I’ve you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it! That is, as long as you have movies in the car, iPads and other entertainment items – a HUGE thank you to everyone who gifted us fun car activities! They came in super handy!
First let me say (brag) that our Littles were nothing short of nearly perfect on the ride – the whole way! They were patient, kind, and a lot of fun! Inquisitive, curious, nostalgic for our NH home, but excited about the adventure!
It was a VERY long drive, but hubby Steve did a great job of mapping it all out for us, complete with lunch stops and hotel stays. That gave us a great goal to shoot for each day, and provided enough progress AND the opportunity for the Littles to play in the pool and wear themselves out before bed! Score!
And if you haven’t ever had the opportunity to drive cross-USA – you should plan to – we are all so truly fortunate to live in such a beautiful country – rich with gifts, culture, history and humor – and you’ll appreciate every bit you come across, even if in different ways.
Our first day was a fairly short one from a drive perspective, only from NH to Fishkill, NY – an area we have seen many many times. That morning, we finished up laundry in our house, cleaned, patched holes, and packed the cars, heading out around 1 p.m. The drive to Fishkill was uneventful but for the usual summer New England traffic on the Mass Pike that held us up for a full extra hour…of course!
Day two…on the docket…Fishkill, NY to Knoxville, TN! Our longest planned day – 11 hours! Got up early, hoping the Littles would be sleepy enough to pass out and give us at least a couple hours of quiet progress. It was a spectacular morning, with a beautiful blue sky and not a cloud in sight. The perfect driving day. Not too long into the drive we were gifted with the sight of two hot air balloons drifting not-too-high above the trees – they were just beautiful! When Taylor saw it, she enthusiastically exclaimed, “I want to go hot-air-ballooning!” Of course you do, my little DareDevil! 😉
Not too long after that, we started climbing into the mountains – where we were met with this amazingly beautiful fog draped among the trees – nothing that interfered with driving, but it was just mysterious and made me marvel at the wonders God can create to make a morning even more spectacular.
The Littles, ate, slept, played, observed, sang, danced, and even wondered out loud why we didn’t just take a plane to get to Texas – smart little stinkers! And I’m not sure if they are buying the whole story of needing to get the cars down there…but the complaining was not incredible.
So some observations along the way – and some things that make you go “hmmmm….”
1. For anyone who is God-fearing and worried about this country and where it is headed – feel comforted that there are a great many people and communities that are worshipping in a big way. Starting as soon as Eastern Pennsylvania, there was an obvious presence of Christian movement, evident by the frequency and sheer size of the churches and crosses adorning the sides of the interstate. Add to that the “God” billboards, and you are reminded the entire drive that He is working on people in this great country!
2. There is so much history along the East Coast and down to Dixie! The beautiful Shenandoah Valley is full of Civil War historical stops – and we wished we had time to stop and explore.
3. The 18-wheeler that had this painted on the back of the cab…”Don’t sweat the petty stuff…just pet the sweaty stuff.” Ummmm…ewwww!
4. The increasing frequency of fireworks stores! Most memorable? “Bimbo’s Fireworks!”
5. The dwindling signs for Dunkin’ Donuts off the highway and the increasing signs for Bojangles, Popeye’s Chicken, Waffle House and Cracker Barrel!
6. Sweet tea from Tennessee down – a Southern staple! I’m in! The way it should be!
7. The proud billboard for a liquor store, proclaiming, “We have YER moonshine!”
8. The kudzu, simultaneously beautiful and destructive, blanketing the trees and foliage alongside the highway…creating these mysterious looking mounds that make you wonder what’s underneath…
It certainly is beautiful, and I couldn’t help but stare at it as we drove by.
9. The speed limit increases the farther you move South…yes, really! By the time we reached I-20, the speed limit reached 75! Woo hoo! That meant that making really great time toward the end of our trip!
10. Clearly Alabama and Louisiana are sorely lacking in the highway funding department! 😉
11. The gentile demeanor of those beneath the Mason-Dixon line – the friendliness, the slow (very slow) hospitality (why the rush?) – it will be an adjustment for us after 13+ years up North, but it will be a welcome change…a reminder to slow down, enjoy people, establish a more gentle pace. It’s absolutely something we look forward to…
12. This store…who wouldn’t want to shop here?
I’m quite sure there are a hundred more things that will come to mind, but I wanted to memorialize this drive while I remembered some of these details…again, I highly recommend a good long road trip with your loved ones…the discoveries, and even the quiet contemplation while driving is worth its weight in gold!
Finally arrived in DFW! Ready to close on our new home and share more with you soon! Godspeed!