Archive for April, 2010

Next year, Niels and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. For a while we were wondering how we’d like to celebrate this, a big party, an exotic cruise, going to Walt Disney World??? Well, it turned out to be none of them. For years, our dream vacation has been to drive through all 50 states of the USA. Ideally, you’d take a year out or something to do this, but that isn’t exactly an option at the moment or in the near future. So rather than sit around an wait for this dream trip to materialise, we thought, we might as well just do it in big chunks and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing for our 10th anniversary!

First thing to decide was where to go and for how long. We decided to start and end in Chicago, doing a round trip would save a fair amount of money on flights and car rental fees. We’d never been to that area of the US before and with good links to the UK, it seemed like a good choice. How long, about six weeks would probably be as much as we can squeeze in (I guess there’s nothing quite like testing your relationship after 10 years of marriage by spending 6 weeks together in a small space…). Then get  some online friends to give you some ideas and the suggestions started rolling in of where our adventure should take us. One of the first suggestions I received was for Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah, starting in Panguitch, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, Arches and Moab. Looking at the map that was quite a way from Chicago, but I doable I guess and it looked suitably impressive too. We’ve also always wanted to go to Traverse City in Michigan, so added that to the trip. More suggested rolled in. Yellow Stone National Park, New Orleans, Boston, Yosemite, Atlanta, … Not all of those would fit in for a 6 week trip. Also, some people, even though they lived in the US, didn’t exactly seem to be very clued up on the geography of their own country.

So eventually we came up with a rough schedule and map and this is it:

Start in Chicago late September 2011, then off to Traverse City Michigan. Cross Lake Michigan in Ludington to Manitowoc , Wisconsin. Travel down to Stoughton, WI and then to Minnesota followed by a quick dip into Iowa and then onwards to Nebraska and South Dakota where we want to see Mount Rushmore. Then it’s time for Wyoming and Yellow Stone National Park, before going down to Salt Lake City Utah (via Montana and Idaho) and Bryce Canyon and that general area. Cut through Colorado and Kansas on our way to Tulsa Oklahoma, then head down through Arkansas and onto Memphis Tennessee and then via the great Mississippee river, visit Vicksburg and eventually all the way on to the Big Easy, New Orleans! Then back up through Alabama to Nashville, hit a place or two in Kentucky, find our way to St Louis, Missouri and then get some kicks on Route 66 back to Chicago. Strangely enough, I do feel sorry for North Dakota, it’s pretty much the only state in that whole area we’d missing out on.

Well, that’s the plan anyway. There’s loads of people we want to visit along the way. And if you know anyone who’s interesting or might like to have the two of us over, let us know! Also, we’ll gladly receive any suggestions for places to stay, visit, websites, things to do, where to get the best food (anyone who knows me, knows that this is one of main priorities for any vacation!), …

I’ve started the planning by buying a few books already. Road Trip USA by Jamie Jenson, the big Lonely Planet guide for the USA and Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent.

For the next 17 months or so I’ll be keeping busy with one of my favourite things to do, plan a vacation. This blog will be our planning journal. And then, when the time finally comes, we’ll be updating it from somewhere along the road!

Oh, and we’ll still have a big party too, just don’t expect a big country mansion one ;-)

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