This Road Trip Is A Labor Of Love

road trip
Flickr/MSVG

Common road trip themes include stopping at small town parks for touch football on a sports focused journey, eating at only hole-in-the-wall barbecue places, collecting tacky souvenirs from truck stops and more. But how about a focus on love? That’s exactly what two former strangers are doing, trying to document 100 love stories as they drive from coast to coast.

Nate Bagley and Melissa Joy Kong have been traveling across the United States in a Mini Cooper hoping to “learn what makes a lasting marriage and dispel all the myths around real love,” says an ANI News report. Looking for couples involved in what might be considered a successful relationship, The Loveumentary has already produced more than two-dozen podcast interviews.

Learning the difference between real love and marriage myths, Loveumentarians Bagley and Kong want to continue their travels and document at least 54 more relationships. To do that, a Kickstarter project has been launched to help pay for future accommodations, gas and other incidentals.Want to get an idea of what The Loveumentary road trip is all about, who these people are and what they are up to? Check this video that tells us “One day consists of 86,400 seconds. This is one of them….”


Richard Branson Makes Airplane Hookups Easier By Letting Travelers Send Each Other Drinks

If you travel when you’re single, the following scenario may sound familiar: You get a friend to drop you off at the airport early, you make it through security and grab a coffee or a pre-trip beer, you wander to your gate and board, scoping out the people around you. You sit down in your seat – damn, how did you get stuck sitting in the middle row again? – and you secretly cross your fingers hoping for someone attractive to sit next to you instead of that overweight man/woman with overgrown nose hairs making their way down the aisle.

Attractive person saunters by. If only you had been in row 30A instead of 28C.

But thanks to Richard Branson, there’s help.

Virgin America is now offering Seat-to-Seat Delivery, making it easy to flirt with that hottie (scare them?) a few rows back by sending them drinks, snacks and even meals. Nothing better than hitting on fellow travelers. Who better to explain how it works than Branson – king of international affairs – himself?

The best part about it? Given the fact that airplane food has become so expensive, your potential mile high club partner probably won’t turn the free drink/food down.

No jokes about salty nuts please.

Love In The Civil War At The New York State Museum

Civil WarThe Civil War is the subject of numerous exhibitions and special events these days as the country commemorates the war’s sesquicentennial. Most study the battles and politics, but one at the New York State Museum in Albany is focusing on how the war affected the relationship between two lovers.

“I Shall Think of You Often: The Civil War Story of Doctor and Mary Tarbell” opens today as part of “An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War,” a 7,000-square-foot exhibition that examines New York’s role in the war.

Doctor and Mary Tarbell were childhood sweethearts who got separated when Doctor Tarbell went off to war with the Union army. They kept up a regular correspondence until the doctor was captured and sent to a Confederate prison.

Mary heard nothing from him and didn’t even know he was alive until he was released in February 1865. The doctor wasted no time getting leave to go home and marry his true love.

The exhibition tells of their enduring relationship with letters, diaries, photographs and Mary’s wedding dress, giving a personal and emotional side to a period of history so often concerned with death and violence.

Both exhibitions run through September 22.

[Photo courtesy Tompkins County History Center]

Photo of the Day: Love Locks in Paris

Paris is a romantic city. The architecture, the lights, the food, the language; it’s hard to deny that this city is a place for love.

One of the classic expressions of romance in the City of Light is the collection of love padlocks on some of Paris’ most classic bridges. Love locks are a simple thing: a couple writes their names on a padlock, locks it to one of the bridges, and if they are really committing to everlasting love, throws the key into the Seine.

The weight of love in Paris is so big that a few years ago, town hall was concerned about the influence of the locks on the city’s architectural integrity, and one night, all of the thousands of locks were cut down – although the culprit remains unknown. But even French bureaucracy can’t win in the battle of love, and locks returned, in all colors and sizes.

You’ll find the biggest assortment on Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché (which bridge you choose depends on which type of love you are trying to express), where Flickr user jrodmanjir snapped this photo.

Have your own travel photos that capture a special moment? Submit them to the Gadling Flickr Pool for a chance to be featured on Photo of the Day.

[Photo Credit: jrodmanjir]

Photo Of The Day: I Heart NY

Photo of the day - I love NY
Happy Valentine’s Day! Can a place be your Valentine? This year, I’m in Istanbul, my second love, but my first will always be New York City. Still, I’ve never quite gotten the appeal of souvenir T-shirts that announce where you’ve been or what places you love most. There was a nice trend after September 11, 2001, of people wearing “I (Heart) NY More Than Ever,” which made sense and contributed to the solidarity of that time, and the trend has been revived in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But otherwise, why do you need to declare your love for a place while you’re still in it? Flickr user em_photos2010 captured this family, who evidently couldn’t love New York more, as they all wear their hearts on their sleeves (so to speak). We’re not sure where they are wearing their shirts (other than outside Johnny Rockets, which are all over the world, including some cruise ships), and I’m guessing NYC is not their hometown, but maybe it’s a second love.

Add your favorite photos to the Gadling Flickr pool for another Photo of the Day. Remember, you can also now submit photos through Instagram; mention @GadlingTravel AND use hashtag #gadling when posting images.

[Photo credit: Flickr user em_photos2010]