費時間: Thurs 2-7pm/ 周四 2-7點下午
Website for most current info/網站- 最新資料: mhms.org

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

Rienzi

Looking at the contemporary exterior of this mansion, you’d never think the inside would be furnished with old world antiques. But when you walk inside, it is as if you were transported back in time to 17th and 18th century Europe. Rienzi is the European Decorative Arts branch of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Like Bayou Bend, it is a residence transformed into a museum.

Rienzi is also located in the Homewoods subdivision of the River Oaks section of Houston. It belonged to philanthropists Harris and Carroll Masterson and they donated their house and art collection to the MFAH. They commissioned architect John F. Staub, the same architect who built Bayou Bend, to build this mansion to house their art collection. The main part of the house was built in 1952. They had another architect add an addition with a ballroom in 1971, but it is so flawlessly done you cannot tell that it was built 20 years later. There is a lot of customization throughout. There are tons of glass-encased shelves to show off the figurines and fine china that Mrs. Masterson collected. There is a room that was designed for 4 pillars representing the 4 seasons from 1600’s Italy. One of the closet doors is a fancy carved door from 1600’s Moorish Spain.

We found the docents to be very knowledgeable about the art and furniture in the house. They told many great stories about the pieces- where they came from and what they were used for, and gave us many insights on how people lived in 17th and 18th century Europe.


Attention to detail is very evident in both the mansion and the art collection. The crown molding and pillars are embellished with floral designs and gold paint. There are oriental rugs throughout. The furniture is very ornate and detailed. Very fancy. I could spend all day admiring this stuff. It’s the kind of furniture you’re afraid to touch and rugs you don’t want to step on, let along sit down and make yourself comfortable. I wonder if the furniture was arranged this way when the Mastersons were living here. Maybe they only put some of the fancy stuff out when they were entertaining guests? I’m sure the MFAH probably moved some furniture around and added some pieces. But imagine having kids running around here, and grandkids. Or family gatherings. I love the artwork and furniture here and think the art in this museum is truly amazing, but I don’t think kids in general would have quite that same appreciation.

Rienzi is situated on about 4.4 acres, so the gardens are smaller than that of Bayou Bend. But just the same, they are neatly landscaped and very nice. Of course it was drizzling out the day I visited so I wasn’t able to walk around the gardens that much. And the flowers were not in season, so there was not much to see except for the irises. Though this is also a stop on the Azalea Trail in March, so I’d imagine it will be very pretty when the azaleas are in full bloom in March.

從外表來看,真想不到這間現代式的屋裏面全都是古董裝飾和家具。但當你走進去的時候,好像走進了17-18 世紀歐洲的豪宅。Rienzi 是休士頓美術館的歐洲裝飾藝術分支。它像Bayou Bend 一樣是豪宅改爲博物館。

Rienzi位于River Oaks 社區的Homewoods 小區。一對慈善夫婦Harris 和Carroll Masterson把自己的豪宅和藝術收藏品捐了給休士頓美術館。他們1952年買了這塊地叫John F. Staub (Bayou Bend 的設計師) 幫他們設計豪宅。1971 年又叫另外的設計師加了大舞廳和多幾間房。 這設計師做得天衣無縫,看不出來是隔了20年才建這新一部分。豪宅有很多地方是特別為Masterson 夫婦的藝術收藏而設的。例如,牆裏有玻璃封閉架子來放Masterson 夫人的精細瓷器和瓷俑。有一間房是為一套代表四季的古董意大利木柱而設。還有一個衣櫃的門是17 世紀西班牙摩爾族的門。門的木雕圖案很漂亮。

