A few weeks ago we met Randi Somers and her grandson Jesse Lee, who left Alaska to follow the highways and back roads of the U.S. You may remember that Randi and Jesse were chosen to be The Savvy Traveler's "roving correspondents" this summer, so they've been checking in with us along the way. Randi's a seasoned traveler, but this is Jesse's first time really seeing the country. We wondered how a sixty-something grandma and her 11-year-old grandson would get along, so when Randi called us from Nevada, we asked how Jesse was adjusting to life on the road.
Randi: "It's working beautifully so far, not a mention of screams. This cell phone has been a life-saver, from the standpoint of he can call his mom, he can call his buddies, so he's had unlimited contact. He talked to his buddy while he was munching on hot dogs and sitting in the rain last night at the campfire. And he's talked to his mom half a dozen times, but it's just like, 'Hey mom, we're just having a great time' and he's been most helpful and cooperative, he's taken over the navigation, and just doing -- doing great!"
We caught up with them again after they checked into the Excalibur in Las Vegas. It was their first night in a hotel after a couple of weeks of camping their way down the West Coast. They'd just finished riding the Manhattan Express roller coaster, that one that winds all around the outside of the New York, New York hotel and casino. But Jesse wanted to talk about another great ride he'd had earlier in the trip.
Jesse: "Oh yeah, I was driving the dune buggies."
Not a bad start to a summer of adventure, and Randi says they're showing up all of the naysayers -- like Jesse's brothers and sisters -- who thought the trip wouldn't last.
Rudy: "Why did they think he wouldn't last?"
Despite all the adventure, 11-year-olds aren't known for their patience. I asked Jesse what he and Randi do to keep themselves occupied while they're driving.
Jesse: "Hang man, tic-tac-toe and I play mind games -- they're kind of like miniature mysteries. You have to read a story and try to figure out the ending, and sometimes they have clues to 'em or why what happened happened or what happened."
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