2012 Best of the Road Rally

don’t forget your condoms

We are going to this event tonight; Art, entertainment, and fabulous people- all to benefit Planned Parenthood:

Don't forget your condoms!

Whoop! Fashion creations made out of condoms by local artists? Awesome.

I’m a huge Planned Parenthood fan.

Years ago, I remember reading a gigantic binder full of thank you letters sent in by girls of all ages when I was in a Planned Parenthood office in Virginia, waiting to have my annual exam. (God those exams are about as fun as never eating chocolate again.) Some of the letters made me smile, some made me cry, mostly they made me thankful that there was a safe place to help girls who had nowhere else to go. When you’re a young woman sitting in a quiet waiting room reading words written by a 15 year old who lived in an abusive home and was always told she’d “get the shit beaten out of her” if she ever came home pregnant, but was fortunate enough to have a place to get birth control pills, or from a 23 year old who was scared out of her mind not knowing how to tell her boyfriend she was pregnant, but was fortunate enough to have somewhere that offered counseling to coach her to have that conversation with a positive result- it makes you stop and think about your own life; That could be me, any of us- and what would I have done if I was in those shoes and had no where to turn? 

Thank you, Planned Parenthood.

I believe that every one, every day has a chance and a choice to change their life. I will always be in major support of any organization that offers chances and choices for those who might not have them otherwise. Hat’s off to Planned Parenthood for all their years of education and advocacy to protect and advance women’s health and rights.

If you are in Charlotte, NC tonight- come join us for a fun night with an awesome mission!

How do you support the organizations you believe in?

#SupportYourCommunity #Choices #CLTEvents

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it’s results day!

That’s right! In just a matter of hours, Mom and I hear whether or not we were chosen for Rand McNally and USA TODAY’s Best of the Road Rally 2012!!!

A few special shout outs and thank you’s:

1.) Thank you to Sean, an old high school friend who’s been an awesomely supportive follower of Blue Lollipop Road. Sean sent me the link for the Best of the Road Rally a month ago, to which I jumped all over to sign up for the first second I could. Thanks Sean! Without you Mom and I might not even be in the running!

2.) Thank you Mom. We both know we have given this portion of the rally fun our all, so no matter the results, we are already winners because went for it!  Thank you for jumping right in and being as excited as me to be the other half of Team blue Lollipop Road! Thanks for being that parent that is unconditionally loving and supportive of the dreams we all have.

3.) Thank you Rand McNally and USA TODAY! What you are promoting with best of the Road, is what Mom and I, and Blue Lollipop Road are all about; The incredible amount of delicious, fun, beautiful, history, people and lessons in every nook and cranny of America. We are so happy there are organizations encouraging curiosity, exploration, and travel- to uncover the amazing people, places and things that are on the “back roads” all around us.

What a fun few weeks. We can only imagine how much of a blast the actual rally itself would be!

We are so thankful for all our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors for voting, spreading the news, and “rallying” for us. We have definitely felt the love and it’s been humbling.

Here’s to anticipation and running fast and furious to your passions. Life is short, so Team Blue Lollipop Road says GO FOR IT!

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biting our nails

Mom and I are waiting on pins and needles for word from Rand McNally to see if we are one of the 5 finalist teams for Best of the Road 2012.

I wish Mom was closer, or on the same works schedule as me so we could be making these videos together, but we are 1,000 miles away from each other today, so you just get my mug:

Thank goodness for cell phones, email, social media and Skype! At least Mom and I have been connected through those technology mediums during this rally. What a blast we have had! Funny how even if you are super close with someone and have traveled or spent a ton of time with them before- teaming up with that same person on a project makes you like or respect them even more.

I hope Rand McNally and USA TODAY see the genuine spirit of Mom and I and how much of a great asset and total fun we would be for this rally. Through this initial rally part we have worked hard to show who we are and what we are about.

It is my dream, my happy place and my most favorite thing to be on the road encouraging others to get out and explore. My believe that travel makes you a better person will always stay at the core of my soul and that will never change. I love being on the road more than anything. Mom has fallen in love with travel too over the past few years as she’s adventured to visit all of  us Peacock kids around the country where we’ve lived. It’s been fun for me to watch her see things while traveling for the first time, finally taking time for herself after working so hard  for years raising us. It’s pretty amazing as a “kid” to see your parent’s eyes light up the same way I’m sure she watched mine when I was a little girl finding new exciting things to learn about and explore.

For you kids of any age out there who want to do something, anything that is your big dream, the one that might seem unreachable, unreasonable, or unrealistic- it’s not. Mom Peacock always told me and still tells me to “go for it”. Reach for the stars, work hard and you will get it, keep a smile on your face when you fall down, jump right up- wipe that dirt off and try again because you can do anything you set your mind to.

She’s right.

So to Blue Lollipop Road readers and followers:

What’s your Rand McNally Best of the Road?- That thing you so badly want to be a part of or create for yourself? Jump in and tell them or yourself why you want it so badly. Show them who you are and what you’re made of. You might not be chosen or succeed the first time, or even the 22nd time, but keep plugging, work hard, and stay true to your passion and eventually someone will listen.

