At some point, I got online and requested information from the tourist bureaus of all 48 states. I can't remember if that was actually for the story or if the story was born from that. I think I may have been planning some family vacation that I knew would never happen.
So I accumulated all that information and ended up using a fraction of it. I always wanted someone to tell me if they were able to tell which places I had visited and which places I googled. I kept all the information for a long time, actually.
The reason I thought of it was because I have developed a crafty preference for maps lately. I have a huge stack of old road maps that I picked up at the antique malls. They are cheap too. Bonus. So I recently decided I wanted a map wall. I knew The Farmer would never go for it, though. But there's a small space of wall on the side of the closet in our bedroom. You can't even see it unless you are in the bed. I decided that was going to be my map wall.
Today I dug out my vintage maps and started planning. And then cutting. And then taping a few pieces to the wall to see how it was going to look. I've got a good start.
During this process, I remembered all the information I had gotten for TAKE A LITTLE RIDE. Almost every single state sent a map with their tourist information. And I'm almost positive I got rid of all of it. There's a possibility I saved them...somewhere. I did a quick check in a few spots. But our storage areas have become even more chaotic than they were before due to baby 3 and moving bedrooms upstairs.
Back then (like it was 20 years ago instead of probably 5), though, I wouldn't have given a thought to saving maps for crafty purposes. It just goes to show how our interests and ideas can change in a short time. Now I'm actually considering requesting all the information again, just for the maps! And maybe I'll actually get to plan a vacation this time too.