In three weeks, Michael and I will celebrate our THIRTIETH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!
Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, I’m just so damn excited.
Thirty years! I’ve never done anything for thirty years. If you want to know the truth, sticking to something two to three weeks seems like a considerable effort. I mean, am I right? Seriously, thirty years.
But wait…there’s more…
In less than two weeks we leave for our anniversary trip. We have chosen to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Seattle. Yes, Yes we are. And, we are taking thirteen glorious days to do it.
Some of you just cringed while reading that. You are thinking, “what kind of person on purpose gets into a car and drives for thirteen days?”
It turns out; we are the kind of people who get excited about driving for thirteen days. It’s true.
We’ve done resorts on the beach. Don’t get me wrong a most excellent time was had, but to be honest, after about four days I was ready to do something, see something, experience something.
We’ve also taken a cruise. Spoiler alert, we aren’t cruise people. The only way I think we would do a cruise again is if we went with a group of friends or with our children and their families. We have lots of friends who love cruises and every time I hear them talk about their trips I think maybe I was wrong, but I’m not that interested in giving it another try. I’ll just be excited for my friends.
But road trips? Road trips are our jam.
We enjoy seeing everyday America and experiencing local life and food.
We drove to California a few years ago to see our son return from his first Fleet deployment. The timing was just after our anniversary, so we included the two and spent seven days coming home, making several stops along the way.
While driving through Southern Colorado on our way to the Sand Dune park we took a random scenic road and ended at a beautiful overlook and waterfall.
We’ve even stayed one night in a teepee on a horse ranch in Durango, CO. I mean come on. Look at that view.
I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Az. #eaglesfan
Here are a few helpful tips to consider when planning a road trip.
Consider staying with Airbnb. We have stayed in some beautiful residential areas in some beautiful cities as well as the before mentioned teepee on a horse ranch. Airbnb is homey and private. Because, let’s be honest, staying in hotels night after night can get old. Sometimes cooking a small meal and kicking back on the sofa is what I’m in the mood for instead of eating out every night. Another great way to save money.
There are loads of possibilities for adventure on road trips and the conversations are great. I feel it is often easier to have in-depth or intimate conversations while driving. All parties are usually relaxed, and there is a sense of anticipation for what is up ahead. I think this makes us more open-minded and we seem to be more creative with solutions to whatever subject we are talking about. If you think you will have nothing to talk about, I encourage you to give it a shot. You can always have pre-decided questions about different topics on hand and every so often ask one of the questions. You may learn something new about your travel mate.
Points of Interest
Do a little research and see if there are any interesting points of interest within a certain radius of the route you will be taking. Airbnb is a good resource for local attractions. Sometimes the best times aren’t in the prominent attractions.
Side note: I love the planning and researching and looking for hidden gems! It gives me life!
Another thing I like to do before we embark on a road trip is checking the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives website. I have the link for you here. Click the state you will be traveling through and see what restaurants work for you. Three years ago we were in Nashville for our anniversary, and we had terrific tacos because of this site.
Also, consider taking a small cooler along. Water and snacks can be kept on hand, so you aren’t stopping and spending extra money. If you are flying in somewhere and then driving, like we are on this road trip, you can donate the cooler before you catch your flight home.
Or No Talking
Listening to a book or a podcast is another great way to pass the time and start conversations. In my research, for our upcoming road trip, I read that mobile service can be sketchy along the PCH, so I am currently downloading songs and podcasts for our listening pleasure.
And then sometimes silence is called for. Being present and taking in the scenery is essential to enjoying the gifts of a road trip. Contemplating the road and where you are going while appreciating where you’ve just been is the sweet melody of life. Bask in it and be in it.
The biggest thing to remember when taking a road trip is simple, you are driving, it is going to take longer. Slow down, accept the pace and enjoy yourself. The adventure indeed is in the journey, not the arriving. There is so much beauty all around us, and we live in such a beautiful country with tons of adventures just waiting to be discovered.
I realize multitasking and prioritizing are things we all try to do in our daily lives, but when you are on a road trip, the focus is on just being present and watching it all go by out the window of the car. Open road. Adventure. Scenery.
Do you enjoy road trips? Do you have a disaster road trip story? I would love to hear your story or answer any questions you might have about road trips and planning.
Be you. Be beautiful. Be imperfect