The Farewell Tour
Posted by Heliocentrism on August 19, 2010
August 11-15, 2010
The Long Drive Home
Since I’m going to Japan soon and Mark isn’t, we dropped him off in Flint and made our way south. Don’t worry, Mark is coming to Japan. He’ll come shortly after I get there.
It’s a long drive from Michigan to Homestead so my mom and I made several stops along the way. Mark found a great website and gave me the link. It’s called RoadsideAmerica.com. There are lot of interesting things to see out there!
Not everything was worth a blog entry. Some of our stop was just entertaining enough to break up the monotony of a 3 day car journey. I will just talk about the more interesting ones here.
One Last Goodbye
Our first Mark-less stop was in Columbus, Ohio. I have one more chance to see my brother again and to try to talk him into visiting me in Japan. His second son, Alex, and my mom will be spending Christmas with me.
I played a game of soccer with my brother and his boys. It reminded me of the year I lived in Columbus. This was where I learned to play basketball and where I started exercising. This game also reminded me of how out-of-shape I am. I do need to start exercising again.
You play Basketball!? ha ha!
In high school I was far from what anyone would call athletic. I had never ran without cause to. I never lifted weights, unless I was trying to retrieve something. But I was, and still am, very tall.
I moved to a new city and a new school. I was going to spend one year with my brother and see what life in the states was like. My mom wanted me in a private christian school. After weeks of searching my brother picked Tree of Life High School for me.
One day a man approached me as I was walking in the hall. “You’re new aren’t you.” he said as he sized me up. “If you want to make some new friends and play basketball, come see me. My office is in the gym.”
At dinner that night I told my brother about my odd encounter. He rolled over laughing. “They think just because you’re tall you can play basketball. You play basketball!?” He fell on the floor holding his sides.
I thought it was funny that anyone would mistake me for a potential basketball player, but I didn’t think it was that funny. “You don’t think I could make the team?”
Malcolm: “No. Have you every played basketball before? Would you even know what to do with the ball?”
Me: “Wouldn’t they teach me?”
Malcolm: “They would if you could get on the team. But you have to get on the team first.”
Me: “Alright. I’ll get on the team. Then they’ll teach me to play. Then I’ll play!”
The next day at lunch I went to the athletic office at school and signed up to be a Lady Trojan. I was put on the JV team and played my heart out. I never became a fantastic baller, but that was never my goal. I did however, manage to go on and earn a basketball scholarship for college.
The World’s Blankiest Blank!
The next stop was to see the world’s biggest basket. It’s actually a 7-story office building and headquarters of the Longaberger basket company. When you go inside it looks like you’re outdoors. There is a piano that plays itself and many cozy rooms with examples of how you can use your Longaberger basket.
The next day we went to Mayberry. This was my first visit to a fictional town. Well, it’s actually Mount Airy dressed up to look like Mayberry. Mount Airy is where Andy Griffith is from. So to capitalize on his fame, the town recreated Mayberry in it’s downtown area.
This is the actual boyhood home of Andy Griffith. There is a statue of Opie and Andy in the town. You can see the shops, stores and other characters in the town, but the most popular one is Barney Fife. He now has a cafe and his likeness is seen all over the town.
If we were just driving without unnecessary stops we could have made it home with only one overnight along the way. But how boring is that? Besides when will I have the opportunity to see the world’s biggest fire hydrant again?
One of our stops was in St. Augustine, America’s oldest city to see a home built from one single redwood log. It was very hot inside since there are no windows. But it comes complete with a kitchen and fridge, a bed room, dining room and sitting area. But where was the bathroom? A sign near the house said that “business” was done outside…
How to get there:
You can enter my country by land, air, or sea. But I think flight would be your transportation method of choice.
I have no clue how to get a visa to the US or who needs one. Just assume that you need one if you are not American or Canadian and check with your local US embassy.
- Use 911 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
- Use 411 for information (This might cost money.)
- Crash Course:
- CGP Grey:
- Mental Floss:
- American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
- Area 51
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- Dandelion Wine
- Girl in Translation
- The Hemingses of Monticello
- The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
- The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
- Notes from a Big Country
- One Summer: America, 1927
- Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America’s Hoboes
- Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
- That’s Not In My American History Book
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
- The Water Is Wide
- Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland
- It’s a big country. You’re going to need a car.
- Coordinates 40°03’49.1″N 82°20’46.7″W
By Car, from Columbus –
- Take I70 East, exit 132,
- then turn left onto State Route 13 north.
- Follow State Route 13 north to State Route 16 East and turn right.
- From State Route 16 East, turn right onto Dayton Road.
- Turn left onto East Main Street.
- The Home Office is located on the left.
One Market Square
1500 East Main Street
Newark, Ohio 43055
- Most M-F 8:00 – 17:00
- This place is an office building. You are welcome to come in, ask questions, and take pictures in the visitor’s area only.
- Coordinates 36°30’06.3″N 80°36’24.8″W
By Car from I77 –
- Take exit 100 to Hwy. 89 East.
- Turn left onto Pine St./Hwy. 89.
- Follow Pine to Renfro St., turn left.
- Follow Renfro Street and take a left onto Independence Blvd.
- You will see the Blue Signs that say Visitors Center.
- Once you turn onto Independence take the next left onto Main Street.
- Follow Main Street until you see the Big Granite Building located beside Barney’s Restaurant.
- This is The Chamber of Commerce Building and the Visitors Center is located in the Chamber of Commerce Building at, 200 N. Main Street.
200 North Main Street
Mount Airy, North Carolina 27030
- There is free parking behind the Old City Jail on the intersection of Moore Ave. and Renfro St.
- You can go camping in this area.
The One Log House
- Coordinates 29°53’58.5″N 81°18’48.8″W
Go to the old down town of St. Augustine in Florida.
19 San Marco Ave.
St. Augustine, FL
- It’s right outside the Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
- Always available
- The log house is in the parking lot of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not. You don’t have to pay to see it.