During our meeting on Monday evening, Joey, Sarah and I discussed the possibility of expanding our itinerary. We came to the conclusion that given the rosy condition of gas prices (see my last post), we would be making a mistake is we didn't use the opportunity for extra mileage to our advantage. And if prices go up, it's better to have everything we could possibly want to see all on one plate so we can cut out the portions that are the most unnecessary. So we took a good, long look at where we should be going, beyond our original plans. And here, my good friends, are our newest additions.

1. Cape Cod, Ma. This was a favorite locale for my father's side of our family during any vacation that they tried to throw at us while I was growing up. My grandparents brought me here with my older sister when we were much younger, and the four of us stayed at a quaint bed & breakfast owned by a woman named Mrs. Hickey. And my father took the family for a lovely day trip to Provincetown, which as near as I can tell is the gay capital of the East Coast. This was somewhat confusing for my three- or four-year-old brother at the time, I recall. But those visits aside, this is a lovely shore region with plenty to see and, if I have my way, lots of fun gay people out at the very end of the cape. This new addition will fall into the beginning section of the trip.

2. Birmingham, Al. We had this on our plot at the outset, but took it off in favor of a jaunt south to Pensacola instead. Frankly, we figured we could stop off in Montgomery on the way and get pretty much the same effect. But now with just a tad extra in gas expenditure, we're going to visit both Birmingham and Montgomery in the same day, and make a civil rights movement day of it. Should be interesting, to say the least. Tack this onto the third leg of our trip.

3. Louisville, Ky. Apparently, Joey has a cousin here, or at least that's what Sarah was totally convinced of the other day, even though Joey didn't really react as much. Anyway, we felt a little bad that we were leaving Kentucky out completely, even though its not too far out of the way. So after we hit St. Louis, we'll bop over to Louisville before we drive north to Indianapolis, and eventually to Chicago. And you know, looking at the map now, we'll be awfully close to Cincinnati once we reach Louisville... maybe we'll have to make further arrangements in this little scheme of ours. This addition also falls into the third leg of the trip.

4. Plenty of Texas. This state seems to exude more personality than most others. Yet we had originally limited our visit to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and a hop through Amarillo on the way to Denver. What a bad idea. Instead, we're going to cover a fair share of the state between those two cities, including Houston, Austin and San Antonio. We've figured out our route so that we don't backtrack over any of the same roads, and we get to drive through Abilene, the town made famous by the Grateful Dead in the song "Loser." While we're here, we'll be looking for barbecue, a rodeo and a Pentecostal church. This jaunt into the lone star state will fall into our trip's fourth leg.

Those are the big ones. We have a few lunch stops we'll throw in but I'm not feeling sprightly enough to go into detail right now. Next time, we'll talk about our schedule, and just how hilarious it looks at the moment.

-Tom Stanley

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