Taking the right road trip

Matt Duffett

“Vegas, baby! Vegas!” Are you on the red-eye from Philly to Nevada to appease your ferocious gambling fix? No, you are jumping into the passenger side of the glistening white Expedition your best friend has luckily swiped from his parents’ driveway. You are on a road trip and you can’t help but think of “Swingers.” Where are you going? It doesn’t matter because you WX’ed Friday’s classes and you feel good. It’s just the fellas and the open road this weekend.

Luckily you read “Matt Duffett’s Guide to College Road Trips” in The Villanovan before you split. Unfortunately, the other passengers did not have the pleasure. Fortunately, you are well-versed in Duffett’s country grammar and you could probably teach it to a chimp in a half an hour if you had to. However, every time you remember you could teach it to a chimp, you recall a certain flick starring Tom Green and Sean William Scott and you begin to think of home movies, sperm donors, fraternity hand- shakes and rotund black women. But finally, you remember the movie is called “Road Trip,” which brings us back to our original thesis.

There are a few guidelines for a wildly successful road trip. It starts with the car. Although your 1978 Buick LeSabre could haul an office building, its reliability can be related to Chris Webber in the NCAA Finals or Lee Press-On Nails in a tug-o-war. So you might want to select something that can handle the rigors of I-95 and a highway chock-full of guys named Seabass.

Next, the driver: although it might be fun for a member of the “Animal House” to handle the stick, the point of the road trip is to actually reach the destination. So when he proposes splitting two cases for the long, arduous ride, you might want to snatch the keys from him. This is the reason it is crucial to have multiple driving options.

So you got the ride and you got the driver, so you kick the car in gear and hop on the highway. Okay, you have just failed Road Trip 102. Before putting the car in drive, a compact disc of driving hits must be selected from the extensive CD library in your bag. As much fun as it is listening to Dave and Donna on DSL 110 in Fargo, N. D., it is a tad more fun to holla “Living on a Prayer” as you whip around hairpin turns in the Peekskills, or hum “Get out of my dreams, Get into my car” to rest-stop Rhonda in Rochester.

While in your local Quik-E-Mart, grab yourself a slurpee and some assorted snacks. I can’t leave home without some Philly pretzels and some fun dip, and starbursts can’t hurt. Assorted beverages are a plus, but keep in mind that rest-stop bathrooms aren’t known for setting superior sanitary standards and it’s a pain in the grass to stop on the side of the road.

It’s finally time to hop on the highway. Now there are two options. One, you can Bonnie and Clyde it, and rip through the gravel without a map or a care. This can be a blast, leading you to places you never would have imagined traveling to. It can also lead you to places you never imagined traveling to… the easily intimidated need not apply. The second option is for a more traditional and logical approach. Get yourself a map that will lead you to your destination. I think by now everyone knows Mapquest. com, but if not, just enter the address you need to get to and you’re good to go.

So finally, where the heck are you gonna go? So many places to travel, so little time. The final destination can be broken down into two groups. The first set is broken down by college and each target is recommended for a certain season. The second set can be seen with or without the help of a tour guide at any time of the year.

If you are going to visit other schools, I would suggest two from my personal experience. First, Notre Dame. ND is best done in an RV, sometime in the middle of foliage and the football season. It can’t be done without a heavy-duty grill, several pounds of meat and a plethora of lawn chairs. Set up shop in the parking lot overlooking Touchdown Jesus, the Golden Dome and the stadium. Don’t miss one of the most expansive college bookstores in the world and don’t forget to hit up the library, a downtown watering hole for athlete and amateur alike.

The second option is Duke. Blue Devil heaven has one of the most beautiful campuses on the East Coast. Moreover, there are innumerable social opportunities to choose from, either on or off campus. It is a soaking-wet campus and fraternity central has events almost every weekend. A great time to visit is during basketball season, for it has arguably the best stadium in the country. Be sure to hit up George’s Garage for a few cocktails after the game and if you get a touch of the munchies, enjoy one of the best burritos this side of the border at the Cantina across the street.

For a non-collegiate road trip, look to Boston, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach or Chicago. For an effortless trek to Boston, you can get yourself some chowda, see the Sox, shop on Newbury and try Daisy Buchanan’s, voted one of the best college bars in the country by Rolling Stone.

N’awlins has Bubba Gump Shrimp, and one of the most famously infamous events in the universe, Mardi Gras.

A modest 10 hours away, Myrtle Beach is the miniature golf capital of the world. Oh yeah, and it has some pretty good regular golf too.

There you have it kids, everything you need for a party. Let’s roll!