Archive for the ‘On the Road’ Category

Sixteen Springfields!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

[sarah] We are on our way to New York City, after spending last night in Boston. We arrived in Boston after having visited Springfield, Vermont (#15) and Springfield, New Hampshire (#16) and accomplishing our goal of visiting 16 Springfields in 16 states in 9 days.

Our first stop of the day was in Vermont. It seemed like a lovely town which we were excited to arrive in because it had actually won the competition over a year ago to be the Springfield (among 16 nominated Springfields) to host the premeiere of The Simpsons movie.

Then we were on to Springfield, New Hampshire. Following the GPS direction led us down one winding local road after another, with nothing distinguishing the area as Springfield. As we back-tracked we decided to turn down another small local road, called Four Corners Road, assuming it must be at the corners of something to have warranted the name. A mile or so down the road we encountered exactly what we were hoping for: our sixteenth Springfield! We took a picture outside the Springfield Meetinghouse and Townhouse, dedicated in 1799.

Vermont and New Hampshire were beutiful and snowy – see the pictures below!

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Yertle the Turtle hates us.

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

New Year’s Day meant, if nothing else, zero traffic for our drive from D.C. to Springfields 12 (Penn.), 13 (N.J.), and 14 (Mass.).

A slight detour in the wrong direction on the way to our first stop in Pennsylvania added an extra 9 minutes to our trip, along with a wonderful (and brief) tour of the town of Media. Totally different from Springfield. For starters, it’s name didn’t rhyme with “Bringfield.” It was a quick stop, as we had exciting business to attend to in New Jersey.

We were met at the Springfield, N.J., municipal building by three exciting new players: 16 Springfields Sarah’s pre-school-era friend (also) Sara (and also with a gracious donation), a producer from WWOR-TV, and the Sherwood family — parents of Billy, a 19-month old with neuroblastoma. After eight days and 12 Sringfields, it was incredible to meet Billy, his sister Sydney, and parents Dena and Billy, Sr.

Our final stop of the day was Springfield, Mass. which was beautifully blanketed in snow, yet disappointingly absent of Dr. Seuss; who closes an outdoor sculpture garden on New Year’s Day?! Also, it was really cold. An overnight low of -3°F!

At night, on our way to a relaxing evening out, we got very exciting news – our story on WWOR aired around 10:30 P.M. and apparently it was a really good piece. We were already in Vermont, and were unable to see it live ourselves, but Sara (Sarah’s pre-school-era friend) was able to record it, so we may be able to share it with you soon.

And now, on to our final Springfields of the trip: Vermont (15) and New Hampshire (16). Thanks for all your support so far. (more…)

Country roads take us home, after dashing through the snow

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Shoshanah here. Today’s trip was mostly dominated by snow. We left Columbus, Ohio at around 9am, and didn’t make it to our first Springfield of the day until 3:30 pm. There was a lot of white in between.

This morning, I had never driven in snow before in my life, since I learned to drive in South Carolina and Florida. With the aid of Avi and his living-in-Vermont experience, I can now confidently drive through whiteouts in the mountains of West Virginia.

Springfield, West Virginia was much larger and more exciting than we expected, and after holding up our banner in front of the post office and church, we hit the country roads again. Springfield, Virginia mostly identifies as being a suburb of DC, but there were still plenty of identifying Springfield signs to give the town its own character.

We’re spending the night in DC before heading to Springfields Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts tomorrow. Don’t forget to donate while you can still get some benefit from Uncle Sam for 2008. Happy New Year!

Standing in West Virginia

Standing in West Virginia

Standing in Virginia

Standing in Virginia

Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Avi again. We’ve come into our very first snow of the trip which, given that we started on the 25th in Nebraska and spent time in South Dakota, is pretty remarkable.

Columbus, Ohio last night made a good waypoint from which to launch today’s push to Washington, D.C. for New Year’s Eve, with two Springfields on tap before the night’s festivities: West Virginia (10) and Virginia (11).

No major updates, except to note that the Longaberger corporate headquarters in Newark, Ohio, actually is a seven-story tall picnic basket which we all found incredibly cool. Or creepy. As always, thanks for your support, and thanks for your support. (Get those donations in today, and beat the IRS out of some money, or something.) (more…)

In Ohio, they know us!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

[sarah] Three Springfields in one day, the most we’ve covered in a single day so far on this trip. Indiana was fun. In Michigan, we got to pose with Jeanette, the municipal finance director. But the best was far and away Ohio. As we stood outside the historic downtown post office we were stopped by not one, not two, but five different people who didn’t just want to say “Good Afternoon” but actually told us that they’d heard about our visit!

