It’s been nearly 30 years since I saw “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” for the first time.
Although the movie starring Steve Martin and John Candy was no Oscar contender, it has served as a regular source of hilarity for my boys and me. There’s even an obligatory reference to oft-picked-on Wichita, Kan., my previous stop for McClatchy, a reference that became all the more funny after living there.
I think the main reason the boys and I like the movie is that we can relate to the experiences of the comedic goofballs. Like Martin and Candy we all dream of the perfect vacation, but how often do those dreams go wrong and turn into vacation nightmares?
I generally blame vacation nightmares on the lack of planning — which is exactly what we hope to help you avoid with this year’s version of Road Trips.
In past years, Road Trips has been a guide for getaways within a few hours of Centre County. This year, we’ve expanded the scope to include places you can reach by planes and trains — in addition to automobiles.
Here’s a taste of what’s inside:
▪ Lori Falce explores the means of getting out of town — the airports and bus and train stations available to travelers.
▪ Jourdan Rodrigue tells us what we need to know about traveling with the Penn State football team to away games this season.
▪ John McGonigal takes a wider look at the top sports events across the globe this year.
▪ We also have a look at Comic Cons by Frank Ready, music festivals by Nate Cobler and food and wine festivals by David Kubarek.
All of those features — and plenty of others — provide vacation options that are available near and far.
A year ago, as I was entering my first summer of living in Pennsylvania, I wrote of wanting to get out and see the sights accessible to Centre County.
Our favorite trips of last year were journeys to Gettysburg, Mount Vernon and Washington. This year, we have Philadelphia or Cleveland or perhaps Boston or New York on our plate.
And just like last year, I’ll first turn to Road Trips before nailing down our plans. I hope you, too, will find it entertaining and useful.
John Boogert is the Centre Daily Times’ executive editor.