Sunday, August 31, 2008

BDAA - Things I learned along the way

  • Everyone loves the Olympics
  • Kansas is ugly
  • East coast is gorgeous
  • Rocky mountains are the best
  • When driving thousands and thousands of miles, it is a good idea to check your oil every time you fill up
  • I love seeing my friends, where they live and being in their homes
  • I love being a part of family prayer
  • Twilight is as bad as I thought it would be - even worse (we can still be friends - don't be offended)
  • Steven King isn't much better
  • The key to sleeping well in other people's beds is to drive 8+ hours every day
  • There is a bus company named Peter Pan - huh?
  • Traffic in the east sucks
  • I probably shouldn't text and drive but I do
  • There is hope for love
  • America is beautiful
  • West Virginia has mean mechanics who won't look under my hood
  • Pennsylvania has nice mechanics who helped me right away
  • Everyone is connected to the internet although not everyone has wireless and not everyone uses Firefox or Macs
  • Hush puppies are yummy
  • I can usually make friends with kids using my "give me 5" popping trick and if that doesn't work stickers will
  • Paying tolls is lame - you have to do it all over the east coast
  • I heart my beetle bug
  • I can't buy t-shirts for Sam cause I just didn't have time - I did get him this one in Lexington, KY
  • I didn't buy postcards for my nieces and nephews at every stop cause I didn't have time - in fact the last batch got postcards from Utah
  • I need to go back to each stop and see more and stay longer
  • I enjoyed hearing the accents from the various parts of the country
  • I don't have an accent being from the moununs - you betcha
  • There are lots and lots of kinds of roadkill including armadillo
  • My dad will rescue me if I really need to be rescued
  • Texas is hot and humid
  • I really enjoyed learning about Abraham Lincoln and his wife's family, the Todds
  • It is easy to adjust to different time zones when you are driving - not as easy to do when flying
  • Ann Dee thinks I'm brave - but we all know that I'm a big baby when it comes to roller coasters
  • I love my friends - If I told you that you were my favorite stop and I wanted to stay there longer, I meant it
  • I love Utah
  • I love my family
A lot of people have asked me if I'd do it again or what I would do differently.

Yes, I'd do it again but I wouldn't do it alone and I'd have fewer stops and stay longer than one night.

I did this trip by myself although I wasn't ever alone. I took some wrong turns and missed some exits but I never felt lost. I had lots of resources to get back on the right path - maps, GPS, telephone. I learned how important it was to stay focused and keep my eye on the road. You can make the analogy.

I am also glad I documented the whole experience on this blog and by videotape. I want to be able to remember as much of this adventure as I can in the future. Thanks for following along.

Here are some posts from a few of my hosts:

Friday, August 29, 2008

BDAA - Stop #17


While I enjoyed the scenery all over the country, there really is nothing like Utah.

Here are few photos from the drive today:

This was my favorite of all:

I said goodbye to Tim from the UK and returned the Tom Tom to Larry.

Larry compared my trip to running a marathon - the preparation, the feeling after completion etc. I'm glad cause now I don't have to run a marathon.

Tonight I will sleep here and the Beetle Bug will sleep here.

I made it home tonight just in time for Lacy's birthday party.

Here are the sisters and Jewel plus the baby Ann Dee is about to have.

The birthday pinata

Lindsy broke her arm while I was gone - I missed all the drama. You can read about it here.

Gas Money:
  • $32.86 ($3.58/gallon) - Albuquerque, NM
  • $43.83 ($4.04/gallon) - Cortez, CO
  • Final Total: $876.25
Odometer: 7082.9 (UT)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

BDAA - Stop #16


I started out this morning thinking I was going to drive from Austin, TX to El Paso, TX. I got about an hour into my drive when I decided I wanted to go home so I changed my plans and my route and headed home.

I originally planned to stay tonight with La Yen in El Paso and tomorrow with Marsha (and see Jacquie) in Phoenix and Saturday with Laura in St. George. But now I'm staying with Shanna in Albuquerque. I drove a long time today and I'm pretty tired but tomorrow I only have a 9-10 hour drive ahead of me (I know that sounds like a lot but think of where I've been - it's nothing folks). Then I'll be home tomorrow night in P-town.

Then I'll have Saturday, Sunday and Monday to recover from this trip - I'm going to need that time. By the way I'm so glad I went on this trip and so glad I got to see all of my friends (except those that I decided to cut out at the last minute - sorry). I'll always be glad I did this - to see the country and where everyone lives. I have been making a list of things I've learned along the way that I'll post this weekend sometime.

Just pray that the silver beetle bug can make it one more day.

Here are some photos from the drive today:

Would you rather West Texas or Kansas?

Shanna and Paul let me stay here with them on only a few hours notice. Thanks guys!

Gas Money:
  • $21.71 ($3.62/gallon) - Austin, TX
  • $48.03 ($3.89/gallon) - Fort Stockton, TX
  • $29.32 ($3.55/gallon) - El Paso, TX
  • Running Total: $799.56
Odometer: 6424.5 (Albuquerque, NM)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BDAA - Stop #15


Here are a couple of photos from the 2.5 hour drive from Katy to Austin. It was a nice, pretty drive.

When I arrived in Austin, I went on a date with this guy:

Johnny Austin (32)

We went to the Oasis and had lunch over Lake Travis.

OK - so it wasn't really a blind date or even a date at all. Johnny and I have been friends since we were 12 years old. I even got to meet his girlfriend.

Tonight I'm staying with these friends.

We ate dinner here - cheese steaks with a Texas twist.

I love Austin. It is such a great city - I've come back since the mission a few times now and I always jump at any opportunity to visit. One of the main reasons is that I love to spend time with Carrie Margaret - if you know her, you know what I mean.

Gas Money:
  • $35.20 ($3.29/gallon) - Katy, TX
  • Running Total: $700.5
Odometer: 5588.8 (Austin, TX)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BDAA - Stop #14

KATY, TX (they even spell it right)

When I woke up this morning in Baton Rouge, I realized I had slept on this pillow all night. It got me excited for the next few days of my trip - good old Texass.

Here are some pictures from the drive today:

I almost missed this one...

I served my mission in Texas - you can read about it here.

Every trip I make to Texas since my mission softens my memories of the whole ordeal. As I drove into Texas today I won't say that it felt like home but I will say I felt nostalgic. I stepped out of my car and the heat and humidity hit me and I about fell to my knees thankful that I didn't have to get on a bike in a dress and go knocking on doors.

I loved seeing familiar places like HEB, Luby's, Whataburger, Rudys BBQ, Double Daves and this place:

Tonight I'm staying with Jill and Hannah

Jill was so nice - she drove me around town so I could take photos of as many Katy signs as I wanted. Here are just some:

By the way, Dr. Pepper really does taste better in Texas - I'm not kidding.

Darla - sorry I missed you! You jumped on the road trip trail a bit too late.

Gas Money:
  • $34.38 ($3.57/gallon) - Baton Rouge, LA
  • Running Total: $664.85
Odometer: 5424.2 (Katy, TX)