A Week in the Life…

June 12th, 2006

…of Newly North Carolinians. This will be the final blog entry for Roadtrip USA: Charlotte or Bust. We still may add some photos we’ve taken in the past week…Ryan seems to have gone missing from our photo gallery :-) We’ve had fun the past 7 days..but the vacation is officially over. Went out on the lake twice, did HomeArama (a local home expo, featuring Nancy’s employer), been exploring the area, and getting some r&r. But, it’s time to buckle down and get back to work. Heidi met with recruiters last Friday, and already had an interview today, that she seemed to think went very well. I have been applying to a few positions, and just heard back from a creative services placement agency and hope to speak with them real soon. I’ve also been in touch with some people to possibly do some freelance work…. busy, busy, busy! Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Caroline

June 5th, 2006

Today it all ended, and then it begins… We were dreading the last leg of our journey just as much as we were looking forward to it. The joy of arriving at our final destination had been a topic of many discussions during the 4500+ miles and almost 80 hours of time spent behind the wheel of the Jeep (she performed brilliantly, I might add!). We also knew that the vacation was over, which has made us a little sad…it has been a truly amazing experience. It was a four hour trip from my mother’s house outside Atlanta. One fill up and a coffee-induced bathroom break slowed us down a bit. We should have been able to make it in less time, but I wasn’t going to push it since we’d been fortunate enough to avoid johnny law most of the trip (see Carls-good Caverns). Members of my family have done that route enough to keep my right foot light, and as long as we made it in less than 5h we’d be OK. Read the rest of this entry »

A Peach of a Day…

June 4th, 2006

A peach of a day...Ok, I’m a little behind on getting the blog updated, please forgive me. We’ve been a little busy, to say the least! We decided to try and take advantage of being able to sleep in Sunday morning, but the birds weren’t quite on the same page. They began to chirp bright and early which made it a little difficult to sleep through. No worries, we woke up just in time to have some coffee and cinnamon/sugar toast with Brennie and Anna. The only three scheduled items for the day were our spa pedicure and manicure appointments at noon, pool time in the afternoon, and the season finale of the Sopranos. Rough day, huh? ;) Read the rest of this entry »

Georgia On My Mind

June 3rd, 2006

Today was a driving day. Plan was to get to my Mom’s house in Atlanta for dinner, so we left Paducah, KY around 10:45a, figuring we’d be at our destination about 7:00p EDT (we crossed into our last time zone … woohoo!). Mom was making Western Spaghetti, one of my favorites. Heidi and I were looking forward to a home cooked meal…it had been a week! Well, “Lori” kept shaving minutes off our eta, so I started looking at the atlas to see if we could cut across and surprise Casey & Geena Quillin, who run a gas station/mini mart/bbq restaurant (Sanky’s) in a little town called Cumming, GA. Casey and I go back almost 30 years, and considered one of my best friends. Since we are in kind of a rush to Charlotte, we figured this will be the only opportunity on the drive across to see them. We took Route 20 from I75 to Route 400, and I have never in my life seen a stretch of road with so many abandoned houses..let alone surrounded by brand new developments with homes ranging from half a mil, to a mil plus! It was really strange. Read the rest of this entry »

The Spirit of St. Louis

June 2nd, 2006

After a GREAT nights sleep at the Inn of Gary and Liz Wheeler, we woke up to a big pot of coffee, steaming hot blueberry muffins, and lots of fresh strawberries (compliments of the amazing Lizzie!). It was really nice to be able to enjoy a bit of a leisurely morning with Gary, Liz, and John…yes, I’m pretty sure that John smelled the muffins on his way to work and wasn’t about to miss them ;) Thank you again to the entire Wheeler clan for taking care of us as we passed through Jefferson City – we had a fantastic time! We decided that we needed to get to St. Louis soon so we could learn about this ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ as quickly as possible, so we had to finally say good bye. We made it to the arch around 1:00 and were watching the Lewis and Clark movie 30 minutes later and heading to the top just 15 minutes after the movie. I will admit that I did think about being a chicken and letting Brad go alone, but that didn’t last long. He reminded me that we had just been down a 700 ft elevator when we visited Carlsbad Caverns earlier this week and that the elevator up would be shorter than that (630 ft) – that definitely helped! What an amazing experience (luckily it wasn’t a windy day)! Read the rest of this entry »

