It's hard to believe Chris has been out here for two weeks and will be leaving in another two days. Then it's back to being alone for almost two months. And I mean really alone, since I won't have any visitors until he flies back out on August 22nd. Man, there were a lot of "two"s in that sentence.
Did I ever tell you that Chris and I have settled on trips for the next year? There's the obvious Europe one we've had planned since the day I found out I'd be living here, which is in late August and early September. Then there's our California trip in December, around Christmas/New Year's. Possibly we'd even fly out Christmas day. We'd miss doing stuff with family, but neither of us cares.
Then we're going to take a summer road trip out to Colorado. Yes, it's a long trip, we know. We'd bring our new dog (he'd be about 8 -10 months old at that point) along so there'd be a lot of stops, but we're hoping to see a lot out of it. I remember doing it when I was 7 or 8 years old, with my family, and it was a fun time. Chris has never been out west before and the Rockies are beautiful. So I did some thinking and planning, and we're going to go next year for our birthdays, from the Friday before Memorial Day through June 2nd. 10 days.
Day one: Drive from Ohio to Terre Haute, IN
Day two: Drive through St. Louis and Kansas City, stopping in Topeka, KS
Day three: Drive to Colorado Springs, stay the night. We have family there so maybe that part would be cheap!
Day four: Spend day in Colorado Springs
Day five: Drive up to Denver in morning, spend day/afternoon there, drive up to Cheyenne, WY in evening and stay the night
Day six: Drive to Yellowstone (will take all day)
Day seven: Spend day in Yellowstone, drive to Billings, MT in evening, stay the night
Day eight: Drive to Moorhead, MN (right next to Fargo, ND)
Day nine: Drive through South Dakota, stop in Omaha, NE
Day ten: Drive 13 hours home
Of course I'd take the following day off work to recover. I know it's a lot of driving (61 hours total), but we're going to cover 13 states and almost 4,000 miles. It's an adventure! And I know this is something we should do when we're young to get the full enjoyment out of it, because it won't be as fun when we're older. And we'd take turns driving and would stop along the way to eat or take pictures or just take it all in, so the entire thing will be part of the experience.
We're also planning a Vegas trip, maybe for our anniversary in 2013 or next winter. We've never been before and, again, it's one of those things I think you should do when you're young enough to think it's cool. Since I'm getting an extra week of vacation beginning next year, I should find ways to enjoy it all.
Talking about traveling to all these places made me think about how many states I'd visited. It feels like a lot, but when I tallied it up, it was only 30 (if you include D.C. as a state, which I kind of do). I haven't been to many of the New England states (Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachussetts, and Rhode Island, also a tenative trip for next year), or the west coast ones except for California. Still need to see Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. I haven't been to the deep south except for Alabama (space camp in middle school), not even Florida. So that's Mississippi, Arkansas (kind of south...), Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Somehow I've seen every state around Wisconsin except for Wisconsin itself, don't know how that happened. That's easily fixed on the next trip to Chicago.
Hawaii and Alaska are the obvious tricky ones. We'd like to go to Hawaii in the next couple years, maybe 2014, but Alaska? I can't think of a great reason to go other than it's beautiful there. I'm sure it's crazy expensive.
Once I knock off all the US states I'd like to make an attempt at the Canadian provinces. Maybe not Yukon, NW Territories, or Nunavut, but the rest are feasible.
I'd like to be able to call myself well-traveled at some point in my lifetime. I think we're making good strides in that direction.