Mom and I hope Rand McNally is listening to us, because Team Blue Lollipop Road was born for this rally!

 

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scholarship announcement

I am thrilled to share that we sent the application out today for the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship!

This scholarship was established this year by BLR in honor of the spirit and zest for life embodied by my two friends and fellow soccer players, Maria Greene and Brandy Brown, who were killed in a car accident in 1994. (The same lovely ladies BLR is dedicated to.) The mission of this scholarship is to encourage a commitment to an active lifestyle, and to support travel for education and self-empowerment. This scholarship will award a deserving  freshman, sophomore or junior female soccer playing student at my old high school (Mount Anthony Union High School) with a monetary gift for:

*Participating in a MAUHS student exchange program;

*Taking a “Gap” Year between graduation and post-secondary education; and/or

*Going on an adventure travel trip intended for personal growth.

Yeah!

The scholarship will be awarded during the Blue Lollipop Road Play it Forward Strong Mojo Summit on August 18, 2012.

Planning and organizing this event and scholarship has been a long time in the works, so today is very exciting. (Thank you a million times over to my help Traci and Kate Emma!) I know there are a lot of young people like I was, who don’t have the financial means to explore outside their town, so I’m incredibly happy and proud to be able to honor my friends, and work to pay back/pay this forward to a deserving student. My community, school, and programs I participated in all those years ago have been a big part of shaping the woman I’ve become.

If you are an MAUHS student reading this and are interested in applying, please email diane(@)bluelollipoproad.com

If you are a visitor here who wants to support this scholarship fund and the Blue Lollipop Road Play it Forward event please click here. From all of us “kids” that dream big, and desire to keep exploring to better ourselves~ Thank you! I’m still dreaming big at 33 for Mom and I to win a finalist spot on the Best of the Road Rally 2012!

Anything is possible right?.

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guest blogger mom again

Another note and a thank you from Mamma Peacock- my Team Blue Lollipop Road Partner in crime:

It certainly has been a fun journey so far to be a team vying for a finalist spot on Rand McNally/USA Today’s Best of the Road Rally 2012. This past few weeks has sparked engaging and exciting discussions with friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Each person I have talked with about the possible upcoming trip, has exclaimed “I’d love to do that!” It’s as if all curiosity and adventurous spirit comes alive inside again when people let themselves imagine trekking across America. I’ve had many conversations with my students about the USA and using maps. Even with all the technology that’s available, kids get so excited when you bring out a trusty paper map or atlas. All those states, lines and symbols spread in front of them makes them dive right into lessons. They boast with pride about pointing and sharing where they are from. Such enthusiasm in the young and old around me has been a welcomed part of all this rally energy. Faces light up on everyone any time I share stories about my travels or participation in this contest. Who knew there would be all this fun even before the actual road tripping starts?!

Thank you to everyone for the interest, the votes, the caring enough to be a part of the Team Blue Lollipop Road adventure so far. Lets keep our fingers crossed that we are chosen as a finalist team so Diane and I can show you best of the road!  .

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do you dig us?

Great! We dig you too!

Watch our Best of the Road video here and leave a comment telling us what you think. Better yet, leave a comment for Rand McNally telling them why you think we should be a finalist team.

Just a few days left in the decision making process for Rand McNally and Mom and I are ready to rock out this x-country trip so we can share the best of America with you!

 

 

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what an exciting week!

The voting portion of Best of the Road ended this week so we are waiting with major excitement to see if Team Blue lollipop Road wins a spot on this summers rally. Yeah! Only 6 days until we get news!

Major progress and more participants on board for the BLR Play it Forward Event in Vermont 8/18/12 too. Double yeah!

Even more? The new BLR site is looking slick and getting close to launch time. That’s a trifecta of yeah’s!

It’s been a crazy, busy, exciting and fantastic few days here on the Blue Lollipop Road and we love every minute of it. Here’s to following your passions and living carpe diem style 🙂

 .

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inspired by best of the road

After these past few weeks of talking about, reviewing, voting on, and dreaming of America’s most:

*Beautiful
*Patriotic
*Friendly
*Fun
*Best for food

…small town spots. Team Blue Lollipop Road was inspired to dive into our photo archives and pull out some of our snap shots that reminded us of each category.

