A warm welcome to my blog about a 1-month cross-country road trip extravaganza :)
The starting place for my husband Ryan and my cross-country road trip occurs in the easternmost state, also known as the greatest state in the USA... Maine! We depart this Friday, April 21 for what is certain to be the trip of a lifetime. I look forward to documenting this experience and hope you enjoy reading about our fun times ahead.
Words can't begin to explain how excited we are to take a full month off from work. The first question I often get asked is, "how did you both manage to get a month of vacation?" For me, it has to do with the blessing that I work as an Assistant Professor for Husson University. I am coming up on my 4th year working for the School of Pharmacy and have been diligently hoarding my vacation hours. Furthermore, this is my one window of opportunity when I don't have students at my clinical practice site at the VA Maine (in between the Class of 2017 and Class of 2018). Ryan is taking some unpaid time off to make the trip a reality. I would be remiss if I didn't state that we are both self-proclaimed workaholics. Family, friends, and colleagues know how passionate we are about our careers and the fact that we take pride in investing many hours every week into the work we do. It is safe to say that we have both been "burning the candle at both ends" and are ready for a break!
The next question I typically receive is "what are you taking for a vehicle?" The answer is my 2009 Hyundai Sonata. I just paid it off, bought new tires, got it inspected, and it gets 30+ miles to the gallon! "Snooty" has 169,000+ miles to date and I average almost 30,000 miles of driving per year. Side note - did you know that only 1 out of 4 people name their car?
"How did you plan your route?" Ryan and I are fortunate to have close contacts throughout America. We planned our route based on 9 stops with family and friends, from Connecticut to California! You will get to know all of these wonderful people throughout this blog. Prepare to be impressed! Rooms are already reserved in Las Vegas and Sonoma. We also bought a brand spankin' new LLBean 6-person tent and will be camping for several nights along the way.
"Why don't you visit _________?" 1 month seems like a long time, but it surprisingly isn't when it comes to driving all the way across the country and back! Although it would be phenomenal to see it all, we had to make choices based on our route and the amount of time. For example, we would love to see the Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, etc., but there are only so many hours in a day, and we can't spend all of them driving. When planning, I tried to keep each day to a minimum. The longest day of driving consists of almost 9 hours (8 hours, 54 minutes to be exact), while the majority are 7.5 hours or less. We also made sure to schedule extra days to visit with our friends and take a break from the road. The good news is that both Ryan and I can drive anytime, plus I have almost 50 hours worth of audio books downloaded to my phone (The Oregon Trail, Last Child in the Woods, Being Mortal, And Then There Were None, and Neil Patrick Harris - Choose Your Own Autobiography, in case you were wondering
"Poets and artists from Walt Whitman to Muddy Waters have long sung the praises of rolling down the highway, and no matter how times have changed we still believe there's nothing more essentially American than hitting the road and seeing the country." (Road Trip USA - Jamie Jensen). My goal has always been to visit all 50 states before age 50. Upon making this confession to my soulmate Ryan, he immediately latched onto this goal as "ours" <3 We have both seen close to 30 states each individually, but now it is our mission to see all 50 together.
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." -Yogi Berra
Bon Voyage! Stay tuned for more posts along the way.