The Final Post

“I came back to find ya, South Carolina, heard from the golden gate you’ve come back in style.” – Brendan James

Miles traveled: 551.4 miles

It’s the last day of my road trip. I’ve had an absolutely amazing time and I have learned quite a bit about myself and the good ole U.S. of A. America is a beautiful place, and although we may not hear about them in the news or find them in our every day activities, it is also full of kind and friendly people. To the Jimmys, Lennys, Williams, Randees, and many others I encountered on my trip – thank you for the effortless reassurance that there are still genuinely kind people in the world today!

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My drive from Nashville (so sad to leave such a great city, but I imagine I will be back to visit in the future) to Charleston is a relatively easy eight-hour one with no real stops planned. It was a beautiful drive, eventually cutting through the Appalachian Mountains and past the Pigeon and French Broad rivers in the areas near Gatlinburg and Maggie Valley. After passing through Asheville, I was on the ever so familiar I-26 for the home stretch.

IMG_9956 IMG_9953 IMG_9961

nectar of the south

nectar of the south

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the Jeep is empty

the Jeep is empty

Home!

Home!

I made my way into my hometown of Charleston and stopped over at Betsy’s for a girl’s night dinner with Sarah (there are two Sarah’s for those who might thinking I am talking about myself in the third person). It is always great to come home to friends and family – Betsy, Sarah, and I have been friends since kindergarten and we had 7 weeks to catch up on! Great to see both of them, as always! My next stop was over on James Island at Matt & Nicole’s. Alice was over there as well for the weekly showing of possibly one of the best summer TV shows on ABC. After I left, and due to the late hour, I stayed downtown at Alice’s – and of course, I had to meet the new foster Danes Stitch and Pawley. Both are so sweet! It was a long day, but a fun day!

The following morning, I unpacked the Jeep in the traditional heat and humidity of the lowcountry – sweating like a seasoned pro (I had to throw that in there…after all the last post just wouldn’t feel right without the mention of sweat) with the help of my two bestest buddies – Reese & Montana – so happy to see their silly little faces and to spoil them with some treats I picked up for them in Maine.

Before I close out my final post, I have compiled a small list of travel tips and lessons learned from being on the road. You may find them helpful, you may not – but I’m sharing either way!

Travel Tips and Lessons Learned:

  1. I have never been happier to see a trashcan. Plan your stops where there’s a trashcan to purge so not to accumulate empty bottles etc.
  2. Walgreens and CVS are great last minute resources for postcards in the event you have been unsuccessful in finding one for your road project.
  3. Postcards apparently range from $0.25 to $3.15 – they all look the same, I have yet to determine what could possibly posses someone to charge $3.15 for a 4×6 index card.
  4. Postcards in Vegas are about twice the normal size of a regular postcard – go figure, Vegas. Oddly enough though, they are the $3.15 ones.
  5. You can fit a lot of useful items in the back of a Jeep if you have OCD tendencies and strong organizational skills.
  6. The Starbucks Frappuccinos are sold in unbreakable glass. Seriously.
  7. Planning ahead can sometimes be overrated.
  8. There are as many Cabelas retail stores in the Midwest as there are Starbucks in a quarter mile of a large city.
  9. There are as many Arby’s ‘restaurants’ in the Midwest as there are Cabelas retail stores.
  10. Audiobooks. Audiobooks. Audiobooks.
  11. It will be heat-stroke hot when traveling through the desert in the middle of summer any way you slice it.
  12. Sweat happens.
  13. Half priced Bean Boots really do exist.
  14. Reese’s peanut butter sticks are a heavenly, inexpensive road treat.
  15. They only make cheese on Thursdays and Sundays in most of the Wisconsin cheese factories.
  16. A room temperature, squeaky cheese curd is a fresh cheese curd.
  17. Connecticut might just be the most expensive place on planet Earth – I mean $40 to look at a lighthouse….really, Connecticut??
  18. Don’t overlook Iowa – it’s a pretty great state.
  19. Step outside of your comfort zone; it’s the only way to make your travel experience worth it.
  20. Don’t buy gas in California if you have low tolerance for pain.
  21. Make sure the drain stopper on the cooler is tightly secured before use. Damn Yeti.
  22. A complimentary elliptical machine in your hotel room might seem cool and trendy, however it can also be loosely translated to “we think you are a bit chubby and have left a subtle hint of that in your room.”
  23. Complimentary high-speed wifi can be loosely translated to “good luck with that.”
  24. Make time to see old friends at every opportunity.
  25. Don’t plan your overnight stop in Stroud, OK if traveling Route 66. There are far better options in Arcadia, OK just down the road.
  26. Blogging is a full time job!
  27. Always explore and discover new places.

Well, my 7-week road trip is officially over. I have now visited all 50 states in my lifetime, and that’s one big check off the bucket-list! I really had a blast and enjoyed the company of friends and family along the way!

Final stats –

Total Miles traveled: 11,097.9

Total States: 39

Total Days: 51

Signing off…

-traveljunkE

Day 51

Day 51

trip totals - map 3

trip totals – map 3

trip totals - map 2

trip totals – map 2

trip totals - map 1

trip totals – map 1

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