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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editorial Comment: And when the newspapers die. . . .

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Road-tripping across America rocks! Here's why

By Haleigh Munson

February 23, 2009 | Being from South Carolina and choosing a University that's across the country, there was one question that came to mind before I left for college, which was, do I fly to Utah or drive?

After much thought and planning with my parents, my dad and I decided to make the beginning of my college life an adventurous one, so we packed up my little black Suziki Aerio and headed west. When I say packed up my car, I mean completely stuffed it full of all my stuff, ready to hit the road and begin a new chapter in my life.

My best friend and travel partner, Tina, stated, "Being able to take a road trip across the country is one of the highlights of my life, it is something that I will never forget. You make amazing memories and learn so much about your surroundings! I think taking a road trip should be on everyone's bucket list."

When taking a road trip you might think that you have to plan out every single thing before you leave. But being an expert at road trips, since I've driven across country about seven or eight times I've learned that you only really need to book hotels in advance if you're staying in a smaller city, such as Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole, Rapid City, South Dakota where there is also popular attractions. For example, Sturgis Bike Week. During one road trip my best friend, Cecilia, and I learned this the hard way. Being the city girls that we are from South Carolina, we didn't think to book a hotel room ahead of time, considering it was the middle of August and we were only headed to Rapid City, South Dakota.

Cecilia stated, "Being able to be with your best friend, have the music blasting, windows down feeling the fresh air, driving across our beautiful country is such an amazing feeling; something I will never forget. Some of the best memories are made while taking road trips."

As we traveled through the state we kept noticing a lot of bikers pass us by but we didn't think much of it. When we arrived at a gas station not too far from our destination of Rapid City, we saw a sign on the window that said "90 miles till Sturgis!!" We were very curious to what that meant, so as we asked the cashier, and we soon realized that the whole store was staring at us as if we had just asked the stupidest question possible.

When we got back in the car we got on the phone, every time we could get service, and called every single hotel in the city. Yep, you guessed it, we were out of luck. Everything was sold out. some people even laughed when we asked if there was room available. So when planning a road trip, always book your hotels in advance when staying at in a small city.

Another thing that I have learned from taking many, many road trips is to, if you can afford it, take your time while traveling. Don't rush and enjoy the beautiful country that you live in. Whenever I drive back home to South Carolina or back out to Utah, I take about a week to do so.

To save money, don't plan on doing an activity in every city that you stop in but make sure that you do plan something to make your trip worthwhile. You could always do the most obvious attraction when staying in a city, like in St. Louis my dad and I went to the top of the arch, better known as the Gateway to the West, Gateway Arch . We toured the museum, watched videos on how the arch was made and rode to the very top where we could see all of St. Louis. It was absolutely amazing!

Whenever my friends road trip with me I always make sure to stop in St. Louis, you can't go wrong with a breathtaking view from the top of the arch and a Cardinals baseball game. If you didn't want to do the most popular attraction, you could always research other things going on in the city as well.

When I asked my dad about what he thought about our road trips together he said, "What I like about road trips is seeing the beauty of the country. I love the back roads, the small towns. The beauty of the country to me is unbelievable. When traveling across country you see the corn fields and wheat fields in the Midwest, you see the Mississippi River and the beautiful mountains. You get a real feel of the person that you are traveling with and you get to build special memories with those people."

Whatever you choose to do while on your road trip you should always make sure to take lots and lots of pictures. Capture all the fun and beautiful moments of your trip! Whether it's scenic pictures in Yellowstone, the beautiful Grand Canyon, or historic Mt. Rushmore, all of these pictures will help you remember the fun places you went along your journey. Even goofy pictures with friends help make road trips more entertaining, especially when in the car.

For my last little bit of advice and probably my favorite part of road trips is the food. You can find a chain restaurant anywhere across the country, so when traveling to different places make sure to eat at local restaurants and diners. Experience something different. It is always helpful to ask a local where to get the best meal in town. My dad and I did this a lot on our road trip and everything tasted great! My favorite place was a local diner in Omaha, Neb. While Omaha is known for their steaks we decided to go for something a little more old school.

We ate at Harold's Diner, and it looked like nothing had changed since they first opened in the 50's. I loved everything about the diner; the smell, the friendly people, the locals and of course the food. So make sure to stop and ask where the best place to grab a bite would be! Summer is right around the corner so take this advice and plan a Road Trip America. No matter where you're going or what you plan to do just make sure you have an amazing time and be with those you love!

NW
MS

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