講解員歐洲和藝術知識很豐富。他們講了很多有趣的故事關於博物館的古董和17-18 世紀歐洲人的生活。

別墅裝修精美細緻。入牆架子的邊雕滿花式圖案,柱子塗上金色油漆點綴。地上鋪了東方地毯。家具很華麗,很名貴。好像只是可以看,不能摸, 更不敢坐哪種家具。但是以前Masterson 夫婦住在這裏,這都是他們的家私啊。他們都會坐都會用這些古董家具啊。難道他們不怕打破玻璃碗碟,或者把杯飲料倒在沙發上呢?他們都把古董家具保存那麽好,可能只是有客人才把古董拿出來?平時用沒有那麽名貴的家具?那他們兒孫來見他們又鎮麼樣啊?小孩子不會當心的。或者以前有一間小孩子可以玩的房間。也可能,MFAH 把豪宅改爲博物館,再把家具整理好。

Rienzi 有4.4 英畝花園, 比Bayou Bend小,但是也設計得很美麗和整齊。我們去參觀Rienzi 那天下微微的雨,所以在花園參觀了很小時間。而且,過了開花的季節,所以沒有太多花看。只是有鳶尾花。三月杜鵑開花的時候,相信花園充滿漂亮的顔色。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址:1406 Kirby Dr., Houston TX 77019

Parking/ 停車: free parking lot at museum/ 免費停車
Hours/開放時間: Wed-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4, Sun 1-5
Admission/
門票: $6 mansion tour/參觀別墅, gardens free/花園免費
Free Times/
免費時間: free family day in April (usually 3rd Sunday) in conjunction with Bayou Bend, free trolley available to transport visitors from Bayou Bend to Rienzi and vice versa, best to park at Bayou Bend’s larger parking lot in this case. 四月第三個星期日 “Family Day” 和 Bayou Bend 都免費,有免費車從Bayou Bend 帶你到這裏。免費這一天停車在Bayou Bend 的大停車場比較好。
Website for most current info/
網站- 最新資料: mfah.org/rienzi

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

Bayou Bend

Panorama of front of house

Bayou Bend is a mansion in the River Oaks area of Houston turned into a museum. It is part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and houses the American Decorative Arts collections. The mansion and gardens are beautiful, especially around March when the Azaleas are in full bloom. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in history, furniture, antiques, and/or landscaped gardens.


Bayou Bend was built in 1927-1928 for Ima Hogg and her brothers. Miss Hogg’s brothers were in real estate and urban planning. Their father was the first native born governor of Texas. As Houston started to grow more rapidly in the 1920’s the Hogg brothers began to plan an upscale community to the west of Houston called River Oaks to allow people to escape the noise and congestion of the city. Within the River Oaks community, the Hogg brothers set aside an 80-acre subdivision, called Homewoods, for 14 lots. They built Bayou Bend on the biggest lot, which was 12 acres. Miss Hogg and her brothers designed Bayou Bend with the help of accomplished architect John F. Staub. Being well traveled with refined tastes in the fine arts, Miss Hogg also modeled the gardens on the gardens of Versailles in France.


Miss Hogg was an avid art collector and amassed an excellent collection of antique American furniture and paintings that date from the 1620 to 1870. Since America was a fledgling nation for many of those years, it makes sense that many of the objects were from New England and the Mid-Atlantic, as the 13 colonies was where Europeans settled and built cities first. In the 1960’s Miss Hogg donated her house and collections to MFAH and personally oversaw the transformation of her house into a museum. Miss Hogg also collected other types of artwork besides American furniture, which she donated to MFAH as well.


The furniture in each room represents a different time period and different furniture style in America. The tour starts in the Murphy Room, with furniture from 1600’s America. The furniture here is simple, understated, utilitarian, and functional. It reflects the resourcefulness of the early settlers and the difficulties and hardships of the lives of early settlers. As you progress through the tour the furniture becomes increasingly fancy and decorative, serving more specific functions. As the nation developed, people became wealthier and could afford more luxurious furniture and home décor. It was very interesting to get a glimpse of how people lived in the past: their daily lives, and their pastimes through their furniture. I liked the furniture in the Drawing Room- some very unique pieces here. I liked the plush red velvet sofas and chairs in the Belter Parlor, so luxurious and ornate. I really liked the painted wallpaper in the Dining Room. Miss Hogg had an artist paint Houston flora and fauna on canvas on the walls and the background is coated in gold leaf. Beautiful painting. The bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, including Miss Hogg’s bedroom as well as several other rooms and parlors. The 2nd floor rooms are not included on the tour on free family days. They are included in regular tours with paid admission.


