The last twelve months have certainly been a year of travel for our household! My husband and I knew that we’d be travelling to a number of states on a planned road trip, but we also got the unexpected opportunity to visit a few more as well.
Our year of travel began last year, sadly, when we experienced a couple deaths in our family. First, in April, I lost my mom. My sister, who lives in Louisiana was heading North and we were heading South to meet halfway, in Arkansas, so she could attend my mom’s services. Just a couple months later, in June, my sister had the tragedy of also losing her mother, so Eddie and I hopped in the car and headed South again, this time all the way to Louisiana! It was wonderful getting to see my sister twice in such a short amount of time, but just wish they both didn’t have to be surrounding such sad circumstances.
Our next travels were for pleasure, however! We went on a nearly three-week road trip West! Going on a roadtrip was one of the items on my 101 in 1001 list, so it was great to check that off! It was awesome, though I’ve learned there are parts of the country that I’m not a huge fan of. Our trip started by taking a trip down Rt 66 all the way to Amarillo, TX. Of course we didn’t travel the exact 66 path, though we did get off the interstate a few times to travel two lane highways to see some of the tourist attractions along the way! We also took a trip down the “Sidewalk Highway,” which is a stretch of ORIGINAL 66… I do not recommend this… we have an SUV and it was still the roughest ride I’ve ever been on! Live and learn!
After hitting Amarillo, we jumped Northwest to head to the mountains. I have a cousin in Colorado Springs, and we were fortunate enough to get to visit with her family the evening we were there! The next day was spent driving through the Rockies–this was one of the parts I wasn’t fond of. It was beautiful, but my car-sickness and altitude-sickness was in full-force! The next couple of days were spent driving through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada (we also hit up the 4 corners!). There was so much empty, dry land (it was during a drought!) it was depressing! I was so happy to see Vegas when we got there!
After a fun 24 hours in Las Vegas, we were off to California and the Pacific Coast! Driving up the coast was amazing (though again, the car-sickness… ugh!), and Northern California is now in competition with the Oregon Coast for my favorite place travelled so far! We got to watch the sun set over the Pacific (neat, because on our honeymoon to St. Augustine, FL we got to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic!) before our journey back East to Illinois began!
The stretch through the Columbia River Basin in Oregon/Washington was beautiful, along with the landscape in Idaho, though the scenic route we took was so curvy, and I spent much of our day in Idaho sleeping to keep from getting sick! Next came Montana (which I thought we’d never get out of… that is one big state!), which by far had the most beautiful purple sunset I’ve ever seen! Then we were on to our last big attraction before home–Mt. Rushmore! I really enjoyed that experience, much more so than I thought I would… I mean it’s just some dead presidents carved in the side of a mountain right? But it’s so gorgous, and so much bigger than you imagine… I loved it!
The last leg of our trip took us briefly through Minnesota, then through Iowa, and finally back into northern Illinois–Galena to be specific! That’s such a beautiful little town, and one that Eddie and I were happy to re-visit! It was the first overnight/weekend trip that we took together the first summer we were dating, and it was lovely to get to end our trip (and celebrate our 2nd anniversary) together there!
I thought our travels were done for quite awhile, but then last month we got the opportunity to visit family in the Wisconsin Dells for a week! We spent the week at a resort with an indoor waterpark, and it was tons of fun, but getting to see our little niece all week long was for sure the best part!
I doubt we’ll be travelling out of state again in the next month or so, so our grand total for the last year of travel (from 4/2/11 to now) is 22 states, which includes our own–we travelled completely south and also entered from the north and travelled to central IL, so I for sure count it as a state that we travelled in!
Looks like next time we’ll have to go East! The New England area has always been a place we’d like to go, so maybe in the next couple of years we will get the opportunity to travel that way!
Where has been your favorite place to travel?