Packing up and heading out...

Trip Start Apr 04, 2011
Trip End Jun 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Well, it's been literally years in the making, a few false starts and lots of hopes and dreams later it's hard to believe that it's actually here. We've had a very weekend (or really month) preparing and it's nice to think that we are actually packed and ready to hit he road. While most of our things are living in storage in Chico (I like to call it 51 years of life in a box) we made all the final cuts, shopped for food for the first little while, hugged the kitties and the family one last time and are out of here...

Here's the plane to get everyone on the same page:

April 3- Leave Chico, we will be traveling along the Southern United States with our little Teardrop trailer in tow for about 5 weeks and then will be boarding the Norwegian Epic in Miami on May 7. The trip to across the Atlantic will take 12 days with one stop in Ponta del Gado, Azores and ending in Barcelona. From Barcelona we're off to Frankfurt to meet my sister, brother-in-law and new nephew Max in Ludwigshafen, about 40 miles south of Frankfurt. James has family there and we are so looking forward to exploring while we are in the area for about 2 weeks. The next phase is not totally set but the thought is to spend some time visiting Rome on our way to Athens where we will be for a few days before traveling to Crete to bask in the sun and take in the sites and lifestyle of those living on Greece's largest and most populous isle which was the first civilization in Europe. After that its just back to Athens and then back to California. All and all about 10 weeks of navigating land, sea and air...exciting!

Of course we want to see it all and do it all and really who would I be if it wasn't top of my list to eat it all!? But of course that's not totally reasonable, although in order to do this in the first place one has to somewhat put reason on hold. Anyway, to make this what it can be and possibly make these entries more interesting (are you even still reading at this point?) we would love suggestions of any kind. Take a look at the map and if you've been to, read about, seen a show on, eaten, drank or dreamt about something that you feel we should be aware of please let us know. We won't be able to put school and work and family...basically life...on hold forever but we are all about making the most out of this experience while we can. And truly our family and friends have helped
immensely to make this possible so why not have a say in how this story goes?

But first things first...we have to get the heck out of California! While MapQuest was especially upset we chose not to take I-5 (been there, done that) we instead hit Hwy 99 and took that South. As we have the trailer anyway, and no extreme sense of urgency the jaunt through little towns filled with vinyards and orchards has been refreshing and fairly entertaining. I think we'd be singing a different tune (loudly and off key of course) if weather was worse or we were stuck in traffic, but crusing through places where I left my heart on the soccer field has been a fun trip down memory lane and has kept the conversation up as we discuss those moments which we each weren't around to be a part of. I may have given Derek the impresision that girls competive soccer is one step down from the Hunger Games saga but oh well...

As it's our longest drive of the whole trip of course there becomes a point where you think, "did my legs used to straighten?" and when night comes things get a bit less interesting but with Satellite radio, you can stop being the entertaining one and put the pressure on someone else, and eventually we made it to our destination...Walmart! Its true Wally's World while potentially practicing unfair labor laws allows for people to stay overnight and we we're happy to do so. We rolled into Las Vegas at the point in the night where I'm sure those on the strip who were losing big had probably had enough to drink that they couldnt care less while tempting instead we waved to it as we rolled on by and went to set up camp. 30 minutes of being distracted by the overwhelmingly thorough camping section at the largest Walmart we've seen (which will surely change as we move East) we settled in, tucked into our little corner near a pop-up trailer and a motor home and called it a night.
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Mary Killeen Comstock on

Great plan. Kathleen and I drove the south and the north. We thought we'd never get out of Texas and messed up time in Oklahoma so that we felt really tired. Are you going to do any KOA's? Do they still exist? How much do they cost now? They used to be $8.00 a night.

dellek on

We will be staying in 2 KOAs, the first in Albuquerque and then in Orlando. We're excited about both as the Albuquerque one is right downtown next to the Riverwalk and then the Orlando one is adjacent to Disney World, off of Seven Dwarfs Lane. KOAs have gone up in price from $8 to what seems
to generally between $25-$35 a night for a basic sight and more depending on what you need. I suppose inflation effects everything eventually :)

Mary Killeen Comstock on

Yes, I guess so. The Arkansas one was scary for us because of the cicadas and our exhaustion. We thought the place was run by zombies and had a fitful sleep. Totally in our imagination.

Mary Killeen Comstock on

I did not know about Walmart parking lots. That could come in handy in my future travels.

dellek on

Ignore Albuquerque and insert San Antonio...heck!

jutta mockoski on

della and derek have a wonder time in your journey and when you get to ludwigshafen were i was born you both a good german beer love jutta und harry

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