The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from a Dad’s Point-of-View
In Bruce Sallan’s second book, The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from a Dad’s Point-of-View, he documents his 8-day cross-country journey taking his eldest son to college. Bruce and Arnie start in Los Angeles and travel the 3000 miles to Boston where Arnie will be starting school. With over 100 photos, 7 never-seen-before videos, and live web links to places that they visited during the trip, this journal is designed to keep all readers interactive. As you follow along with Bruce and Arnie in this book, you will see what they say and how they used this trip to create life-long memories. These moments that they share with you will not only help Dad cure his soon-to-come Empty-Nest blues but also give Arnie an experience that few college bound students could ever hope to have. From losing money in Las Vegas, to losing a car in Arizona, to losing Arnie in Boston – Dad certainly gained a lifetime of memories. And for Arnie, what a unique way to start his new life out of the nest!
Check out the links below to buy The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues ebook and join in the fun. You can get a PDF or Kindle version! You can also check out an exclusive introduction video from Bruce, excerpts from the book, and reviews.
Don’t forget about Bruce’s other book, too – A Dad’s Point-of-View, also available as a bundle package with The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from a Dad’s Point-of-View! Get both together and enjoy even more of Bruce’s experiences and insights!
Watch Bruce Introduce his New Book in a 5 Minute Story:
Listen to a 60-second radio commercial about Bruce's new book:
"This trip was definitely a good and bad experience. I got to spend the last nine days before school with my Dad, but the downside was I had to spend the last nine days in close quarters with my Dad - from Introduction by Arnie Sallan"
"For some reason, I was wound-up instead of tired. This turned out to be a regular state-of-being on this trip, given the lengthy times on the road, the constantly changing beds, missed meals, good and bad food, and total disruption of anything resembling a routine."
"Once Arnie is fully awake, he's actually a sweet kid. It?s so ironic to me how little he understood how much the wear and tear this sort of trip had on his old man. I am FORTY years older than him but he was the one walking around like he had a bad hangover every day."
"Arnie was focused like a laser on getting to Boston and he could care less about the sites, as I'd discovered on this trip and remember from my own teen years. All he cared about was checking his phone and touching base with his old friends back home and his new friends at Berklee."
"Being the annoying guy that I am, I took out my trusty GoPro video-cam, which was a novelty to most who saw it and most didn't realize at first that it was taking video. I went up to just about every parent and kid and smilingly said, "It's Move-In Day!" The reaction was universal as I got a big smile in return and some comment of agreement."
"Back in my hotel room, I looked around and realized Arnie was gone. Our last night was the night before. Tonight he was sleeping in his new dorm room. I was sleeping alone. Wow. The journey that began over 18 years ago was about to take a big detour – an expected and wonderful one – but a detour nonetheless."
"By now, I was sort of the walking-wounded. After 13 states, 3000 miles of driving, from fleabag motels to Vegas high-rise suites, and loading and unloading our car several times, I was done."
"We had driven through or stayed in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts!"
"That don't judge a book by its cover cliché hit me square between the eyes on unexpectedly attending the Boston Tattoo Convention. The people were big and small, smart and dumb, beautiful and ugly – just like the rest of us. Duh!"
"The sooner we as parents give our children independence, the sooner they will become independent… because there were things I became acutely aware of, that my son did not know how to do, simply because I did it for him."
"Our grandparents used a pen and paper to document their special memories; Bruce uses a video camera and laptop. In today's day and age, there is no excuse for not being able to capture these "once in a lifetime" moments. Absorb this father and son story, and use it to unleash your inner-author."— Michael Voogd, Cover Illustrator and 'Because I Said So' Cartoonist
"I's not easy to write a book that can capture a reader's interest; however Bruce's new book does just that. An easy read from beginning to end, I enjoyed following along with the ups and downs of the trip, from brutally honest frustrations to endearing love and support, from completely relating to and understanding Bruce to thinking 'Oh My God! Arnie must have been so embarrassed!', it's a great read that leaves you pleasantly surprised, joyfully entertained, and 100% sure you will never go on a 3,000 mile road trip with your teenage child."— H. Villa
"The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal From a Dad's Point-of-View" escorts the reader through a classic U.S. American ritual: Transporting offspring to college, bidding farewell as they embark on the home stretch of a journey to adulthood. In this case, the "offspring" is nineteen-year-old Arnie, a multi-talented rock musician newly-enrolled at The Berklee College of Music one of the world's most prestigious music schools. The dad, who documented the journey using a range of print and digital tools, is Bruce Sallan -- author, speaker, blogger and talk show host based on the West Coast.
