The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Day 2

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Human beings are funny creatures. Even at 10 p.m. on vacation, I found myself running on a treadmill last night.

In my defense, we spent most of our second day on the road in the car. Again.

But in the 20 minutes I spent exercising alone, I enjoyed the kind of reflection that comes when you don’t hear a child breathing (i.e. whining) for the first time all day.

I’m a writing teacher, so symbolism gets me pretty excited. Yesterday we encountered two classic American icons: Superman and the Gateway Arch.

Early into the day’s adventure, we allowed a tourist trap to consume 30 minutes.

[Enter Metropolis, Illinois]

There’s something about quirky little towns that makes your heart bleed for them. This one had a giant Superman statue. We didn’t pause for even a picture in Kentucky, so it was the least we could do as American travelers. Take lots of unnecessary pictures.

I even let down my guard and stood behind a Superwoman cut-out.

We traveled through St. Louis and Kansas City on Day Two, which would have been a blur had it not been for the Gateway Arch. It was two hours well spent, even if my husband was unsuccessful in persuading me to visit the observation deck.

Our son was pretty taken by the monument’s enormity. All I can recall him saying is “Whoa!”

But I have to admit that my inability to find a changing table in the women’s restroom left a sour taste in my mouth.

How can we come so far as a country in technological advancement and yet still fall short in meeting a mother’s basic needs?

Because this is America – the land that I love and the land that inspires us to fight for change.

And, on that treadmill, I was grateful for stubborn American persistence that keeps a mother running into the night.

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