The gardens are also very beautiful. They are neat and orderly, with a lot of landscaping and design. Each of the gardens has a name. The Clio Garden, with its maze of azaleas, is very pretty. Azaleas are the feature here, and the grounds are awash in color in March when they are in bloom. The hydrangeas and magnolias are also very beautiful. It is a relaxing place to walk around and a great photo op, especially when the flowers are in full bloom.

Bayou Bend 是一間豪華私宅變成博物館。屬於休士頓美術館的美國裝飾藝術分支。博物館位於休士頓最高上的區: River Oaks。別墅和花園很美麗,尤其是三月杜鵑開花的季節。花園充滿生氣和漂亮的顔色。如果你喜歡美國古董,家具,歷史,或賞花, 你張會對這博物館有興趣。


伊瑪霍格和她兄弟在1927-1928 年建了Bayou Bend 給自己居住。霍格兄弟做房地產和城市規劃工作。他們的父親Jim Hogg 是德州第一個在本州出生的州長。20 年代,休士頓發展得很快,霍格兄弟在休士頓西部設計一個高上的社區,讓富貴的市民離開城市的污染和擁擠。這社區叫River Oaks。在這社區裏,霍格兄弟設計了一個80 英畝的區叫Homewoods。他們就在Homewoods 最大塊地 (12英畝) 建了Bayou Bend。 他們請建築師John F. Staub 幫他們設計他們的別墅。霍格小姐很懂得藝術, 她模仿法國的凡爾賽宮來設計花園。

霍格小姐好喜歡收集藝術品。她收集了很多從1620至1870製作的美國古董家具和油畫。 很多這些古董都來自美國東北,因爲那時候美國才初初成立國家,洋人是先來到美國東岸建立城市和文化。60 年代,霍格小姐把她的別墅和自己收藏的古董捐給休士頓美術館。她親自監管把自己的別墅改造成博物館。她收藏的其它藝術品也捐給美術館。


在別墅裏,每一間房的家具都屬於一個時代和風格的。例如,參觀別墅第一間房間, 墨菲房, 你會看到1600 年代美國的家具。 這些家具簡單,低調,和多功能的。反映先驅者的艱苦生活和創新能力。你繼續參觀的房間,家具和裝飾品越來越多花巧,華麗,和有更具體的功能。反映到美國開始有多點錢,人民過得更舒服,有錢和時間來欣賞更精美的東西。在這博物館,可以從家具看到人民和社會的變化和繁盛。我好喜歡客廳的家具,有幾件很特別,真是股東,現在都不用了。我也喜歡貝爾特客廳的沙發和椅子, 很豪華,很漂亮。 我覺得最特別的是餐廳的壁紙。霍格小姐叫畫家畫上休士頓的植物和動物,背景凃上金色油漆, 讓整個餐廳都更美麗,優雅。二樓還有房間,包括霍格小姐的臥室。免費參觀優惠的時間,二樓不開放。平時收門票參觀,二樓就開放。



Bayou Bend 的花園也很美麗。每一個有個名字。花園很整齊,有很多景觀設計。花園到處種很多杜鵑,三月開花的時節花園充滿顔色。克利歐花園的杜鵑迷宮很美麗,不開花的時候都很有藝術性。花園也種了綉球花和木蘭花, 大大朵,粉紅色,白色,好漂亮。在這裏散步怡情養性, 讓人放鬆, 而且是一個拍攝美景的好地方。


If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址:1 Westcott @ Memorial Dr., Houston TX 77007
Parking/
停車: free parking lot adjoins museum/ 免費停車
Hours/
開放時間: Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5
Admission/
門票: $10 mansion and gardens/別墅和花園, or $3 gardens only/只是花園
Free Times/
免費時間: free family days third Sunday of each month from Sept to May- includes 1st floor and gardens, but not 2nd floor/ 從九月到五月每個月第三個星期日免門票,但只可參觀一樓和花園,二樓那時候不開放。
Website for most current info/
網站- 最新資料: mfah.org/bayoubend

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

Museum of Fine Arts Houston 休士頓美術館

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is a very large art museum with tons of interesting exhibits. To me, it was more like an anthropological/ cultural museum because it had so many exhibits of art from different cultures. Of course it also has classical paintings and modern art. I found the art to be very interesting and enjoyed learning about different cultures and time periods through art.

