2400 Miles

1 Car. 2 Sisters. 3 Days. 12 States. 2400 Miles.

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Mission accomplished!  I flew down to El Paso Wednesday night and accompanied my sister, Sarah, on her drive back to New England.  She’s now safely in VT and she and her tired car are resting from the long journey.  I could probably go on for days about our trip, but here’s a quick recap of our three-day adventure and some random pictures along the way…

Day 0: BOS to DFW to ELP

Wednesday I got dropped at the airport and Avery was driven to NH and met Grammy and Aunt Candy – Avery spent a long weekend up in VT during our road trip (pictures of his adventures with Grammy and Grampy later this week).  I flew from Boston to Dallas to El Paso with no delays.  I got some reading and work on my computer done while waiting for my flights.

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I especially enjoyed the terminal decorations at the airports.  My gate in Dallas was decorated like candyland…

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Which made up for the fact that ALL their food stores were closed (at 10pm!) so I had to wait it out until I got into El Paso to eat. My sister and her boyfriend welcomed me into their sweet apartment and I stayed in their cozy living room for the night…

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Day 1: Texas

Yes, it took us ALL of our first day, just to get thru Texas!  We hit the road at 8am…

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…and headed east on I-10 (Well after turning around 3 times because the on ramp was closed and it took a couple turns back and forth to find it…minor setback!) We entertained ourselves as we watched the desert pass by…

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We stopped for gas and food every 3-4 hours (We saw gas for under $3!).  We saw tons of wind turbines and oil wells.  At one point we had a panoramic view of wind turbines…

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Halfway thru the day we switched and I drove thru the big city of Dallas.  And since it’s December, it got dark very early and we did a lot of night driving.  Dallas was pretty though… lots of lights on their buildings.  We did get there during rush hour and lost a little time, but the traffic was NOTHING compared to Boston.  We chugged along and our goal was to reach Arkansas to stay the night.  We made it…although it was late (past 10pm I think).  And we snagged these pictures at the Welcome Center.

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Did you know it’s illegal to pull over and take your picture with the ‘Welcome to *this state*’ sign?!  Of the whole trip, this is the only Welcome Center we got a picture at because we missed the others.

We stayed the night in Hope, Arkansas.  I won’t disclose how icky the hotel was.  I forgot how bad home hotels can be since I only stay in them on vacations.  Let’s just say I wore my sandals inside and my feet never touched the ground…

Day 2: Arkansas & Tennessee

We started our morning with a rather sad breakfast… the whole ‘continental breakfast included’ is a sham.  Juice and coffee machines, yogurt and oatmeal, biscuits and gravy.  We powered up and Sarah took the first drive.  The ride was much more interesting… there were now trees and more towns… and Tennessee looks much like New England… lots of trees and hills in the distance. AND we found a Chick-Filet for lunch… Sarah loves them and had to have me try them.  Very yummy!

We made it to Virginia and stayed in Wythville.  Another ‘classy’ hotel.  At least they had waffles and pancakes for breakfast…

Day 3: VA, WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, & MA

Our final day we passed thru 9 states!  That really shows how big Texas is compared to all our tiny New England states.  Our morning started early – we were on the road at 7am… it was just barely light out and the fog was thick for the first two hours.  Virginia has tons of hills and the roads were up and down and sharp turns… which was tough while the fog was so thick you couldn’t see 1/4 mile ahead.  It didn’t phase Sarah….

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And I was rocking my holiday socks…

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Sarah even drove through the ‘big city’ of Memphis…

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…which wasn’t very impressive… nor was Nashville.  Very small and looked old and shabby…not what I expected.
We made it through and spent a whole 20 minutes in West Virginia and 10 in Maryland.  We got thru Pennsylvania by lunchtime and enjoyed Panera Bread before we knocked out the final states.
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I was disappointed I didn’t see any Amish in horse and buggies, but PA was full of farms… felt much like home (VT).

The last leg of our adventure was NOT fun.  I drove in New Jersey and I will NEVER again.

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Those drivers are crazy!  They were passing me on both sides, going like 90 in a 65.  It was so hard to keep my composure while they were zooming past me!  I made it to NY and the Tappan Zee Bridge…
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Then all h*ll broke lose. Just some background info… I have bad anxiety… and I can control it with breathing techniques.  I also have a fear of heights.  Well this bridge was huge…and there was fog everywhere.  I flipped out.  Had a panic attack.  Felt like having a heart attack.  I’ve had one before so I was able to just slow the car and get over the bridge.  Sorry to everyone that had to go around me, but I was lucky I made it across.

After cooling down, I was ready to drive.  We made it up thru NY into CT as we drove along the coast.  It was dark, but I know the route from driving to NYC to see my MIL.  By the time we got into RI where it was more wooded and hilly, my anxiety was back and Sarah picked up the rest of the trip.  We got to my house at 8pm.  The earliest night of our three days, by far.  Our victory photo taken in my driveway…

IMG_0213We scarfed down some Chinese (we splurged after having Subway and salads the whole trip) and passed out.  My parents came the next day with Avery and Sarah followed them up back to VT.  Mission accomplished!

I can’t believe our trip is over.  It went by pretty quickly.  I brought 3 books to read and didn’t open one of them!  It’s amazing how much there is to talk about and all the creative road games you can play.  I cherished my time with my little sister.  Who would have thought after all those years of bickering and fighting that we’d actually want to spend 3 solid days together stuck in a car for 14 hours a day.  Loved it.  I’d do it again if she asked me to.  Although I think she’s tired of making the drive and might just fly from now on…

What’s the longest road trip you’ve taken?

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9 thoughts on “2400 Miles

  1. WOW!! Now, that is some serious traveling in such a short time! So glad you made it safe and you two are too cute. Love all the pictures.

    I can’t help but crack up that you’ll never drive in Jersey. HAHA. It’s the state where the signs are all f’ed up (seriously, it tells you to make the right now — no warning whatsoever, so you need to know where you’re going). I’m glad you didn’t have to get on Route 22. That is suicide highway for those that never drive it. Stores and restaurants on the right, left, middle island and a highway where you have cars coming on both left and right sides. BEWARE!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ll have to come to you for advice if we ever have a long road trip like that, ever…

  2. Isn’t it amazing how much relationships with sisters can change when you are older? The same thing happened with my sis and I. I can’t wait to see the relationship Cassidy and her baby sis develop!

    • Yes. We were at each other’s throats as kids but got much closer as we got older. I want Avery to have at least one sibling… so he can have that relationship too. I’m sure it’ll be great watching Cassidy and her lil sis grow up together!

  3. Wow, you guys are awesome! Very well done and so cool that you two are so close:) And yes, Texas is HUGE! We used to drive every couple of years from Austin to a tiny town in West Virginia where my dad is from and that’s the longest road trip I’ve ever been on…especially long when you’re a kid anxiously awaiting seeing family and SNOW at Christmas time:) My brother and I also drew from Los Angeles to Austin once and that was quite long as well, though the majority of it was in Texas.

    Glad you made it home safe and sound!

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