That's not to say that this road trip wasn't full of surprises. In fact, my family and I all agreed this was definitely our most challenging move ever (and since my folks have moved 15 times, that's saying something). To make sure your road trip from California to Colorado goes even more smoothly (road pun obviously intended), here are four lessons you can take from our four-day adventure!
When we pulled away from our San Diego house on July 27th, we expected summer weather as we drove through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. We expected to sweat, which we did. What we didn't expect?
Desert heat that transformed into rain and lightning in Arizona. A sudden sandstorm in New Mexico that stole one of my earrings (whoever finds a silver hooped earring with a blue Mickey Mouse pendant, your welcome!). And hard rain and hail as we drove the final stretch in Colorado. (I joked that Mother Nature wanted to wipe us clean of any California remnants before allowing us into Colorado. Or that Colorado has some brutal hazing rituals).
|Point of reference: Mom was letting the towel hang straight down.|
2. Enjoy local culture when you can.
Whether you're on a tight schedule or have plenty of free time, try to make the most of the local culture in the places you do stop. One of our favorite "quirky" spots was along Route 66 as we drove through Arizona. When we needed gas and a toilet break, we ended up near a bright yellow shop called, "Souvenirs and Memorabilia." If you've ever wanted to try syrup made from prickly pear - or you're an old car aficionado like my dad - this is your place.
|Route 66 and Santa Fe!|
It's true that, when it came to our particular kind of road trip, we had a set goal in mind: arriving at our new home in Colorado Springs. However, with any road trip, it's important to take time to smell the roses...or, in this case, taste some local grub and check out the sights!
3. Look up.
You might call this a tip for double the trouble. First, the more expected piece of advice: look up your route and destinations ahead of time. In the case of traveling with celiac disease and food allergies, you should also look up possible restaurants in the places you'll stop at for the night.
|My go-to app!|
The prettier side of this tip? Remember to look up as in look around you! While being trapped in a car for six to eight hours at a time, I definitely experienced stints when I wanted to be anywhere but on the road. Combined with my new addiction to "Unscramble" (a time-based anagram game on the iPhone), it felt easy to ignore the scenery passing by my window. But when you take the time to enjoy your trip as much as you can, you won't be disappointed.
|No caption needed.|
4. Remember to laugh.
Things are going to go wrong; that's nearly a guarantee. Cell phones will suddenly stop working, you'll start driving in the opposite direction you should and one of the worst crashes you've ever seen might leave highways backed up for miles. (And that was just on Day 2 of our journey). As frustrating as these road bumps can feel, though, don't forget to laugh! Some reminders will hit you in the face...or, in the case of a waving "construction worker" built out of cones, nearly tap your front window. Others will be less obvious, but just as hilarious - like the groggy face of your dog after being tranquilized for transport.
|A few funnies...|
Because, as challenging as a road trip from California to Colorado can be, it's also a chance to create plenty of memories, explore a variety of cultures and landscapes, and find plenty of opportunities to laugh at yourself, your day or just life overall!
By the time my family rolled into Colorado Springs on August 1, we couldn't be happier to stop driving. Only a few hours after we arrived, we were greeted by a mama deer and her baby. That welcome - along with the local adventures we've had in the days since - made the drive totally worth it.
|Getting down with the doe!|
*Also found at Sunday Food & Fitness and RunningwithSpoons!*
Have you ever gone on a long road trip? What would your tips be? Share your thoughts below! Can't wait to hear them!