Back to life, back to reality...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2012
Trip End Jul 07, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So, alas, my epic journey has come to a close.  I got in last night and although it was the most amazing road trip (OK, so it was the only real road trip I've ever been on), it was great to pull up into my driveway in front of my house, not in a hotel parking lot.  My brother opened the door and I was home!!

I started the morning in Carbondale, at Harbaugh's Cafe on the "strip" for some of my favorite biscuits and gravy.  My best friend Lauren and her family joined us for breakfast there.  It is, hands down, my favorite place for breakfast and I hit it up every time I am in C'dale.  Greg hadn't made an appearance in a while, since I had been doing a lot of visiting with friends, so he was eager to get out and stretch his legs.  

Now, I just wasn't prepared for what that crazy guy was going to do next.  Just goes to show, gnomes are sneaky little things and probably shouldn't be trusted!  So, after filling up on my biscuits and gravy, he was playing with Autumn, my best friend's daughter.  That's when he jumped to his death and shattered himself into about 6 pieces!!  I'm telling you, I saw no signs that he was thinking of ending it right then and there (and I am actually trained in suicide prevention!) so this was pretty shocking.  Lucky for him, I gathered up all his pieces and I will glue his a** back together!!  If he thinks he's not coming on another trip with me, he's completely mistaken!!

The 5 and a half hour drive back home went by pretty quick.  I thought it was going to be the worst leg of the trip, since I was excited to get home, and it always seems like it takes longer when you are excited.  But it did give me some time to gather my thoughts on this trip.

I just went on an extraordinary adventure and I am so proud of myself for actually doing it.  Usually, I would have come up with excuses or not wanted to have taken the time off of work or a million other things.  People talk about doing a trip like this all the time, but when the thought popped in my mind to do it, I knew I had to follow through with it because I knew it was going to be life changing.

I drove 7,600 miles and through 15 states.  I saw some of the most beautiful things this country has to offer, met some of the greatest people and got to see some of my family and bestest friends.  Some places made me think twice; others made me not want to think of them again!  Each state gave me a different memory:
Wisconsin- Lunch and memories of my childhood
Minnesota- Great MPG's!!
South Dakota- Unexpected fun with Sioux Falls, Corn Palace, Wall Drug & Mt. Rushmore
Montana- Beautiful big sky and my first sight of mountains on this trip
Idaho- The best white knuckle mountain driving I could ask for!
Washington- A fabulous time with my family and a naked bike parade
Oregon- MY FAVORITE COUPLE OF DAYS ON THIS TRIP!! Portland and the coast!
California- Sonoma, San Fran and San Diego
Nevada- I can't say :)
Arizona-The Grand Canyon and a desert storm
New Mexico- ??
Texas- Seeing my El Paso peeps and experiencing Austin
Arkansas- The Flying Saucer brew pub, a diamond in the rough...   
Missouri- The gateway state to the bridge over the Mississippi into ILLINOIS!!
Illinois- Home Sweet Home :)

This trip was life changing for me.  I realized what I really want out of my life and what it's going to take to make it happen.  I missed Hannah like crazy, but this time away has been good for me to center myself again so I can continue to be a good mom to that sweet child.  Thanks to everyone for reading my postings!  I had such an amazing time sharing this trip through this type of media and it is a perfect way to keep these memories intact.  It sure is different than postcards!!  I hope it was as fun to read as it was to write :)  Now, it's back to life... back to reality...
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