Our stay in Anaheim, California was quick to say the least! Days consisted of a lot of standing, smiling, and selling coaches / players on our products at the Convention. Nights consisted of trying to see as many of our local friends as possible while resting our feet for the next day!
We were lucky to be able to spend time with all of our friends in the area, and met up with two close friends at an awesome locale in Anaheim. Known historically for their oranges, we went to the Anaheim Packing District to grab dinner and drinks. I was impressed with what I could best describe as an adult cafeteria – there was live music, an array of different restaurants, bars, & dessert options, and a chill atmosphere. We opted for Urbana, with their delicious Mexican-fusion fare and drinks. A perfect night with the best people. Unfortunately, our few days in Cali went fast.
Leaving California after a successful venture at the ABCA was bittersweet. I was happy to be going back home, but it was still the ride that would take us home. Like our trip there, we tried to make the most of our time in the various cities we visited and didn’t want to lose that feeling of being on vacation.
We opted to stay South and cruise through Palm Springs & the Dessert on our way back East. Pretending for a moment that I was one of the cool kids headed to Coachella or Stagecoach along those scenic roads, I enjoyed seeing a new part of Cali that I hadn’t previously seen before.
Our first leg of the journey home brought us to Phoenix for a night and a morning quickly exploring the downtown and the beautiful park surrounding the Capitol building. Checked another state capitol off of my list as we continued our trip back east.
Loving the mountains and views in the distance, the scenery in Arizona did not disappoint. With the Rocky Mountains shrinking behind us, we found the terrain peaceful and our ability to see for miles a welcome change. That’s when we experienced the impact…
We were both a little upset at our lack of kitschy, uber-touristy stops along the way, we began to see signs for a Meteor Crater and new we had to hop off the beaten path to find this attraction!
It was quite a sight, and with weather that seemingly wouldn’t turn on us, we enjoyed the sunny views for a bit.
We continued east into New Mexico, past Albuquerque which we got to see before sunset and then ventured into the Texas panhandle.
That day was one of our longest driving days, but we committed to going the distance to making it to Oklahoma City that night so our final day was a long, but straight shot home.
We made it, packed in a few hours of sleep, and awoke the next morning ready for another capitol picture, and with one primary destination in mind; home.
But not before swinging through Jefferson City, Missouri as we headed back north through the Ozarks.
It was a cute little city, with the Capitol building perched on top of a hill, overlooking the river. It was actually Inauguration Day for new government officials, so making it up to the capitol and close enough to get a picture was a slight challenge, though by this point, we were seasoned professionals.
Leaving Jefferson City meant the last of our stops in new cities. Exiting Missouri back into Illinois was a return to familiar territory and meant we were down to single digits in the number of hours of our grand adventure remained.
Being back in familiar country was comforting, but in January, we knew what might be in store for us. Up until this point, the weather for our trip was perfect. Limited rain, no falling snow, and mostly sunshine or star-filled skies came along with us for the ride. Until we got close to Chicago.
Thankfully, as we entered the snowstorm rocking Illinois and Wisconsin, we were comfortable with the roads and had traveled them many times before. That still didn’t prepare us for being reduced to less than 40mph on the highway, seeing many cars had slid off into the ditch before us, and the winter welcome as we crossed the border back into our home state. Mother Nature has a keen sense of humor, that we could finally laugh about, once we were safely back in our apartment in Milwaukee.
So our long journey had come to and end. Thousands of miles we had traveled and hundreds of hours had passed and it was over. No more quick pit stops to grab more water and gas throughout the day. No more snapping pictures from the car of all the beautiful scenery I wanted to remember forever, even when my memory failed me. No more exploring new cities and states and paths across our great country.
There is something to say about taking on an adventure like this with someone you’re in a relationship with. We’ve traveled together before via car and plane, but never a trip of this magnitude. What got us through was our mutual respect for adventure, a lot of patience, and swells of our favorite music coming through the speakers. It was an amazing adventure, one I would definitely replicate if we had the chance though maybe tweak the route a bit to keep it new. But in the end, we both love to explore and enjoy the sights and learn new things together. Can’t wait for the next one…