My favorite exhibits were the ones highlighting works of art from various cultures- Asian, Korean, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, African, South American, Oceanic, ancient Europe, etc. It is like you traveled the world through art once you have finished seeing this museum. There is a good representation of many cultures in one place, and it lends to making cross-cultural connections.

I was amazed at all the gold art pieces that the museum had on display. The collection on Indonesian gold, Indian gold, African gold, and South American gold was amazing. It could very well have been called the Gold Museum. It was interesting to see how each culture used gold and decorated it. Many of these gold objects were highly detailed and richly decorated, very ornate. Although these cultures were worlds apart, and time periods apart, ( I mean, the cultures developed separately and probably had little to no contact with each other.) one can see that the universal value placed on gold is high.

I enjoyed seeing the battle armor, sculptures, vases and urns and bronzes of ancient Europe and the Near East.

Aside from the very comprehensive permanent collections I like how the MFAH has a variety of changing exhibitions. Some that I saw were the arts of Ancient Vietnam (lots of influence from Hinduism and Buddhism as well as Chinese), art relating to the moon, and a contemporary Korean art and photography exhibit. There’s always something new to see at the MFAH and these changing exhibitions are included in the price of a ticket and are also included on free days.

I like how the museum is free the first Sunday of the month and also all day Thursdays. And there are 2 free parking lots across the street from the museum, which make it a very accessible and convenient attraction to visit. A highly recommended place to visit in Houston!

While there you can also check out the Cullen Sculpture Garden, which is right next to the MFAH. It is also a part of the MFAH and is free and open to the public. It is a nice area to walk around, very peaceful and relaxing.


休士頓美術館有很多有趣的展覽。 我覺得像一個人類學和歷史文化博物館, 因爲這博物館展覽出多種文化的藝術品。當然,它也有你通常想到的藝術品, 例如歐洲油畫,現代畫,抽象雕塑,等等。我喜歡這博物館因爲可以從藝術品體會到每一個文化或時代。

我最喜歡的展覽是每一個文化的藝術品, 如亞洲,中國,韓國,印尼,印度,日本,非洲,南美,太平洋,歐洲,等等。在這裏參觀真的可以周遊世界的文化啊!而且,可以讓我們看到世界各個文化和藝術的相似和區別。

這博物館有很多用黃金製做的藝術品。真漂亮!有印尼黃金,非洲黃金,南美洲黃金;這博物館都可以改名為黃金博物館。我們可以看到每一個文化怎麽用黃金,做了什麽金器和首飾。很多這些首飾都有很多細節,是精心制作的, 很華麗。雖然這些文化地理和時間上又大大的距離,但我們可以知道每一個文化都很注重黃金。

我也喜歡看歐洲和近東的雕塑,瓶罐, 戰甲,和青銅器。

除了這裏的常設展覽,MFAH 也有很多臨時展覽, 例如越南古代藝術品 (受中國和印度的佛教,印度教影響),月球展覽,和現代韓國藝術和攝影。MFAH 只是收一次門票,臨時展覽不用另外買票。所以可以說每次到MFAH都有新展覽來參觀。

MFAH 每週四全天免費。每個月第一個星期日也是不收門票。那天,也有特別的兒童活動。MFAH 有兩個免費停車場。只是在博物館對面。來博物館玩真的有方便又划算。是休士頓值得參觀的好地方。

來到博物館也可以參觀博物館對面的Cullen 雕塑園。雕塑園是在外面, 環境優美,散步小休好地方。每天都不收門票的。

If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/
地址:1001 Bissonnet St. Houston TX 77005
Parking/
停車: free parking available on surface lots at Main/Bissonnet and Main/Oakdale
Hours/
開放時間: Tues-Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-9, Fri-Sat 10-7, Sun 12:15-7
Free Times/
免費時間: Thurs all day, first Sunday of the month
Web/
網站: mfah.org

Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.

