First Posted: 1/28/2011
LUMBERTON They are friends, traveling companions, husband and wife and co-authors, and Stan and Sandra Phillips-Posner wouldnt have it any other way.
Together they are a successful team as evidenced by their popular travel book, Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia, now in its fifth edition.
They travel Interstate 95 from New Hampshire to Miami and visit each exit to print information on where to eat, stay, tour, shop, sight see, and more.
They are researching for the sixth edition of this best-selling book that has won four national awards.
The couple spent the night in Lumberton earlier this month, after a dinner meeting was held at the Village Station, sponsored by the Lumberton Visitors Bureau.
Attending the meeting were: Arnold West, owner of Village Station and chairman of the Lumberton Tourism Development Authority board; Lloyd Locklear and Sue Tillman, of the West Point Home store recently reopened just off I-95; Paige Godin and Paul Hodges of Carolina Country Peddlers Mall; and Clyde Jacobs, a local artisan commissioned by the Smithsonian to make a pine needle basket.
They were gathered together to meet the travel book authors by Mickey Gregory, the executive director of the Lumberton Visitors Bureau, who was accompanied by her husband, Rickey Gregory.
The get together was designed to make the couple aware of the many attractions found off of Exits 17 through 22.
Tackling the project the first time out was a big challenge, Sandra said.
It was an enormous undertaking, she said. The first edition of the travel guide wasnt published until a full years worth of research by the couple, which began in February of 2002.
The information-packed book is bright and colorful and user friendly, they said. It includes drawings of the ribbon of pavement known as Interstate 95, with each exit marked and balloon clouds extending to each corner of the page with detailed facts on where to buy gasoline and magazines, where to grab lunch, fun places to visit, comfortable lodging options, and much more.
They promote themselves and their book and the thousands of business and attractions inside the book through endless gatherings and appearances along the East Coast.
We do tremendous marketing, Sandra said. We do 50 to 60 interviews a year radio, TV, newspapers, e-zines.
Stan noted recent appearances on National Public Radio and an article in USA Today.
On the day the couple arrived in Lumberton for dinner, they had already knocked out three interviews; two in Charleston, S.C., and one in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
For the 42.5 million people who drive to Florida every year down I-95, the couple want to make the drive stress-free with their travel guide.
To achieve that goal they have diligently charted the 552 exits on I-95 all the way from Boston to Miami.
They have checked out food options, motels, radar traps, radio stations, 24-hour mechanics, ATM machines, golf courses and places to shop, while also gathering stories to keep travelers entertained.
They are working on an iPad version of the book, and a version that can be used on cell phones.
They see the next generation of travel information being online and interactive. They have been busy banking interviews and videos for the next evolution of their travel guide, but also hope the book format itself survives.
The tangible book with pages you can turn, and maps you can gage with a glance is important, they said.
In the car, you want this on your lap, Sandra said.