Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 26, 2014

I need a vacation from my vacations

Perhaps one day we’ll figure this spring break thing out and fly to a resort, bury our toes in the sand and sip daiquiris through umbrella straws. I’ve been hearing Cancun calling for many years now. Still, my significant other and I manage to choose spring break adventures that involve very little sitting around.

About eight years ago we flew to Seattle, threw fish at Pike Place Market, drove to Mount St. Helen’s, and took in a Mariners baseball game. A year before that we spent a week in San Francisco, marching around The City, summoning the spirit of the beats at City Lights Bookstore, and biking across the Golden Gate Bridge for lunch in Sausalito before catching the ferry in Tiburon and later a baseball game by the bay.

A couple years later we went to Sacramento to visit family and Lake Tahoe for some skiing.

A few years ago, we did make it to the Florida Keys, but between a day in Key West, swimming with the dolphins and nearly drowning while snorkeling in 6-foot seas, relaxation was limited.

Two years ago we took a “Man vs. Food” road trip to New Orleans, stopping overnight in Nashville, Tenn. to eat barbecue, listen to music and walk around Vanderbilt; and Memphis, Tenn. to visit The King at Graceland, see the ducks at the Peabody, hear the blues on Beale Street and chow down at Gus’s World Famous Chicken.

Once we made it to New Orleans we got caught in the rain on Bourbon Street and found heavenly refuge at Fritzels’ European Jazz Club. We ate beignets at Café Du Monde, the Ferdi Special Po Boy at Mothers, road on a street car named something, saw the Preservation Hall Jazz Band twice and drank beer and watched “Swamp People” on TV with actual “swamp people” at a dive bar in the Mulotta Bayou.

Last year we went to a wedding in Austin, Texas, walked across the “bat bridge,” thought better about ordering the “Janis Joplin” at Threadgill’s and found out what Texas barbecue is all about at The Salt Lick.

So, this year I was looking forward to something my kids might describe as, “chill.” No such luck. The two boys that would come with us — ages 19 and 17 — had other plans.

Of course, finding “Man vs. Food” venues was a big part of it. So was baseball. So was driving and so was plenty of walking.

On April 5, we embarked, driving 3½ hours to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio where we saw Devo’s flower-pot helmets, Angus Young’s school boy uniform and an original draft of Hunter S. Thompson’s classic, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” The day concluded at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., the birthplace of buffalo wings.

Over the next three days we would visit Niagara Falls, Syracuse University, Boston’s Fenway Park (it was Big Papi bobble-head night), sit in the Old North Church and throw back some suds at the Bull & Finch Pub, “where everybody knows your name.” Cheers!

From Boston we meandered to New York City, where we ordered the “Woody Allen” at the Carnegie Deli, listened to a musician sing “Imagine” at Strawberry Fields in Central Park and saw to the stage version of “Rocky” on Broadway.

New York is a big city so we also caught the 4 train to Yankee Stadium for a Red Sox-Yankees game, walked to the East Village for “a pair” at McSorely’s, had lunch as we watched the ice skaters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and remembered 9/11 as we stood among the amazing Twin Tower footprints at Ground Zero.

Throw in a ferry ride from Battery Park to Ellis Island, a little shopping in Soho and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and I’d say we got our money’s worth. But next year … there better be a deck chair with my name on it.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.