Ah, the last post on our road trip. Did you see all of them? Here’s a link to each:
Road Trip Part 1 – Baltimore to Philly to PA to Chicago
Road Trip Part 2 – Minnesota to The Corn Palace To South Dakota To The Badlands
Road Trip Part 3 – Bear Country To Rushmore To Crazy Horse
Road Trip Part 4 – Devil’s Tower To Montana
Road Trip Part 5 – Yellowstone to Jenny Lake
Road Trip Part 6 – Leaving California to Arizona to Zion National Park
Road Trip Part 7 – Arches National Park
Oh and this post (How To Go From “I’ve Always Wanted To Do That!” To “I Did That!”) is good to read before today’s post. Mostly because of the “I’ve always wanted to do that” section.
Ok, now that you’re all caught up!
We left Arches….bye Arches!….to go to Denver.
One thing I love about driving cross country is seeing the changing landscapes. In a matter of hours, it can change completely. Sometimes, it’s a matter of minutes. Our transition from South Dakota to Wyoming was like that. It was crazy how quickly it changed. Look at how different the landscape is as we transitioned into Colorado!
But you still have those red rocks. Ah, so beautiful.
Another cool thing about driving cross country is seeing things you never expected. This lake was just such and example. I’m not sure why I didn’t think I’d see something like this, looking back, but there are sailboats in a mountain lake! So cool!
We arrived in Denver at sundown. Seeing the sunset over the Rockies was just plain amazing. This was another time I wished I had a professional camera and not a phone. Because phone pictures aren’t as good at capturing how things really were.
We arrived at our friends’ place and what incredible hosts! We took showers and just relaxed and chatted while Jen made dinner. Now, I want to take a minute to talk about Jen and Jeff. These two are such cool people. They embody the “I’ve always wanted to do that, so I’m going to do it” mentality. They have had several dreams of doing things and they have attempted to do them. I met Jen at a photographer meet up in the Baltimore/DC area and we became friends. She does amazing photography work in Denver now. Ha ha, as I pulled the link to her website, I was distracted for a good ten minutes. 🙂 Anyways, as we were talking about many things (I think all told, we talked about 8 hours between the evening and the next morning), I mentioned how I was excited to write a blog post about “I’ve always wanted to do that,” Jen echoed many of my same thoughts on the subject. Later, I asked why they moved to Denver. Jen’s response? “I’d always wanted to live here, so I did it.” THAT my friends made my heart sing. 🙂 I’m so grateful for the time we spent with Jen and Jeff. I’m also grateful for friends in Denver now! 🙂 Bonus? Friends that can cook! I was the FIRST to get seconds AND I cleaned my plate! I’m normally one to leave something on my second plate and give the rest to Bret. Nope! All mine!
It was like home away from home!
Our next stop was Garden of the Gods. It was a quick loop to see everything, so it didn’t take too long. But a nice side trip.
And then…everything got flat. 🙂
Kansas wasn’t as hard to drive through as I expected. I think because we broke up the drive with some fun side trips. The first was a giant Van Gogh painting! Fun, quick stop only about 5 minutes off the highway.
Since we weren’t stopping at another hotel on the way home, we decided to splurge on meals. We stopped at a local restaurant and I got a WHOLE catfish. Oh baby, it was delicious. Melted in my mouth. Mmmmmm.
Our last big stop was Casey, IL. The town has a TON of “world’s largest” things! What a smart way to get tourists into your town!
There was the windchime, which you could RING!
The rocking chair….which, you couldn’t sit in. 😦
The bird cage you could sit and swing in!
The mailbox that you could go in AND actually mail things from! The flag goes up too!
Ok, I’m not going to lie to you. The last part of the drive was really hard. Ugh. Took forever.