Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Great Trips Contest

Posted September 4, 2008
Updated September 5, 2008

What great trips have you taken in your lifetime? Short trips. Long trips. What made them special? Was it the place or the people that made it wonderful? Was it a well planned trip or spontaneous? I will give prizes to those with the top three trip stories.

As you ponder those questions let me tell you about a jewel of a journey. I read about it today in my hometown paper, The Cary News. I was so fascinated by the trip that I went online and checked out the blog which chronicled the vacation. The trip grew out of pain. 81 year old Walter Inscoe buried his wife of more than six decades. Life seemed sad and empty for the retired Air Force officer. Walter was lamenting his great loss with his son. He wondered if his grand children might want to see the country with him.

Well, 21 year old Corey Inscoe, a senior journalism major at UNC, jumped at the chance. So did his sister Madison, a 16 year old junior at Cary High School. Walter bought a new car and GPS system and hit the road with the grandkids. It was a 32 day cross-country drive and included stops in New Orleans, San Antonio, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the California coast, Seattle, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Corey used his journalistic skills and blogged about the trip daily. Madison handled the photographic chores.

The Inscoes logged more than 10,000 miles. Walter Inscoe summed up the trip with his grandchildren this way: “I spent more time with them in those 32 days than I have their whole lives. I wouldn’t take a million dollars in exchange for it.”

What a great trip! What is your story? We’d love to hear all about it on Carolina Conversations.

To read more about the Inscoe excursion, check out Corey’s blog and Madison’s pictures at: 


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  • Carolina MeerKat Sep 5, 2008

    We also spent a month this summer on the road traveling across America with two teens, two younger children, a pop-up camper, and a pile of cameras. My husband makes his living as a photographer and we have incredible pictures from across the country.
    If you've had a trip like this in the back of your mind, I can only encourage you to GO FOR IT!! Tell the older kids long ahead of time so they are prepared for the idea of missing camps and games and parties. Checkout the book "Road Food" from the library, and join AAA.
    You will be glad you did!
    If you decide to go and ever need tips or ideas, or want to see our pictures, you can read our blog at

  • blytle Sep 4, 2008

    My greatest trip was to the Soviet Union in 1982. We entered the country on the day they had buried Brezchnev (sp). When we got to the airport in Moscow, I was uncertain that they would let me in. My hair on my passport photo was long and straight. In my visa photo it was short and curly and in person, it was much longer and very curly. The young man at passport control wasn't sure it was me. He finally made me sign my name on a blank piece of paper so he could compare my signature with that on my passport. Thank goodness my hands weren't shaking too badly because he seemed satisfied and let me in. Hightlights of the trip: talking with Elizabeth Dole one night in Red Square. She was with her husband there to pay respects after the passing of Breshnev. Meeting two men in Leningrad who invited us to one of the men's home for tea one evening -- unheard of in that day and age. Finally, going through passport control in Leningrad, the official, handing me my passport said "you may be free.

  • golffelton1 Sep 4, 2008

    The best trip of my life was with my parents in 2004.The three of us attended the 2004 ACC Men's BBall Tournament in G-boro.I will never forget the phone call from my mother in January '04 asking if I wanted to attend the tournament.We had never attended and tickets were nearly impossible to get.My mother said "if you can get us tickets, I will pay". Well, of course, I then was on a mission.I managed to get tickets, hotel and transportation to colisieum, pricey but my mom never blinked.The three of us rode to Gboro on Thursday morning and watched ballgames for 3 solid days. Our car had a State flag on one side and UNC on the other. My parents are huge State fans and during halftime of the games my mom met David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, former Governor Jim Hunt.To see the smile on the faces of my parents was priceless during that weekend. My mom has since said that the trip to the ACC Tourn. was the adventure of a lifetime and she will cherish those memories forever...and so will I!

