Return Trip Reflections

I just got back from a whirlwind cross-country drive with my daughter. I wanted to blog along the way but didn’t really have the time or means to do that. I barely managed to post on Facebook most days as our trip had a deadline – my flight home. We were also staying in the homes of friends, family and acquaintances so we wanted to be considerate of our hosts as well. Our hosts were the highlight of our trip, beautiful, wonderful people.

From Canada to Mexico in 10 days

Actually we started in New Hampshire and then visited the Canadian side of Niagara Falls on the second day. We completed our trek with a side trip to Puerto Penasco, Mexico on Saturday the 25-26th and then back to Tucson where my daughter’s fiance lives. The entire trip was 13 days including my flight home on Monday (yesterday). We left on Sept. 16th and I returned on Sept. 28th, leaving my daughter behind in Tucson with her new life.

2015 Cross country road trip

I’m sure I’ll write more about this trip as I go through my photos. Both of us started out with big expectations of being able to visit sights along the way, however those expectations were dashed as soon as the first day. Driving time turned out to be much longer than Google predictions as Google didn’t consider our need for pee breaks, meals, leg stretching, or road conditions. We did not know we would be driving on 75mph roads most of the time, a feat our little Hyundai Accent basic model hatchback (no cruise control) had a hard time keeping up with. Maybe Google should make speed predictions based on car type.

All the Lovely People

However, from the beginning our trip was designed to visit friends more than to see sights, the sights were a bonus. I’m sure we could have gone a faster route if it was just to “get there”. As a matter of fact, a few days into our trip my son texted us and asked why we were going through all the “boring states”, he was implying that we could have gone a much more scenic route. This is true.

Host collageHowever, I wanted to visit my cousins who live near Rochester, NY and my daughter had a college friend there as well. Neither of us had ever seen Niagara Falls, and it just happened that my daughter had friends all along that northern route up to Nebraska. The rest of the way was my planning to finish the trip quickly. If we’d have had more time we would have gone through the Grand Canyon. I decided to save that for the next trip.

What a blessing it was to visit all these friends and family! As an adult I usually only see my cousins at funerals and I was glad to break that tradition. In addition, this trip allowed me to visit a friend I had not seen in 20 years!

My daughter had not seen some of her friends since college, and there were others she hadn’t seen for at least 3 years. There were also new people we met in relation to our friends. Because of all these gracious people we were able to travel on a very small budget and have a wonderful time as well. A million thanks to all our hosts for making this trip possible!

Raindrops on My Roof

That being said, I also should express my gratitude for my house & pet sitter. I almost cancelled the trip because my cats had been sick, but I was able to leave them and my house in good hands. When I returned last night it was as if I had never been gone.

The cats are in good health and have shown no special excitement about my return (Hmmp). The Guinea Pig seems fatter and my plants look better than when I left. I’m feeling unneeded and a bit lonely after 13 days of excitement and travel.

It’s unusually warm and humid for this time of year in New Hampshire. I had to open the windows this morning to get the chill out of the house by letting warm air in. Now it’s raining; pouring bucket loads of water on my almost leaking roof. I’m not sure if this makes me feel happy or sad after our long, dry and very hot trip. I think we slept through one rainstorm and drove through only one rain cloud the whole time we were traveling.

Missing The Adrenaline Rush and Mexican Tacos

The scent of pine needles wafted across the faint breeze as I stepped outside the airport last night. Opening my front door sent the familiar smells of hardwood floor mixed with plants and fabric into my nostrils. It is the background of my daily life here in New Hampshire that I take for granted. I wonder what it’s like for those who visit here for the first time.

Mexican TacosTraveling and visiting others leaves beautiful impressions on my soul making me want to return to those experiences, or find new adventures to stimulate my senses. I already miss the adrenaline rush of having a new place to go every day, of moving through time and space at a rapid pace, and of seeing new sights, tasting new food and meeting new people every day.

As I visited the familiar grocery store near my house I longed for the real Mexican tacos that I would not find here. While I readjust to this familiar eastern climate I long for the dryness of the desert even though I experienced dehydration there. I try to refocus on the here and now, yet my heart wanders to those friends and family far away – what are they doing right now?

Some of our experiences were a little scary, some were boring or difficult, some were beautiful and fun; through it all we felt the enormous love of God who created this wild and wonderful world for us. I invite you to join me as I revisit this trip in photos and stories over the next couple of weeks. Who knows, maybe it will help you prepare for your own adventure, or maybe you have tips and ideas to share with me for my next trip. Yes, I’m already planning it.

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2 thoughts on “Return Trip Reflections

  1. Pingback: Half Light in the Wild West | Create A Beautiful Life

  2. Pingback: Wanderlust Revived | Create A Beautiful Life

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