from Michigan to California by car

Well, the day finally came. We packed up everything we thought we’d need for the road and the new apartment, loaded up the cat, and off we went! Was it hard? No, not really. M is excellent in the car, she rarely complained. She was confused about where we were going and why, though. We never got caught sneaking the cat into the hotel. The bicycle made it on the bike rack. Nothing got lost or stolen. And all of our hotels were just fine! So, successful road trip.

Our day would start with free hotel breakfast, and loading up the car. Usually we’d drive a bit and then find a place to stop, except for a day or two when we did stuff right away before driving. Total driving was about 7 hours per day. We ate at 4 restaurants total, the rest of the time ate from our supplies in the car. We had one grocery run at Whole Foods, and my mom and I had lots of drinks from gas stations (red bull for me, coke for her) to get us through. After arriving at the hotel, Mariah would settle in with cartoons on cable (we don’t have cable at home), and my mom and I would unload the car. I’d re-organize our clothes and food, and throw out any trash from the car. Then we’d shower/bathe, do laundry if needed, and chill in the hotel until sleep.

Michigan through Texas had no scenery. Very boring drives! But we did make some stops that were fun. We stayed with my uncle outside of St. Louis, stopped at a hands-on museum in Oklahoma City, and found a gluten-free pizza joint in Amarillo.

On we went to Albuquerque, where we explored the old city center and had fun at the Natural History Museum.

After that we were in Flagstaff, where we had a non-travel day in the sense that we did not head farther west. I took M to Sedona where we had a great time hiking! Would definitely go back.

We had a great hotel at the Grand Canyon’s south rim. The afternoon we got there, we had no view whatsever (too much fog), but our Pink Jeep tour the next day offered up a great view! I hope to bring M back one day to go rafting and hiking down in the canyon.

As we headed farther west, we made a few short stops in the Mojave desert. I loved it… such a beautiful place.

After crossing the deserts and mountains of California (could there be a more beautiful state?), we finally reached the ocean where we were greeted by elephant seals. We drove up highway 1 in a lot of rain, but it was still breathtaking.

And that was that! On to San Francisco, where our new life has begun…


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