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  1. Default From DC (area) to San Antonio Texas

    Hello,

    I am planning a trip for my family from Virginia (DC area) to San Antonio this summer. Basically my plan is to drive halfway, stop and rest for the night, then continue to trip. I'm sure there will be some stops because we have small kids. But, I hope to leave on a Wednesday morning and get there on a Friday afternoon.

    Here's the issue, this may offend some, but I need to be realistic for my family. I need recommendations on what route to take, what to avoid, where we could stay, etc because I don't want to run into any areas that may not be too friendly to people from different backgrounds. I don't want to stop to pee and have that cause an issue, or try to stay at a hotel and be turned away. I hate to even bring this up, but like I said, I need to be realistic.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default realistically

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm a little confused by your plans. You say on one hand you plan to leave on Wednesday and arrive on Friday, but at the same time you say you plan to stop halfway.

    I will say that I hope it is the first, as you very much need 3 days for this 1600 mile trip. Those will be pretty long days that will just give you enough time to get a break from the road and to let your kids move around. Doing it with just one overnight stop would not be safe and would be hell for your family.

    As far as the places to avoid, it really is one of the most overblown questions where you can't get a real answer. Racism is certainly real, but there are not wholesale areas or cities that can or should be avoided because of it. Simply put, there are jerks everywhere, but trying to label an entire place because of it makes you guilty of the exact same thing that you are trying to avoid. I'll also say that finding the kind of overt actions you are talking about - such as being turned away from a business - is very rare indeed. Certainly with hotels, if you are sticking with any of the major chains you won't have any problems.

    There are 3 main routes:
    I-81/I-40/I-30/I-35 via Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and Dallas.
    I-81/I-59-10 via Birmingham, New Orleans, and Houston
    I-85/I-65/I-10 via Atlanta, Mobile, and Houston

    They are all basically identical in terms of distance/time, and I'd really pick the route based on the one that goes past the places you'd like to see, rather than trying to guess a route based on fear.

  3. Default

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. We planned on traveling all day Wed, all day Thursday, and half of the day Friday. Is that too much with small kids? I am just mapping this out now so I don't know. There is no real plan except to leave Wednesday and arrive by Friday afternoon.

    As for my question being overblown, with all due respect, you must be in a position to not have to worry about things like this. I've found that with that sometimes people with certain privileges (white privilege, male privilege, etc) have a lack of understanding of what other people go through. Or sometimes people think that since it's never happened to them then it just doesn't happen. Of course there are other times when people understand more because of their privilege.

    I say all of that not to get off track, but to point out that my question is very valid. And being that this involves my family, I cannot simply tip toe around things just to avoid someone calling me racist. I can name cities and areas in the North that one should avoid if they are of certain backgrounds (because people will not be subtle about their feelings); so I am sure the South is not exempt to that. That doesn't mean that the whole South is racist. But it doesn't really help to just blow off legitimate concerns just because it may make a few people a bit uncomfortable.

    If it was just me, then okay, I'd still be concerned but it wouldn't be as big of a deal. I'd just make my plans and pray that everything worked out. But being that I have kids, that changes things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post

    I will say that I hope it is the first, as you very much need 3 days for this 1600 mile trip.
    As far as the places to avoid, it really is one of the most overblown questions where you can't get a real answer. Racism is certainly real, but there are not wholesale areas or cities that can or should be avoided because of it.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-07-2012 at 02:40 PM. Reason: New members may not post off site links

  4. Default

    I am from Austin, and I would say its always safer to stick to the larger cities...(not saying small towns are not safe)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You are looking at 3 full days with at least 10 hours on the road each day. My mapping program favors I-66/I-81/I-40/I-75/I-59/I-12/I-10, and to space each day out equally, plan on overnight stops in Knoxville and Baton Rouge. Both cities are relatively safe and ethnically diverse enough where you should not have any issues (whatever your ethnicity is, which need not be asked or disclosed) as long as you don't go in with a chip on your shoulder to begin with. Your money for food, lodging, and other services is just as good as anyone else's. Interstate rest areas and services at Interstate exits (with the possibility of in the "inner city" being an exception) are also quite safe. I'm not questioning the "inner city" from a racial standpoint, I'm questioning it from a general crime standpoint. This applies to people of all persuasions - if you feel uncomfortable somewhere for any reason, it's best to move on and don't make a fuss about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default swing and a miss

    Unfortuantly, in your sensitivity to the subject, you completely missed my point. Again, not denying at all that there is racism, and it shows itself in many forms, but labeling entire cities and towns, or even types of cities (big vs. little) as being racist and areas that must be avoided if you are of a certain background is flat out silly. If you disagree or can't even see the problem with that, then I feel sorry for you, but we will simply move on.

    I'd very much plan 3 full days. If your definition of arriving on Friday afternoon is arriving quite late in the afternoon or early evening, then you should be fine, but I'd expect to be on the road for roughly 3 equally length days, with stopping points roughly as GLC has suggested and/or stops at similar distances if you choose to go another route.

  7. Default

    That's your opinion. You should consider yourself very blessed to
    1) Not have to concern yourself with these sort of things when you go on a road trip.
    2) To not have any life experience that would allow you to understand
    my point of view.

    So instead of looking for ways to turn this around on me by calling me sensitive or anything else- you should be thankful that something like this will probably never be something that you need to concern yourself with. That's wonderful.

    However, when someone has a concern like this, trying to minimize it and label them as "sensitive" or someone with a "chip on their shoulder" is the sad part. It's to be expected, which is why I included certain things in my OP, but still gives off an appearance of naivete and insensitivity.

    I am not asking anyone to cry about it and lobby for change- I am just asking for some upfront and direct information.

    When it comes down to it, this is about avoiding any undesirable situations. Nothing more, nothing less. Truthfully, I really don't care if people are racist or not- that's their right to feel how they want to. Just give me a heads up so I don't go somewhere that I am not welcomed.



    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Unfortuantly, in your sensitivity to the subject, you completely missed my point. Again, not denying at all that there is racism, and it shows itself in many forms, but labeling entire cities and towns, or even types of cities (big vs. little) as being racist and areas that must be avoided if you are of a certain background is flat out silly. If you disagree or can't even see the problem with that, then I feel sorry for you, but we will simply move on.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-07-2012 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Multiple Good Neighbor Rule Violations

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Clearly You are Missing the Point

    And you are on very thin ice. Michael has been very straightforward with you, saying that he does not doubt either that there are racists or that you have had problems. However, let me be clear. By asking users of these forums to condemn entire areas or cities you are in violation of our Good Neighbor Policy, and by using these forums for political and/or social rants you are abusing them. If either of those activities continues you will be banned from this service altogether. Please limit your questions to those having to do with RoadTripping.

    AZBuck - Moderator

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Again, I'm truely sorry for you.

    I really feel very sorry for you.

    You know nothing about me, my family, or my roadtrip companions, and yet you've jumped to the conclusion that because I will not discriminate against wholesale areas, that I can't possibly understand what its like to discriminated against. You've jumped to the conclusion that I don't know what its like to travel with homosexual friends, or have members of my immediate family that are of an ethnic minority, both of which couldn't be further from the truth.

    And now you want people to jump to the same sorts of conclusions about cities and towns that might be along your way. I'm actually very happy to tell you that you simply won't sort of thinking on this forum.

    We really wish you the best on your trip, but I can't see how we can possibly provide the "help" you are looking for.

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