On The Bench

Authors on the Bench

December’s Question

Any traveling “detours” that drive your companions crazy? Do they ever end up in your books?

Diane A.S. Stuckart: I much prefer to travel by car than any other way, and I love those ubiquitous roadside markers that commemorate births and deaths and battles and so on. If it were up to me, I’d stop at every single one along the trip route. My husband, on the other hand, hates those markers with a passion, mostly because his dad had that same compulsion as me and insisted on stopping at every one they passed during family road trips. And so, we compromise – I get to stop at one or two markers a day, as long as we’re making good time, but we bypass the others. Sigh!

Maggie Toussaint: I love the ticky-tacky souvenir shops in every tourist destination. For many years I collected refrigerator magnets from places we’d been. Later I switched to coffee mugs, as I didn’t need one more magnet. Coffee mugs are great for beverages, of course, but also for pens, short flowers, toothbrushes, loose change, and so on. I’ve also been known to try on hats in the souvenir shops.

Lois Winston: I’m a sucker for cupcake bakeries. Wherever I go, I look for them. If I find one, of course, I buy a dozen. Filled cupcakes are the best. Anastasia has an incurable sweet tooth, which is often satisfied by her coworker, food editor Cloris McWerther, who is also her best friend and sometimes plays Watson to Anastasia’s Sherlock. FYI, the most delicious cupcakes ever can be found at House of Cupcakes in Princeton, NJ. 😉

Terry Ambrose: On a trip, I need bathroom breaks. That usually equates to a stop at a Starbucks for coffee. While my wife doesn’t mind a stop at Starbies, she usually draws the line at places with porta-potties. Her usual comment is, “That’s easy for you.” Hey, I get it. Biology is biology. There are no two ways around that!

Nancy J. Cohen: If there’s a country store selling unique local items or a historical house that offers tours, I would stop. A winery might be worth a detour if it’s nearby. Everything becomes fodder for research.

Debra H. Goldstein: Most of my traveling companions are exercise nuts. Consequently, when I look for a building’s elevator, they all roll their eyes. In my books, Sarah Blair is like me in that she finds the kitchen more frightening than murder, but she doesn’t shy away from walking up a flight of stairs.

Cheryl Hollon: My husband and I love to track down unusual neon signs when we’re on a road trip. We’ve been to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas several times and have recently discovered another one in Cincinnati. Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill, a treasured local watering hole in our hometown of St. Petersburg, has saved quite a few from demolition and used them to lure customers into taking Instagram photos. It’s a clever marketing strategy.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN:  Any traveling “detours” that drive your companions crazy?

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6 thoughts on “Authors on the Bench

  1. It has been a long time since I have been able to go on a road trip. I would always want music to play. I did not compromise very often. I felt I was the driver so I needed to call the shots for the music. I am not sure I would be that way now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.

  2. I have spinal issues left over from a really nasty car accident so my issue I have to stop every few hours otherwise my spine and surrounding muscles seize up. My husband doesn’t care as he’s used to it but others are not so understanding. They want to drive straight through to wherever we’re going and I can’t do that. So I end just bowing out of trips. However, I absolutely love driving trips, especially with music!

  3. Last time I was on vacation, there were so many construction detours we had to take that on the one detour the directions that were given to us got us lost. Also, we didn’t know there was a detour until My family and I came to this long line of vehicles. There were literally no signs about detour and no signs to tell us where to go. After taking so many roads to try to find the right way but some good soul showed us where to go by us following him. As always, construction people’s fault LOL.
    Hope you had a good Christmas and Happy New Year.

    1. I feel your pain! We took a trip from East FL to West FL and right off the bat there was road construction and a detour. My GPS hadn’t been updated in forever so it took us on a detour of its own…a lovely tour of the glades…before we got back to major highways. I think we lost 30 minutes so could have been worse! Happy Merry to you, as well!!

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