Hello all! I hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year! I know it’s been a while, and this is going to be more of a series of quick bullet points than a well-written post, but we’re almost at the end of our road trip so I wanted to update everyone on our trip. As a lot of you know, we left early last Friday. We had originally planned on leaving Thursday, but after having spent a long weekend in Boston, we wanted to be sure to one last quiet evening with our families before shipping out. I have so much to say, so what I think I’m going to do is work backwards a little bit. Tonight I’m going to post some photos and a brief overview of our trip to Arizona, so far, and then next week after we get settled in a little bit I’ll go back and talk more about the few weeks leading up to our move.
So first of all, we have been doing a lot of driving. We have driven through 16 states since December 30th, and as of tomorrow we will have driven through 17. On our way to Boston we drove through:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
On our way out west we also drove through Pennsylvania, but then added the following to the list:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- And tomorrow we will be in Arizona!
The first day of our trip started out a little bit rocky. We were both a bit emotional, and exhausted from crying. Okay, so only one of us cried, but that person (who will remain unnamed) cried enough for at least two people. It took a lot to get into the truck and drive away, but once we were on the road and the unnamed cry baby got a nap, things started looking up! Until we hit two big accidents, putting us behind about three hours. So at this point our ten hour day of driving was starting to look like thirteen hours of driving, and that was eventually increased to about fifteen hours after hitting a severe thunderstorm with winds over 50mph. It was a long, rough day of driving, but we eventually made it to our motel. Our motel was a cheap one in a small town outside of Knoxville, TN that was clearly designed solely to accommodate for people passing through. We unpacked our pets, ordered some quick food, and after eating passed out on top of the less than trustworthy looking sheets.
Our next stop would be New Orleans. We woke up super early, still not entirely prepared for our eight and a half hour drive to Louisiana. We drove through a small piece of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi to get there. We were pleasantly surprised with how beautiful Alabama and Mississippi were, and how well the roads were maintained. When we got to our motel right outside of New Orleans we were immediately skeptical of the area. It was a filthy, scary area. Think Gotham meets Camden. It was dark and you could see crimes taking place without even having to look. But we were on the third floor, and we didn’t plan on walking anywhere, so we just said “screw it,” and went up to our room. Big. Mistake. By the time we got all of our stuff unpacked, we counted nearly a dozen roaches. So we repacked our stuff and started calling around trying to find nicer hotels that could accommodate for us and our pets at 8pm. We eventually found one about fifteen minutes outside of the city that was in a much safer neighborhood, and it ended up being the nicest room we stayed in. Unfortunately, we didn’t get settled in until close to 11pm, and had to forget about our night out in the Big Easy. Instead, we grabbed a couple of beers at the TGIFriday across the street, and went back to our nice room to catch up on some sleep.
We woke up on day three with 75 degree weather and sunshine, so we were super optimistic. We made reservations for brunch at an awesome jazz club called The Maison. If you’re ever in New Orleans, definitely check it out. The food was amazing, the music was amazing, and four days later I still can’t stop thinking about the bloody marys. After brunch we walked around Frenchmen Street (tip: if you’re more into the jazz vibe of New Orleans than the dance club vibe, do Frenchmen Street instead of Bourbon Street), and the rest of the French Quarter. We did all of the touristy things, like take pictures of trolleys and Jackson Square, checked out local bars and voodoo shops, and hang out in a cool coffee shop. We ended the night with a really cool and spooky vampire and witch tour of the city, which was straight up my alley. We decided around 8pm that we are old, married, and boring, so we should get back to our hotel to snuggle our pets and get rest for the next day of travel.
On our fourth trip day we only had to travel about five and a half hours. This time we were headed to Shiner, TX to check out the brewery. Anyone who drinks with Dan and me (so like, most of you), knows that we are borderline obsessed with Spoetzl beer. Their Holiday Cheer is the only thing that gets us through the winter. So we drove through the rest of Louisiana and part of Texas to get to the brewery, and we were not disappointed. They offer free samples, which are essentially free flights of beer. I was definitely buzzed by the time we left the brewery, so it was a good thing I wasn’t driving. While we were at the brewery, the girl working there told us about a local bar that serves Shiner on tap, so we checked that out on our way back to the motel. It was a really cool small town dive bar where the locals all drink Shiner and wear cowboy hats not at all ironically, and pints of Holiday Cheer are $2.50. The locals were super friendly, and the bartender talked to us the entire time we were there. If we weren’t already on our way to Arizona for a huge move, we may have been looking for jobs near Shiner, TX!
Day five wasn’t a very exciting day. We had a short drive and nothing big planned, so we slept in and then drove about four hours to Ozona, TX. If you’ve never heard of Ozona, you are not alone. Don’t even bother to look it up, there’s nothing there.
On day six we woke up super early to get to Roswell, NM. It was only a five hour drive, but it got pretty tedious toward the end. New Mexico eventually gets really awesome, but the part between Texas and Roswell is painfully boring (more on this in Day 7). When we got there, though, it didn’t disappoint. This place was so touristy, and I couldn’t have been more excited. The McDonald’s was shaped like a UFO and the Dunkin Donuts had an alien holding up their sign. After checking into the motel and getting the pets situated, we headed to the International UFO Museum and Research Center. It was really cool, and I’m basically a professional on aliens and UFOs now. After the museum, we got dinner at a really cool place called Farley’s, and basically just spent the rest of the night drinking beer.
Today is day seven of our trip, and it was another relatively uneventful day. We drove to the halfway point between Roswell and Gilbert, AZ to a town called Lordsburg, NM. Our only objective here is get some rest before hitting the road for the very final leg of our journey tomorrow. The highlights of today were definitely the scenery and going through a Border Patrol Inspection Station. Everyone told us that New Mexico was super gorgeous, but after driving into Roswell we were getting skeptical. However, after about an hour into our drive today we got to see amazing mountains, deserts, canyons, and even some snow. It was like driving through four or five completely different locations all within a five hour stretch.
Tomorrow we finally end up at our final destination in Gilbert, AZ. We will be ending our road trip adventure, but beginning our even bigger adventure of starting new lives in the southwest. I can’t even express how much I miss everyone back home, but how excited and grateful I am for this whole experience. I hope you guys all continue to follow along with us as we navigate an entirely different part of the country, and build our lives from the bottom up. We love you all so much!
P.S. Our pets are doing way better than we expected! A lot of you have been asking about them. The cats yell for a while when they’re first put into the car, but after less than an hour they’re usually napping quietly in the back seat. Isley is forever neurotic, but as long as she has access to her people, she’s a good girl in the car. And all of them are doing really well in the hotels. They’re just happy to have beds and new places to explore!
P.P.S. I’ll add some photos when we get to Arizona, too. They’ve been trying to upload for about three hours, but the internet here isn’t strong enough.