看看我的休士頓博物館指南來了解休士頓更多博物館。

Road Trip Observations

Ah summer! Nothing screams freedom more than driving on the open road, windows rolled down, tuned in to your favorite radio station. With a little bit of planning, a road trip is a great way to see many parts of America. Sometimes, it is the most cost effective and efficient way, if you intend to visit places outside of big cities, or many cities within a geographic area. Here I will discuss some observations and tips that I have picked up from the road trips I’ve taken in the past years.

Observations

* You get to see how the geography of the US fits together, and how the landforms and topography change over state lines.

It gives meaning to what you learned in geography class because you can see, for example, how the terrain changes when you drive on coastal plains or at the beginnings of a mountain range. You don’t all of the sudden find yourself in the middle of a mountain range like you’d picture in a textbook. The terrain gets hillier gradually, and the hills get steeper.

You get to see rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water. Seeing the bustling and highly industrial mouth of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, for example, gave greater meaning to what I had learned in social studies class about the Mississippi being a major industrial waterway for trade in the 1800’s steamboat era. Today, still, it plays an important role in trading and industry.

You realize that the states that looked small on a map are not actually that small. It gives you a sense of physical distance and how big a place really is.

* You start to think about weather in terms of distance instead of time.
Usually: “Gee, it’s been raining since this morning.” or “Gosh, it’s been humid since Friday.”
On a road trip: “Man, it’s been hot since Louisiana and we’re in Alabama.”
or: “it’s been cloudy since Tennessee and it’s getting cloudier. I think it might rain.”

It feels like when you watch the news and the weatherman gives you a regional overview of the weather on a weather map, only you get to drive through the weather map.

* You get to see how the regional cultures change as you drive through the country.
Undoubtedly, you’ll see some houses or buildings off the highway, or the highway signs that tell you what restaurants are available at the next exit, and you can get a feel for what some of the popular chains or foods there is in an area. You’ll also probably stop for gas/food/hotel along the way, and will get a chance to interact and talk to locals. To me, that is always interesting. The vastness of the country lends itself to regional cultures. There is always regional slang to be picked up on, or that delectable local “must try” dish that you can’t get anywhere else.

Tips
1. Pack the day before so you don’t forget important items and are ready to go the next day.

2. Check tire pressure and fluids in your car beforehand so you don’t waste time the next day doing it.

3. Pack essentials- toiletries, pj’s, change of clothes, etc in a separate pack to bring to the hotel so you don’t have to dig through the car for your toothbrush at 9pm when you need to brush your teeth.

4. When traveling through climate zones (ex: from Florida to Maine) bring along appropriate clothes to anticipate weather changes. Yes, it will be cooler in Maine than in Florida even if it’s May.

5. Write down the major highways you’ll be taking on a piece of paper and key cities where you’ll need to change highways so you have a good idea where you’re going. On the same token, turn the GPS off. You’re driving on the same road anyways, no turns or complex navigation or anything.

6. Pack some snacks and beverages for at least the beginning of the trip. Saves money stopping at restaurants. In the winter you can pack more because it will keep. Ex: chocolate will melt in the car in the summer.

7. It is possible to spend under $10 a day/person on food but fast food is not the healthiest choice. Buying from the prepared foods section of the grocery store is a money saving alternative to fast food and meals out. Remember to bring utensils in case none are provided.

8. I usually plan on taking a break every 2 hours or so to stretch my legs and stay refreshed and fill up on gas. gasbuddy.com is a good place to get an idea of what gas prices are for an area.

9. The brochures and flyers at the hotel lobby have alot of information on what to see and do in a city.

10. Plan a loose itinerary, and have the flexibility to work in things you want to see that you come across. HAVE FUN!!!