3,100 miles, 11 days, 8 different stops, and 7 hotel stays.
T-10 days till go time!
So, there it is...that's the route we'll take on our 11-day journey across the good 'ol US of A. This Northern route approach will have us logging almost 50 hours of driving. FIFTY. I know, kill me now. But, we've got enough stops planned to break it up quite a bit. Here's a better breakdown of our plan:
STOP #1: Atlanta, Georgia - Here we'll be logging in another sure to be FABULOUS stay at Towneplace Suites (this hotel chain is perfect for road trip stays for couples AND families alike) and hopefully enjoying some iconic burgers & shakes at The Varsity. We've been to Atlanta before so we're not gonna go too crazy exploring, especially since we've only got maybe 13-16 hours in the city. Plus, the drive from our starting point in Florida to Hotlanta will be the second longest leg of our trip (clocking in at an annoying 7 hours). I'm sure by the time I get to the hotel, I'll want to kick my feet up and chill.
STOP #2: Nashville, Tennessee - Even though we've also been to Nashville before, we were young (hello, 11th grade!), so we're excited to get to explore a little more. We'll have a good chunk of time here in Nashvegas...roughly 24 hours, but who's counting (me, I am--we've got a schedule to keep, unfortunately!). We're still undecided on whether we just wander the city or if we should hit up a backstage tour at the Grand Ole Opry or a couple hours at the Country Music Hall of Fame (thoughts?). We know FOR SURE that we want some good southern food (biscuits, preferably) and to buy Heidi some baby cowgirl boots. Because when in Tennessee, am I right?
STOP #3: St. Louis, Missouri - Another city I've visited once at a young age, so we're not spending a whole heck of a lot of time here either. But, I do want to show D the Gateway Arch (not that you could miss it) and we'll probably hit up Delmar Loop for some shopping/eating. I would LOVE to do the City Museum, but thanks to being pregnant, it wouldn't be nearly as fun. Next time!
STOP #4: Kansas City, Kansas- This may be the stop I'm most excited about. Not because I've never been here (hint: I have...like 5 times), but because we get to spend 3 days staying with my Kansas cousins! After a few days cooped up in a car, we'll be SO thrilled to have some quality time with some super familiar faces. Plus, KC is a really fun city and D has never been! Hoping to share the goodness of KC BBQ and Boulevard Brewery Beer with him. We've also got a date with a swimming pool. Can. Not. Wait.
STOP #5: Denver, Colorado - This will be our longest, most boring drive of the whole trip (8.5 whopping hours of midwest nothingness, yay!). So once we get to Denver...a city I HAVEN'T been to before (but D has, whomp whomp), I have a feeling we'll grab a bite to eat and pass the heck out. Not much time for sightseeing, but we did get a hotel with a view of the Rockies, so at least we're looking forward to that.
STOP #6: Moab, Utah - I'm super excited to make a stop here in Moab. We'll be staying at an fun motel just outside of Arches National Park and will get to spend a decent amount of time exploring the gorgeous rock formations inside the park. No hiking for us (thank you, Heidi), but we'll still drive through & stop at all the scenic pull-offs for a good taste of one of Utah's most treasured natural attractions.
STOP #7: Salt Lake City, Utah - Salt Lake will be another fairly quick stop, but that's alright with us. Aside from eating at some cute local eateries, the only thing I really want to do is explore Temple Square. Our hotel is just around the corner from it to make visiting super easy on my sure to be exhausted body. I wish we did have a little bit more time here just so I could meet up with some fun bloggers I've gotten to know. Hopefully this won't be our only time in town!
STOP #8: Reno, Nevada - the "Biggest Little City in the World"...if you would have told me we'd be making a pit stop here, I would have laughed at you (Vegas AND Reno in one pregnancy? You gotta be kidding me!). But we had an extra day and instead of facing a third 8-9 hour drive straight from SLC to Cali, I decided we'd stop and see how Reno compares to Vegas. We're staying right on the Reno "strip" at a casino/spa resort, so while D tries his luck with the roulette wheel, I might cash in on a prenatal massage. I'll have earned it by then, right? ;)
FINAL DESTINATION: Sacramento/Roseville, California area - At this point, I'll calmly get out of the car and kiss the ground. We aren't 100% sure yet where we'll be laying our heads when we FINALLY arrive to the Golden State, but I do know I'll be so darn thankful...and ready to hit the ground running on the house-hunting front (UPDATE: staying at another fabulous Towneplace Suites for the next 8 days!! HELLO, FREE HOT BREAKFAST AND COFFEE!). We aren't buying a house in Cali (I wish I had that kind of cash flow, plus we'll only be here 2 years), so a rental it will be. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed we find something perfect for our little family of 3.
As much as I want to hit this road trip hard and make the most out of our first big move cross-country, being preggo comes with more restrictions and less fun. My sole goal is to make it across without giving birth, ya know? My doc has been on top of that and so far, baby girl and I are healthy as can be. Even so, we're going to try to make this trip one to remember. How many times does one get to road trip across America? If you're military, often...but we like to think this will be our only chance. I hope I don't eat those words later.
Because the travel blogger in me can't let this opportunity go to waste, I'll be documenting the whole crazy adventure via Instagram and Snapchat (username: Caseadilla1016), so feel free to follow along! There will be exciting sights to see along the way and likely a whole lot of delirious car chat (and singing--consider yourselves warned), so help keep us entertained! Also, if you have any suggestions for great restaurants for us to try in any of the cities above, shout 'em out! We're always down for recommendations from past travelers. It's how the travel world goes 'round.
And as always, if you've got some spare good vibes and prayers hanging around...we could still use them! We're getting closer to that light at the end of the tunnel feeling, but we've still got 3,100 miles and a few questionable hurdles jump before we can breathe again. It ain't over until I'm surrounded by my belongings in a nice home in California, amen? AMEN! Oh, and baby girl...stay nice and comfy in there for at least 10 more weeks, mmmkay? Peace out, East Coast!
**Cool road trip map itinerary planner via Roadtrippers**