REIDSVILLE — When Ginny Brooks retired, the last thing on her mind was writing a book, but that is exactly what she has done.

She is a financial adviser who retired in 2006 from the business she owned for 19 years to do “whatever she wanted,” which she admits has been very rewarding and has been keeping her busier than she has ever been in her life.

But then her grandson, Andrew Underwood, informed her he was getting married in Santa Rosa, Calif. Since Ginny doesn’t fly because of a medical condition, she and her husband, Phil, decided “now will be the perfect time to see so many of the things we have always wanted to see and make it a road adventure.”

Thus, the beginning journey of “The Trip of a Lifetime, Wherever You Go!”

Not only does her book, published by Lake Publishing Services, share the fun and not-so-fun adventures the couple experienced, but Ginny also includes what she learned while preparing for the trip — ideas to save money, tips for packing a car, and things she learned as they drove through Tornado Alley during tornado season.

These are just a few of the things Ginny shares in her 141-page book for those planning to make a similar trip.

She said she had three things in mind when she wrote the book:

(1) To take the reader along on the journey.

(2) To share the many tips she learned in her research to save money and make the trip more enjoyable and give her peace of mind.

(3) To set the book up as a guideline for anyone else taking their own “Trip of a Lifetime.”

“If the readers are going to follow any of our trip, I hope they will want to stop at some of the same restaurants and attractions we did and make their own notes in the book,” Brooks said. “I have tried to leave room at the end of each day for the reader to write down their own information about their trip, whether it is a few days or a month.”

The book is written in days rather than chapters. At the end of the day, Ginny listed the costs for hotel, meals and gas. She has also shown how much gas cost per gallon on that date and location.

Prior to the trip, Ginny purchased boxes of individually-wrapped snacks as well as peanut butter, bottled water and diet drinks. She packed a plastic milk crate with necessities such as plastic dinnerware, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

She used many other innovative ideas to lessen the number of cardboard boxes, etc., they would have and only carried one bag each filled with the next day’s clothes, toiletries, etc., into the hotel each night.

When they reached the Mississippi River, they found a park on the river bank and took time to dip their toes in the water. After reaching the Pacific Ocean, they also walked in the surf.

Ginny said the comments she has received from those who have read her book mostly have been about the money-saving tips they had never thought of. Some readers told her they had already put them into use on shorter trips they have taken.

Hopefully, the readers will take the book with them on their trips, Ginny said, adding they can make their own notations in the book for each of their days. They also can use the blank pages at the back of the book to include their own highlights so when they return, they will have their own diary to share with family and friends.

Both Phil and Ginny, the former Mary Virginia Solomon, are Reidsville natives. Ginny graduated in 1958 from Reidsville High School. She earned a commercial degree from Woman’s College in Greensboro (now UNC-Greensboro). They have two sons, Jay, and Kris, and five grandchildren.

The couple are members of Grace Fellowship at South Park. She was an active member of the Reidsville Kiwanis Club until she retired and co-chairman of the annual Kiwanis NASCAR Golf Tournament for a number of years. She is active in the Bible Study Fellowship in Reidsville. She also served on the board of directors of Reidsville Downtown Corp. during most of their revitalizing years and was its president twice.

“With Christmas just around the corner, what a perfect gift or stocking stuffer,” Ginny said. “They have the cold winter months to read the book, do their preparations, and head out on their own trip of a lifetime as spring and summer vacations arrives.”

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Reidsville native Ann Fish has lived in Eden since 1979. Contact her at

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