Warning: LONG POST! =)
August 10: Bus in to NYC, subway across town, train to New Haven, CT then car to Cheshire. *Lovely dinner with my parents and my partner-in-road-trip Jen & her parents. (Salmon, tomato + basil + balsamic reduction, cucumber + onions + awesome sauce.)
August 11: Up at 3:30 am, on the road by 4:15 am, Flight from Bradley International in Hartford, CT to Reno, NV (stopping at Chicago Midway – total of 6 hours in the air) at 6 am. *Breakfast + lunch in the airports, photos from the plane, a little Oliver Twist via Audible (thanks Dad), and in Reno in the early afternoon. Checked-in to our hotel/casino, walked around the city to see Hot August Nights (classic car show) and ate dinner (well, we had pot stickers to share and then breakfast-for-dinner meals).
August 12: Washed clothes in the bathtub in the am, then picked-up Jen’s Honda Civic then straight over to the apartment to begin packing. While Jen started to go through everything, I ran to Costco (moving kit + sunscreen + gas) and Walgreens (snacks + sunglass holders for the car), then back and packed up all the books and media in to boxes + one big box of clothes to ship back, ran to the post office, then packed-up the car and drove back to the hotel. Lots of Gatorade + Wheat Thins + dedication = less than 6 hours total. The car was packed to the brim! *Ate dinner at Brew Brothers (yum!) and watched The Title Brothers sing at a little bar, then danced back at Brew Brothers before passing out for the evening.
August 13: Up and out on the road! Salt Lake City, UT – here we come!
--> 512 miles *Ate on the road, beef jerky is my new protein friend! Plus Gatorade still going strong! Stopped in the Salt Flats to take some photos as the sun was setting!
(Salt Flats, UT)
August 14: Drive to Moab, UT
--> 239 miles *Shopping downtown (postcards) + Dinner at La Hacienda (delicious!)
(Arches National Park, Moab, UT)
August 15: Morning at Arches National Park – STUNNING – GO! Drive to my brothers home with his wife in Colorado Springs, CO (The drive through Colorado on I-70 from the Aspen exit to the Vail Pass is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I will NEVER forget it.)
--> 419 miles *Dinner downtown + trivia night at one of my favorites!
August 16: Sat on our butts and watched movies and tv all day + grocery shopping. Just what we needed in the middle of the trip. My sister-in-law cooked the most amazing meal for us – thank you! (YUM again!) Oh yeah, thanks to my brother for grilling the chicken in the rain, too!!!
August 17: Drive to Lincoln, NE
--> 554 miles ** MY LONGEST DAY** My sister-in-law made us her famous biscuits in the morning to take on the trip with us. I’m pretty sure they were gone within 2 hours of leaving. I also, somewhat entertainingly, left a water jug on the roof as I started the drive and someone had to yell at me from their car to let me know! All is well. The view goes from mountains to completely flat in a few hours. All you see is corn and all you smell are cows. *Dinner downtown: Omaha steak – best steak I’ve ever had because of the intense flavor, almost gamey – YUM!!!! I’ll never forget it!
August 18: Drive to Chicago, IL
--> 526 miles *More flatness - the road looks like it never ends. We see loads of Wind Farms! When we get to the hotel, Jen orders thin-crust pizza and I get a salad, all lazily delivered to the hotel while we watch bad HBO movies. She declares CT definitely king in pizza and proceeds to throw out the rest. This is the first hotel where we go to the room and it hasn’t been cleaned! The employee is so embarrassed that she offers to bring ice cream to our room – hahaha, I felt terrible, but her face dropped when I said I was dairy-free! We really didn’t care, but I’ve never had that happen to me before!
(Cloud Gate, Chicago, IL)
August 19: Friday, day in Chicago, IL – we went on an architectural tour on a boat on the river for 90 minutes, then walked to see Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (the giant silver bean), then lunch at an Asian Fusion place (yum, Filipino food, I have missed you!), then shopping at Borders since it’s closing! Drive to Merrillville, IN
--> 43 miles *ate in our smokey hotel room and crashed after the great day…also realize that we could have driven further, perhaps even to Ohio. Oh well!
August 20: Drive to Olmsted Falls, OH to stay with my cousin and her awesome family!
--> 307 miles *we are completely spoiled to wonderful appetizers (freshly cut fruit and chips + guacamole + salsa + bean dip), watched the latest Project Runway episode, and a Dirty Little Liars episode (is that what it’s called?), took showers, then dinner…YUM dinner. It was amazing! Grilled shrimp + tuna steaks, plus a warm potato (dairy-free) salad with corn + tomatoes + parsley (YUM) + broccoli + bread w/ olive oil. Oh my gosh, I slept well that night! (Thank you!)
August 21: Drive to NJ to my house and Jen continues on to CT to her house!
--> 454 miles (+ 105 miles for Jen to CT – her actual longest day**) Big hug for my hubby + kitties! Good to be home, but what a great trip.
I still can’t believe we did it! Over 3,000 miles (nearly entirely across the country) in 11 days! Woohoo! I sent tons of postcards, ate way too much beef jerky, and got to see things I’d never even dreamed of. I highly recommend a road trip to anyone and everyone. You could do it really cheap if you bring a tent + sleeping bags + don’t forget coolers, our soft-sided ones were most useful! (Plus bags to fill with ice since you most likely won’t be able to use any freezers or fridges.) We didn’t have AC, so we drove with the windows down (didn’t listen to much music), but we had tons of amazing conversation.
GO TRAVEL. Seek Adventure. Seek situations that make you try new things and learn more about yourself. Enjoy college, because it is the perfect new situation for all of these things.