Friday, September 15, 2006

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee, across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea (almost).

I wonder if Lee Greenwood has actually seen all the places he sings about? Well now I have!

My roommate Liz and I have just returned from our “road trip/survey of the states/A-Z tour of America/visiting all those friends out there” vacation. And what a vacation it was! The whole thing went off without a hitch! Well, before we left I did have to take the long route to the gas station, and then drive up and down Stafford St. a couple of times before pulling back into the driveway, but you know what the outcome was? An odometer smack on 65,000 miles! Woohoo! How’s that for a great way to kick off a road trip! Makes adding up the mileage pretty durn easy. When we left I casually said to Liz, "Oh look, we're starting off right on 65,000." It wasn't until the next day that she caught on and asked me how many times I'd driven around the block:)

Now let me just tell you… the Ford Escort was a trooper. I’ll admit, I’ve been contemplating a new car for a while, so one reason for the trip was to let the Escort go out with a bang. And if that were to happen literally, we did have a backup plan: Car breaks down. Leave on side of road in middle of Utah. Hitchhike to nearest BMW dealership. Buy the dark blue 325i with grey interior and integrated Ipod hookup. Drive on.

Alas, the plan was never put into action and I’m now more in love with my little Escort than I was before the trip started.

So back to the trip. In two weeks we visited 19 states: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. It’s funny to me that we saw so much of the U.S. and still only visited 19 of the 50 states. Some of the highlights: seeing Brian in Madison, WI, the Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis, visiting Danica in SD, Emeril’s restaurant in Vegas, the Grand Canyon, four corners, Arches National Park. But the all time superstar highlight of the trip: The Grand Ole Opry! Hands down best three hours I’ve spent in a long time! I’m a fan of country music, but the thing that got me was how many of the artists pulled out some good old gospel tunes. That’s all I grew up with! Until I discovered Paula Abdul in the fifth grade, I didn’t really know any artists existed other than the Gaithers, the Kingsmen, and the Cathedrals. So, if you haven’t visited the Opry, I highly recommend it.

Oh – I’d also like to add that our trip was sponsored by Priceline and Hotwire. Let me just say that we were able to stay in some fancy pants hotels for some Days Inn prices. The Millennium in Minneapolis, The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, CO and The Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville to name a few. If you’re planning to stay somewhere for just a night, definitely check out these sites. If you pick something 3-star and above, it’s unlikely you’ll be too upset with the outcome. And how fun it was to wait the 5 seconds for the confirmation to come back with our hotel name!! It provided that extra bit of joy one needs after driving 600 miles!

On Monday night we pulled back into the driveway with the odemeter at 70,876 miles! We drove an entire 5,876 miles! (see - if we'd started out at something like 64, 397, there's no way I would have been able to figure out how far we'd gone)! My wackiness paid off.

I've decided I'm ok with putting my face out there for all to see, so here's a link to some road trip pics: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AbtWLdy4aOXMA

1 comment:

Angel Feathers Tickle Me said...

Love to all......