  • jakiret99 Sep 4, 2008

    A few years ago my sister from south Ga. called and said her husand had backed
    out of their trip to Hawaii and asked if I'd like to share her
    hotel room for 10 days. My son gave me a round-trip first class
    ticket to Honolulu, I met my sister there and had a wonderful time shopping, touring the Island of Ohau, seeing the battleship Arizona memorial, visiting a pineapple plantation and a macademia nut farm. We stayed at the Hale Koa hotel for
    military families, on Waikiki beach, in view of Diamond Head. I
    am an novice gardener and was facinated with the plant life on the grounds. I struggle with a hibiscus plant each spring and
    to see hibiscus hedges! WOW! It was a dream come true to attend a real luau, complete with a pig picking and sample the famous tasteless poi. It was a trip of a lifetime for me

  • jwstevens04 Sep 4, 2008

    The summer after I graduated from High School, my family took a trip to New England for 2 weeks. My dad was awarded a grant to study Walden Pond (Thoreau) and we went to Salem, Mass., Freeport, Maine, NY, Hartford, Conn., Concord, Mass.,to name a few. It was so much fun to go to the historical sites and SEE things pertaining to all of the authors we studied in high school. It was not only educational but fun, since it was my last summer before college.

  • maeveduir Sep 4, 2008

    ooh- forgot to mention that the morning I was at stonehenge would have been mom's birthday.

  • thefensk Sep 4, 2008

    A few years ago a diverse group of friends and I put together a trip to Big Bend National Park. We combined a mountain camping trip along with a river rafting/camping trip. Someone got ill just as we got to the park so we shortened out hiking trip by a day to let her recover. Two nights in the Chisos Mountains in the Spring, it was glorious. Then when we hiked out, we set up and prepared to raft for four days/three nights down the Rio Grande. This was lazy rafting, mostly drifting with some very minor rapids. Lots of short stops for hikes up steep side canyons. Every night we had to decide "do we camp in the US or do we camp in Mexico?" In fact the entire raft trip it was amazing to me to think that I was riding down a river dividing two countries. It was a fun trip, we even enjoyed the two hour drive back to get our second vehicle which we had shuttled downstream.

  • tangerine Sep 4, 2008

    My ECU gal pals & I (aka the "Fab 5") have been great friends for over 20 years. We dreamed of vacationing together at the beach with our families (spouses and children totaling 17 altogether). The trip became a reality in the summer of 2006. We spent a week together in a beachfront cottage at Emerald Isle. The kids (7 boys, ages 5-12 at the time and 1 very accomodating teenage girl + her friend)became lifelong buddies.Everyone had someone to pal around with, including our husbands, who until that trip, had spent limited time together. Now they are called the "Fantastic Four" and plan their own "guys only" getaways. Aside from our daily beach activities, we visited the aquarium, fished off the pier and laughed a lot. Each family was responsible for 1 evening meal during the week, and boy, did we eat like royalty. But the greatest part was just being together, proof that its the people you're with that make it a great getaway.

  • maeveduir Sep 4, 2008

    My greatest trip was taken after my mother passed. I needed a change of scenery, time for grief, so I booked myself a trip to ireland, with a special side trip for me... and my mother. She always wanted to travel, so I took her ashes with me (oh, my! security did have a field day with that one). I enjoyed my stay in dublin where I talked to so many chrming locals, then in county meathe where I golfed at portmarnock, walked the craggy shore, tried my hand at blacksmithing, toured newgrange, and had tea at castle malahide (once again, I also pubbed with the locals- I cannot say just how wonderful and kind they are in old eire). But- the highlight was my side trip to Salisbury England, where I had a pass (british heritage is so kind) to enter the circle of Stonehenge alone and release my mother's ashes fly in the breeze to be with her ancestors at sunrise. It was truly the most moving and beautiful day of my life.

  • melissameasley Sep 4, 2008

    I think the best trip I ever went on was to Las Vegas with my husband. We actually got married while we were out there. It was such a great trip. We also visited the Hoover Dam, Mt. Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and it was spent with the man I love.




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Bill Leslie