Missouri Loves Company

June 1st, 2006

Thanks for the title Nancy, it is definitely appropriate for one of our final stops of the trip. Besides, it’s your family that we’re visiting. I’ll make it quick because we are pressing on today. If all works out, we may get to Nashville tonight..make the day to Atlanta a bit easier. We made some good time from Frisco. “Lori” tried to take us down yet another dirt road. This time we hadn’t gone off a main route for too long, so we doubled back. We left Frisco about 8:00, and started to realize that we’d hit Jefferson City right about 5:00. My sister-in-law’s family lives there, and it’ll be a short hike to St. Louis tomorrow morning, so that will help. Liz and Gary were kind enough to offer their home to us, and we enjoyed visiting with them. Read the rest of this entry »

I changed the title..When we woke up to leave, Jeff (our host) threw that out there, and we liked it..Texas, in general, certainly has it’s own personality. I love seeing the road signs “Don’t Mess with Texas” and “Drive Friendly”. They’re everywhere! After what we thought was a great dinner last night on the Riverwalk, I woke up this morning not feeling very well. We’ve decided that shrimp will no longer be in my diet – I’ve just gotten sick too many times following shrimp dinners. Luckily, I’m traveling with the greatest guy out there and got us out of San Antonio and took care of me all day. I slept and Brad drove. Had some weather coming up, but luckily only lasted about half the trip. By the time we hit Waco, it had let up. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering The Alamo

May 30th, 2006

We slept in this morning. :-) We’re on vacation, right? I have to say that San Antonio is a really nice city. The Riverwalk is such a cool attraction…great restaurants, nice people, and a lot of history. After a leisurely morning/early afternoon stroll to get our iced coffee down on the Riverwalk, we did a little window shopping, and grabbed a late lunch at Rita’s..yet another little restaurant serving mexican faire! I think by the time we hit Charlotte, we’ll have had our fill! The afternoon seemed to slip by and we needed to get back to the hotel to refresh the camera battery before heading out to our tourist stop. Besides, it was getting a little steamy..I know, I know..we have no idea! The Alamo was very cool, but after a brief History Channel documentary, and a walk around the area, we understood much better the impact that this site has on American history. Read the rest of this entry »

Carls-good Caverns

May 29th, 2006

Luckily, I woke up this morning thinking that I needed to get reservations for the Kings Palace tour at Carlsbad Caverns. The reservation line opened at 8am and I had tickets reserved by about 8:10 :) By the time that we got to the caverns, both the 10am and 11am tours were sold out…yet another time on this whirlwind trip that all has worked out for us Were we in for a surprise at the caverns!?!? We’d both been in caverns before, so thought that this would be close to the same thing…not even close! The plan was to take the 1.5 hour tour, visit the gift shop quickly, and then hit the road…we just didn’t realize how much there is to see outside of the tour! The caverns were absolutely amazing! If you haven’t been there, you’ve got to go. We’d definitely recommend the tour (despite the very interesting/dorky tour guide). We could have spent all day there, but we did have to hit the road. Read the rest of this entry »

A little taste of Texas

May 28th, 2006

Following a wonderful afternoon and evening with Gavin and Liz, and a nights rest, the longest distance to do in a day awaited us. According to the GPS, the route would take us south through Tuscon then east toward New Mexico, with a dip down through El Paso, and then back up into NM, and into Carlsbad…560 miles.We left Mesa (outside Phoenix) about 9:45 after a great breakfast at the Valley Eatery Diner Restaurant (honestly, that was the name of the place..look at the picture!) with Gav and Liz. We decided on the southern route into Carlsbad (through El Paso) because something caught my eye in the atlas we’ve been referring to. Evidently, Guadalupe National Park is home to the highest peak in Texas. There are some photos in the gallery. Actually a very pretty sight to see, especially as the sun was setting and the shadows cast across the face. We figured that since we be seeing a lot of flat over the next few days, this little taste of Texas may as well have a purpose. Read the rest of this entry »