Friday, April 8, 2016

The Time We Took A Road Trip

You have this great idea that you want to travel the world and go on all these adventures. Then you start breaking it down and the whole thing becomes really overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you prepare? Well, my hubby and I went on the ultimate road trip and I’m going to break everything down for you and share our journey. Over the course of a few posts..

We sat there on new years day, knowing we were going to take a road trip on the west coast, but not much more than that. We hadn’t started to save money yet, but we knew tax season was upon us. I pulled out my laptop and we started searching places that we knew we wanted to visit. We knew we were going to stay Portland because hubby has family there and grew up in Vancouver, WA. So I mapped how long it would take us from St. Louis, to Portland. . . 33 hours. Wow – ok.

Backtrack. Grandma had gotten us plane tickets to Portland for Christmas and we planned to rent a car from there. Literally, that was the only thing planned out and that didn’t even work out right. So no one told us that rental cars are over $1200 to rent 1 way. There goes our plane tickets, hello 33 hour drive.

So we knew we were going to drive to Portland and obviously stop once to rest up. From there it was unknown. We knew we wanted to drive down through California and stop in Vegas. We knew we were going to stop at the 4 corners and see that. And we knew we were going to go back through Denver to stay with one of my best friends. Everything in between was unknown.. Through my research there at that table with family surrounding me, I found out that Antelope Canyon was just outside of the 4 corners! This has been on my bucket list on Pinterest since Pinterest came out! And if it’s on Pinterest, it’s a legit bucket list!! Definitely adding that to the stop list! Beyond those stops, everything was really unplanned.

We then mapped everything out and determined about how long it’d take from point to point and this is what we came up with. We figured we’d take 2 days to drive to Portland. Stay in OR for 4 days. Then take a day to drive through Cali down to Vegas. Stop in Vegas, see it, leave it. Drive over to 4 corners and spend the night in Antelope Canyon. Then drive up to Denver stay with my friend, then home. Boy was it nothing like that. . . let’s get started on our journeys!

Oh, first I should talk about our preparation! We started saving up money just after Christmas. Tax season came and we only stashed about $500 of that. By the time March came, we had about $1600 saved up for the trip. We also had a MasterCard with an unlimited limit from my wonderful mother, just in case of emergencies. We also used this for the rental car because they put a hold on the card. I paid the card off as soon as we got home from the trip. We took the pup to my sister and I paid $20 to my good friend I work with to come check on our kitty every other day. Ready to rock n roll.

We didn’t get up early. We didn’t set any alarms. We woke up from excitement around 8am. All of our stuff was packed, just needed to be loaded into the truck. About 40 minutes later and we were saying our goodbyes to the kitten and nervous as heck to be going so far from home with no real plan of action. We went to drop off the puppy and get our rental car. We had a few stops to make but we finally got on the road about 11:30am on Friday morning. The drive through Illinois and Missouri was endless and boring. We got to Kansas City, MO and traffic greeted us with a steady halt. Windows down, and Road Trip radio blaring was the only way to get through that mess.

With IL & MO in our rearview, we were off through the tip of Iowa then we hit Nebraska. Still a boring state, but the openness was breathtaking. All I could do was kick my feet up on the dash and enjoy the open road and my hubby by my side. Nebraska was long and boring. We didn’t stop much, but that was mostly because we packed a whole bag of food, and a cooler of drinks. Whenever we got hungry I just made us up some sandwiches and grabbed us a drink. Not having to stop for food was a huge money saver and time saver.

We finally made it to Wyoming! We had figured up on the way there about what area we would hit around midnight so we aimed to get to Cheyenne, WY. So, this was before we discovered Air BNB and we were foolish enough to get a hotel room. *never again* We rolled into Cheyenne very sleepy and nothing booked at a hotel. I am very picky with my hotels so we found the closest Holiday Inn. $127 – heck no! At that rate we wouldn’t get past California! We found some no name hotel and took it for $80.

Keep reading to part II to see how the next leg of the trip goes.


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