Turns out we’d made the cover of the Springfield News-Sun local section from that morning! Our favorite? Hey, I’ve heard about you guys! You’re from Omaha, right?

When they asked, we reminded them that they could easily donate through our website or by sending in a check. And then we got interviewed by Channel 2 WDTN – our second on-camera interview. Before leaving town we made sure to pick up a copy of the paper-and-ink Springfield News-Sun. Thanks for a great afternoon, Ohio! (more…)

My [Springfields] aren’t designed for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Left Chicago at 8:15 this morning, and made it to our next Springfield, an hour away in Indiana, at about 10:15. Welcome back to Eastern time.

Pics will post later, but the Springfield Township, La Porte County Volunteer Fire Department made an excellent backdrop for our first stop with the banner of the day, and then, about 1.5 miles up the road, we spent another bit of time at the Springfield School. Exciting? No, but it is a Springfield, and it moves us one closer to 16.

GPS tells me we’re 60.8 miles from our next stop — Springfield, Michigan — which will probably be another quick one. Then the long haul down to Ohio, with, time-permitting, some stops at roadside attractions on the way.

Hopefully yesterday’s stories will get folks to donate and join the facebook group. If you’re already on top of both, check out our tweets.

Unincorporated, shmunincorporated…

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Got a bit of a late start this morning, leaving Madison, Wisconsin for our Springfields of the day, Wisconsin and Illinois.

After 4 Springfields, we thought that the next one couldn’t still be unique. It was. The “Springfield/Unincorporated” sign at the entrance to not-town made a perfect spot to display our banner and spread the word about neuroblastoma, and we waved to a whole bunch of cars as they drove past. A quick stop in front of the post office, and we’re back on our way to Illinois.

It’s a long haul downstate to the capital, but we’re excited to hit a city that is certain to be our most bustling yet. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us so far! (more…)

Springfield, SD, the world’s only Corn Palace, and 75 mph speed limits

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Shoshanah here. On Friday we left Sioux City, Iowa bright and not-so-early, as sunrise is at around 8am in this part of the world. We drove through the booming metropolises of Vermillion and Yankton (the cattle capital of SD) on our way to Springfield, South Dakota, which was everything we hoped it would be and more.

We stood by the large, beautiful “Springfield” sign along the one and only road into town, where a surprisingly large number of cars passed by to check out our banner. Hopefully they’ll be visiting the site and supporting Neroblastoma research. Hi Springfield, SD!

We drove through town, noticed the local pastimes of fishing and golf, failed to visit the Springfield Historical Society Museum (“Closed for winter”), and sent postcards from the local post office. It was great.

Our next stop was Mitchell, SD, where we visited the world’s only corn palace, an entire building decorated in corn. (Guess what they grow around here.) We spent the night in Sioux Falls, after visiting a to-scale model of the USS South Dakota and throwing a lot of snowballs.

We’ll be back on the road again in the morning, headed to Springfield, MN

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Northbound, I-29: We’re not doing 76 miles per hour.

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Another quick update from the road, but this one is actually from the road.

Got the internet connection set up, GPS is going, and we’re about an hour and a half from today’s first stop, in Springfield, S. Dak.

Roads are clear, though there’s some chance of wintry mix. If this holds up, we’ll not have needed the weather category at all…

1 Down…

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Wow. Day one has been an absolute success. We converged on Omaha without incident, avoiding the flight delays that seem to inevitably plague the Chicago airports in winter and summer (also: autumn and spring). Picked up the rental car, and headed off to Springfield, Nebraska.

Standing at the Springfield Library on Main Street, Springfield, Nebraska

Standing at the Springfield Library on Main Street, Springfield, Nebraska

Our first official stop was everything we could have hoped for. We stopped at the public library, on Main St, to unfurl our banner before hopping back in the car to do a bit of exploring. A minute or two later, back on the road for real.

We’re spending the night in Sioux City, Iowa, before heading up to Springfield, S.D. in the morning. Hoping to hit at least one exciting attraction tomorrow (the Corn Palace is relatively nearby in Mitchell) before arriving in Sioux Falls in the afternoon.