Longtime radio host Eric Tyler said he and his wife, Randi, have each visited more than 80 countries and were “always on airplanes.” Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and Tyler was laid off from WBBM-FM 96.3 as part of cuts made by Entercom Communications.
Anxious to satisfy their travel itch, the two rented a Mazda CX-5 — a “Mazdarati” they called it — from an Avis location near their South Loop home for more than a month and went west.
“We have a 6-month-old puppy,” Tyler, 41, told the Tribune by phone of his Aussiedoodle named Esther. “I think we came up with this after a few drinks, but we decided that we are going to bring our 6-month-old puppy and get a picture with her in all of the lower 48 states by the time she turns 1, so we’ve got until the end of the year to do it.”
The couple went so far as to buy a 2015 Ram ProMaster van — they named it Velma — outfitted with a bed, toilet, portable shower, solar panels, cabinets and outlets with USB capabilities for $59,000 to continue their journey. Eric said he often drives while Randi works