We arrived home yesterday afternoon after a long road trip through Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and back through Illinois. Over 4500 miles of driving to get somewhere and see things. Over 4500 miles of gas, food, and potty stops and hotel overnights – all narrated by that annoying, know-it-all GPS voice.
Ron and I also had hours and days to talk, listen to music, and log new experiences that add to the rich texture of our life together. We laughed and sang and read billboards out loud. I gasped at the discovery of a home we want in Prescott, at my first eyeful of the Grand Canyon, and at an unexpected close up sighting of mule deer in the snow. I sighed at the sight of so many beautiful colors and vistas in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado, and (I admit) in dismay a few times when I had to get back in the car for more road time.
The most relaxing times were when we stopped for more than one night in one place. We had two nights in Albuquerque, four nights in Prescott, and three nights in Santa Fe. Those stays gave us a chance to see and do more; exploring restaurants new to us, shopping at local places, sneaking in nine holes of golf, and enjoying the hospitality of our lodging hosts. Fellow guests at the Pleasant Street Inn B & B in Prescott provided unexpected pleasure with their stories and friendly openness. The Hilton in Santa Fe upgraded us into a very comfortable casita, where we enjoyed the warmth of fireplaces (yes, two!) and a jetted tub.
The funniest thing is that we planned this trip to escape the last gasps of winter in Chicago, yet encountered snow in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. So we bundled up in layers and kept going! Our return was delayed one day by reports of road closures due to an icy mountain pass from New Mexico into Colorado on Interstate 25. Nonetheless, we soaked up enough sun and warmth to help us survive until it warms up in Chicago.
All in all, a great trip spanning many miles. I’m so glad to have the freedom to spend time this way.