In late June we returned home from a 34 day car trip from California to Florida and back which my husband dubbed the Friends and Family Tour. Instead of leaving and returning the same route, we varied it and took interstate 70 out and interstate 40/10 back. There were a lot of other interstates and highways too but NO toll roads.
The 6,800 mile trip took us through 17 states. I tried to get photos of the welcome signs as we did with mixed results. The states were:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Then there was the cost. Let’s just say more than what I would have liked but not more than expected considering the number of hotel nights (26) and meals out. The bill for our pets to be cared for was more than the cost of fuel!
Why Road Trip
Outside of just enjoying our freedom to travel without fear of getting covid, there were three main reasons for this extra long trip: family, retirement and future home hunting.
Until the end of April, we hadn’t see any family members in person since March 2020. Of course, there were others we hadn’t see for nearly two years thanks to cancelled visits last summer.
We wanted to visit our three sons living out of state, grandkids, sisters, brother, nieces, nephew, aunt and cousins. I planned the trip with stops to see as many as possible.
This was the first time I could plan a trip and not worry about how many PTO hours it would use or when I’d need to be back for work. How liberating!
Normally, I’d plan a vacation in a foreign country for this type of event but the heart wanted to see family and not worry about covid testing, lockdowns or anything else complicating flying out of the country. So road trip in the USA fit the bill perfectly.
It is time to start looking for our forever home and we had narrowed the search down to Florida before leaving. I had a dozen communities we wanted to tour between the West and East coasts.
We factored these visits into the schedule and this of course 10 or so days to the length of the trip.
Coordinating the trip involved lots of planning, communication and research. Those details are a story for another day as I share more about our epic road trip. What the trip did that we didn’t plan is remind us of how big, beautiful and diverse this country is in a way you miss flying 30,000 feet above it. That was priceless!