What Bruce has described as an "interactive journal" notes and evokes the fun, frustrations and adventure of "road trippin'" that sometimes seem timeless and at other times seem distinctively contemporary. Bruce and Arnie must patch up a meltdown in the family driveway in the opening minutes of their trip; deal with an engine that completely fails in the 100-plus-degree July weather of the Southwest Desert; hunt down vegan restaurants from Dolan,Arizona, to Boston, Massachusetts; and encounter a variety of sights not found in suburban Ventura County, California, where they live.
Bruce and Arnie marvel at a stainless steel "bean" public-art installation in Chicago; a little boy's dream display of baseball cards at Cooperstown, New York's, Baseball Hall of Fame; and at a tattoo convention, the heavily-inked bodies of attendees and artists.
Roles of father and son often change hands. In Chicago, for example, Bruce romps through museums and restaurant districts with enthusiasm one would more likely associate with Arnie, who with iPod headphones clamped in place, trails behind his spry dad. On another occasion, Arnie consults the Internet to find a restaurant that will conform to Bruce's dietary preferences, much as a parent would humor his kid.
I like the concept of an interactive journal. The core of "The Empty-Nest Blues" was the journaling--notes, blog posts, articles, videos, photos--that Bruce conducted during the cross-country trip. He has assembled the materials chronologically, walking us through his days spent plotting, commiserating, joking, conversing and arguing with his beloved son-pals, co-conspirators, adversaries and always, explorers. We meet an upbeat auto executive in the classic Midwestern U.S. American businessman mold; an auto technician sporting an extravagant beard not seen since the days of the Yukon gold rush of the late 1890s; a succession of diner waitresses, some kind, some grumpy and one pregnant; friends of the family who become tour guides in Chicago; and finally, the artistic new Berklee roommate and his likeable 'rents. These folks are in their own ways as magnificent as the landmarks (Vegas...the Ford plant...a radio studio where Bruce does a remote broadcast...Cleveland's Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame) Bruce describes.
I would have liked to read more detailed narrative about what transpired between father and son. I remember how I felt when Mom and Dad drove me a hundred miles or so north from Los Angeles, my hometown, to University of California at Santa Barbara, and with me carried my stuff into my dorm room on that bracing, troubling, goofy day now called "Move-In" at most institutions of higher learning. We too had a meltdown in the driveway moments before leaving on our two-hour trip. I felt relief, fear and sadness when we said good-bye at the end of the day, feeling helpless and compassionate watching my mom cry for one of the first times in my life. The texture and nuance of such minutes are precious and I would like to have experienced them as they unfolded for Bruce and Arnie.
Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a university professor, I have served as a volunteer on several "Move-In" Saturdays. I have witnessed hundreds of parents and the children who tower over them laughing and crying together and hugging as they schlep mountains of possessions -- more than, in my day, any three freshmen combined -- into dorms. It took someone with Bruce's insight to help us discover -- or rediscover -- the drama that climaxes when a parent turns around, silent, to begin the trip home. My only regret is that I did not come along for the ride -- although with Arnie's loudspeakers, guitars, drum kit and luggage overflowing from the Flex that Bruce persuaded the Ford Motor Company to lend him for the trip, there wouldn't have been any room for me anyway.— DW
"The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues is cool for a couple of reasons, actually, one of which is that it really demonstrates the potential of an interactive digital book in a way that the latest digital version of a print book doesn't. Bruce embeds seven videos directly in his book (along with over 100 photos). Videos. In an ebook. How cool is that?
More importantly, the story itself is touching and while I'm not quite in the same position, with my eldest in 10th grade, it's not too far down the road that I'll be taking her on a road trip, dropping her off at her out-of-state college of choice and&ellip; driving home without her. (sigh)"— Dave Taylor