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Our trip around the world (well the US anyway!)

momto6

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We're back from our whirlwind trip around the US. Went to visit mom in Idaho, via Albuquerque, NM, and Portland, OR. Saw 4 families of relatives, one a brother DH hadn't seen in 30+ years. We now have 6 states left in the continental US that we haven't visited together.

Had to replace two tires on the road.... no biggie since we have a sinking fund for tires. =o)

Stayed within budget.

Had a BLAST! Saw the Painted Desert, ate at a fabulous little restaurant in Albuquerque, drove the ET highway, and ate at the A'LE Inn. Saw Mount Shasta, and entered Oregon in the rain, and stayed in the rain until we left. *L* Drove by Mount Hood, enjoyed a little snow... in May! Took a tour of a Wool Mill, visited an outlet for Pendleton (and picked up craft supplies), visited Mount Rushmore, and lost the Badlands to a spectacular thunder storm. Visited Bear Country, saw the St. Louis Arch. Visited a lot of craft stores. Saw a giant jack rabbit, a flying saucer (landed), an alien, dinosaurs and dragons, one Egyptian god, miles and miles of windmills, tilting water towers, a field where someone planted Cadillacs, and one corn palace. *LOL* Met hundreds of wonderful people and a few characters. Found out what "keep Portland weird" means (and I don't think they'll have any trouble with that!!). Picked up caches in every state and THE first cache in OR. Visited beautiful state parks in many states, several waterfalls, and drove over many mountains. Went through 25 states, and quite a few "nations" (Indian). Could have stayed out another 3 weeks (maybe months!) and still not done everything. =o)

We ate most breakfasts in the hotels, most lunches in the car (or more accurately in the parks along the way), and most dinners out. (Except at mom's, we ate mostly at home then.)

DH lost another 8 pounds. Don't ask me how. He is now officially in his old "old" clothes, and we're going to have to go shopping soon. There's just too much fabric for him in his new old clothes now. He's down to one pill, and only had one incident with high blood sugar. (High for us, not high for diabetic.) And that's with the eating on the road, at odd times, and definitely some odd foods. We tried to keep to a schedule, but honestly, we weren't always successful. Once we get back on track (schedule wise) we'll work on dropping that last pill. He had a bout with kidney stones before we left, had surgery and then we were off. No problems on the trip, and he's scheduled for surgery next week to go after the last one. Still don't know why they happened, but hoping to find out so we can take preventative measures. His blood pressure has dropped well into the "normal" category now, and appears to be staying there. (*yay!*)

I did notice on our trip round the country that most restaurants seem to think that you need to eat two servings of everything for your meal. Two meat (at least!), two starch, and very little veg.... but they generally serve a salad too, that that may count as the second serving. It's weird. I've never belonged to the "clean your plate" group, but cleaning your plate in some of these places could be dangerous to your health!!!

Anyway, the trip was a blast. The animals are all glad to have us back home. And now, I have to go through about 2500 photographs from the trip and take out all the photos of shoes, or knees, or raindrops on the windshield, or the lens cap!!! *LOL*

Did I mention that this was a full cash trip? That the tires were "no biggie" since we had a fund for those? (unexpected-expected expense) That this program is why those first two things happened? Not to mention all the many, many stops made and the length of the trip. If you are somewhere along the lines of slogging through BS2.... keep going, it really does get better!! I remember making a similar trip not to very long ago, where it was a matter of how fast can we get there and back to minimize costs of hotels and food on the road.... this one was much better! =0)

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You, momto6, are my new hero!  The trip you have described makes me ready to propose such a venture (and adventure) to my DH.  There are so many beautiful places to visit in our own country.  Saving up for a cash-only trip, and all the fun of anticipating and planning, just sounds great!  I'm inspired....thanks for sharing the details. :)  And great job at keeping your DH's blood sugar level balanced well while traveling.  Hope you have many more such trips on your "radar"!

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*LOL* Thanks fpmomma.  =o)  It was a lot of fun.  Both in the planning and the doing.  It was an adventure. *L*  And yes, for now, about every 2 years we plan a similar trip.  We have relatives scattered here tither and yon, and really, I'm a gypsy at heart, so this kind of trip settles my wanderlust, and we get to see all the relatives that can't travel.  (or at least not far)

 

This country is beautiful... from the deserts to the mountains, from the seashores to the midwest.  There is something for everyone.  From tiny little towns (population 13) to huge cities (I don't want to consider exactly how many folks live there), and everything in between.

 

We do have a lot of fun.  We do the touristy things, and whatever else catches our fancy.  It's a bit of wandering, a bit of family, a bit of schooling, and a lot of just plain fun.  I left out the Sacajawea center and  catching, cleaning and cooking their own fish... even ate them (though they can all do without the cleaning part again!!).  And the frog legs.... And seeing a bus from a local small town school in a little podunk town in SD.  THAT was a trip.  Girls even knew and talked to some of the kids on the bus!!

 

By all means, as long as you are not one of those "gotta get there NOW" kind of folks, and can stand a little adventure (like one hotel where the toilet flushed only every third time, or one restaurant where the food really wasn't very good) and a bit of silliness, and a whole lot of fun, then this is (IMHO) the ONLY way to see the country.  On the backroads you get to see so much that the interstate passes by.  From mining towns, to locally mined (found) semi-precious stones, to some very well run local "museums", local veteran's memorials, to heros unknown to most of the world.  (Or once known and now forgotten, except by their hometowns.)  If you are one of those "gotta get there NOW" kind of folks, maybe a few side trips off the interstate can be worked into the itinerary.  =0)

 

Hi Plinda... yes, we did.  When we discovered that our trip was going to hit somewhere around 20+ states, we decided to see what we could do about getting to half of the states!  A little side trip here, a little rerouting there and  we hit the magic number of 25 states!  *LOL*  Still have about 6 to go to finish filling the little map on the back of the car though!

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You are giving such a gift to your children!  They are seeing their homeland in a way that books or media could never match, and they are meeting and talking to people from all kinds of communities and circumstances.  Their world is getting bigger (and probably their hearts, too) with each experience.  We tried to do this, but on a smaller scale, when our four kiddos were under our roof.  I am also a gypsy at heart, and I need to have some kind of trip in planning mode almost always. :)  I usually do the driving when we are on a road trip, and I love all the little jewels that we discover along our way, simply by turning off the freeways and just meandering.  DH is more of a "get there now" kind of guy, but he gives me free rein to explore when we take our trips. 

 

Good luck with filling that map!  I need to figure out just exactly how many states remain on MY map!

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Sounds epic! We love doing the big road trips, but are limited to a week at a time because of work. We hit six states for our May trip, and it was a blast! We love staying in out of the way places and meeting people. It is an amazing country!

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DH and I have never done a road trip unless you count us driving from Portland to the Oregon coast and then up to Seattle.  But after he retires--when we're not bound by work vacations--this is just the kind of trip I'd like to take. 

 

I loved reading about your adventures.  Thanks for sharing.

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