*Beautiful

Sitting on a lawn during sunset in Cape Elizabeth, Maine:

Cape Elizabeth Maine sunset

Morning grapevines and hot air balloons after a run in Napa:

Napa morning hot air balloons

Hiking near Hood River, Oregon:

Hiking near Hood River, OR

On a boat ride and fishing trip in Juneau, Alaska

on the water in Juneau, AK

*Patriotic

Driving through Poland Springs, Maine

Flag on firetruck in Poland Springs Maine

On the back roads of Sandgate, Vermont:

The BLR-Mobile in Vermont at covered bridge

The town square in Bath, Maine:

Town sidewalk in Bath, ME

*Friendly

With Ferry Manager in Swan Quarter, North Carolina:

Swan Quarter, NC Ferry Manager

The staff at Mainely Custard in Freeport, Maine said- “Come on in!” when I told them I was a big ice cream fan:

Staff at Mainely Custard

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, California:

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, CA

3 gents I met at Alaska Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska:

Friends in Juneau, AK

*Fun

Our hilarious rafting guide near Hood River, Oregon:

Rafting guide in Hood River, OR

Staff on a Beatles themed  food bus in Virginia:

Staff on the Yellow Submarine Food Bus

Dancing Pedro at a country bar in Illinois:

Diane dancing with Pedro in Illinois

Concert goers dancing the night away with us in Wilmington, NC:

Fun concert friends in Wilmington, NC

*Best for food

Me noshing on a whoopie pie in Maine:

Diane noshing on a Maine whoopie pie

Dessert at Dano’s on Seneca, Hector NY

Dessert at Dano's on seneca Lake

Breakfast crepes in Madison, Wisconsin:

Crepe at the Bradbury in Wisconsin

Fresh veggie quesadillas in Illinois:

Quesadilla in Illinos

Dessert crepes in Charlottesville, Virginia

Diane noshing on Crepe in Charlottesville, VA

(Clearly we are not afraid to dive right in!)

So many amazing people, place and things in America to enjoy. We love that when you travel, all you have to do is be your interested, open, and curious self- and people invite you right in to join anything!

There is always plenty of adventure around every corner…

Here’s to the road!

 .

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thank you for your votes!

Hello Team Blue Lollipop Road fans!

We want to thank you for all your votes and support during the first phase of the Best of the Road Rally. We ended up with 790 votes and in 2nd place. From today through 5/23 is the Finalist Team Determination time, so the “rallying” for us isn’t over yet. We will be posting here regularly as usual to keep you in the loop of what’s going on so stay tuned and stay with us. We so appreciate you!

Mom and I have had such a blast thus far. We’ve “met” some super fun and cool fellow travelers/competitors through social media, and we’ve learned about many more fantastic American towns/places/attractions we want to see!

Can’t wait to see what happens in the next few days….

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at home on the road

If you have followed here for any amount of time, you know I live for the road. No matter what comes in an out of my life- when I am on the road I feel most at home and most alive. I’m soon to be 34 and have had fielded questions for years about when I am going to “grow up” or stop my “traveling hobby.” I suppose what might be hard for some to understand is that as I just stated above, I feel the most at home when I am on the road. I am grown up, and this is not a phase or some trend for me. It’s simply a way of life.

In my about me page, there is a line that I wrote that says “I believe everyone has a story.” That is so true. The best times I have ever had on any of my trips are with complete strangers that I would otherwise never meet. Every single person (even the ones that think they don’t) has a story: Things and people they love, hopes and dreams, triumphs and tragedy and then some. I love spending time sitting at a diner, in a park, or at a dinner table listening to someone I might never see again sharing their life story. It never fails that even with the most different looking, aged, or demographic of a person, I always find common ground and see that we are all very much the same. I love those moments and I want Mom and I to help bring those moments to you.

I never went to college. (As in university.) My adult education has come from the people and places around me. It’s come from travel, allowing myself being curious, not being afraid to ask questions when I had them, and those times I’ve just jumped in the car and and taken off down the road just hungry to learn and experience everything possible. I believe travel is the best education and investment in yourself. It makes you flexible, resourceful, aware, open, independent, confident self-reliant, and well-rounded. These are all the foundation pieces I feel it takes to make us all our best. These are also the things my Mom did an amazing job teaching me to growing up. My Mom was married at 15 years old and was too busy raising us 4 Peacock kids with very little help to take time for herself to explore like I have. I’m sure this is why she has always been such a huge supporter for us all to explore as much as possible to learn all we could and follow our dreams.

I want to go on this Best of the Road Rally 2012 with my Mom because she is an amazing generous person, my friend and a perfect partner in crime to make this trip a blast. I want to share with her the kind of fantastic experiences the road has to offer that she has just started in recent years getting a taste of. My mom is the most genuine, smart, strong woman I have ever known and she’s always up for jumping into any fun. Who could be a better team than us?

My site here and Blue Lollipop Road may look fancy and all the stories and pictures I’ve shared might look like I’ve spent a huge trust fund to support it all. That is not the case. Every day of any trip I have ever been on I have paid for myself and has been on a shoestring budget. (Oh the amount of burgers and beers I’ve had to sling over the years!) I’ve slept in cars and on couches, my entire wardrobe still fits in one big suitcase, and if you heard the stories of the finagling I have done to make this all work, you’d never believe them. I’ve made huge sacrifices over the years to be able to travel, maintain this site, and share my stories in hopes to inspire others too. It’s been a tough roller coaster of a road, but a great adventure too and this means everything to me so it’s all been worth it!

Mom and I know how to enjoy good times, good food, and good company on pennies. We’d be a perfect pair for Best of the Road 2012. Please support us by voting these last few hours today, so we can bring to stories of the people, places, the beauty, and the fun of Small Town America to you!.

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