Thank you all for the well wishes on our Arizona arrival! Bobby officially started his new job yesterday, so things are feeling even more official. He looked very nice headed for the office despite my artsy (as in, not really) crooked photo.
Our 1,760-mile journey to get to Arizona was an adventure, to say the least. As I alluded to in a previous post, we decided to sell all our furniture on Craigslist and ship the rest of our belongings via FedEx (originally UPS, but FedEx was SO much cheaper). I’m pretty proud to share that we sold 19 items, from the couch down to the last garbage can. Although it was sad to watch our first furniture purchases go to new owners, the idea of being able to travel across the country with Bobby – rather than separately in a car + truck – was too appealing to ignore.
On Tuesday afternoon, we returned from our Labor Day weekend trip to Minnesota to put the finishing touches on packing and emptying our apartment. We only stopped to relax for dinner, which was improvisational to say the least.
Burger on sandwich bread eaten in a bowl on the floor, with a side of beer for good measure.
I also got a bit sentimental when we watched the final sunset from our apartment. This was our first place together, and there are a lot of great memories – not to mention the fact that it has essentially been my “office” for more than two and a half years! It will be missed.
Our road trip began on Wednesday after a long morning of stuffing the car (no, really). It was hard to say goodbye – Jill stopped by for a while and out came the waterworks – but in the end, we bid adieu and began the 9-hour trek to Kansas City.
Our first stop on the drive was by far the best. We stayed with Adam, Susan and Claire on both Wednesday and Thursday nights, which meant bonus time after the Labor Day trip. We couldn’t go more than 24 hours without seeing them again!
While there, we were treated to some delicious Kansas City barbecue (Oklahoma Joe’s)…
…and mojitos with fresh mint from their backyard!
The food was a bonus – it was mainly awesome just to see them all again!
We said goodbye to Munchkrennland at the crack of dawn on Friday morning and began the next leg of our journey, a 773-mile (aka 13+ hour) drive to Albuquerque. We knew it was going to be brutal, but with plenty of short stretch stops built into our plan, we made it in one piece.
Along the way, we enjoyed the farms (and dust storms) of Kansas…
The Friday Night Lights feel of Oklahoma (Hooker is home of the bulldogs, and we even saw a football player and cheerleader getting out of the car at one of our rest stops).
And the “everything is bigger” mentality of Texas. Actually, these large windmills were in several states along our journey, so the slogan doesn’t really apply. I wish we would have had more time to explore all of these places but we had a schedule to keep! Someday we’ll be back.
Eventually, we crossed the state border line into New Mexico. It was perfect timing because as we approached Albuquerque, the storm clouds descended. Fortunately, we made it safely inside our downtown hotel room before the wind and rain really picked up!
With a full car load, we decided to opt for the restaurant inside the hotel to feed our hungry bellies. Fortunately, La Oja boasted a stellar menu with a variety of options. First order of business for both of us, however: a nice glass of beer. Blue Moon for me, Sam Adams for him.
For my meal I went with the crab cake appetizer, which was delicious, and the clam chowder, which was so-so. I should have known better since we weren’t along the coast, but the temptation of something warm and comforting was too good to pass up.
We went to bed exhausted, but fortunately gained an hour and knew we would gain another hour the next day, so we were able to sleep in a bit before beginning our final leg from Albuquerque to Scottsdale – 458 miles in just over seven hours.
Within the first few hours, we saw a friendly sign. Hello, new home.
Our original plan was to stop at Diablo Burger (from our previous trip to Flagstaff) for lunch, but good ol’ Winky (the name of our car…what, you don’t name your car?) started making a strange noise as we idled at stoplights, so we decided to skip the stop in town and grab some quick food on the road instead. The weight of all our stuff was starting to take its toll. Slightly disappointing, but at this point in the trip, our priority was making it to my parent’s house in one piece! We were starting to get a bit delirious in the desert…
With two hours to go, we said goodbye to the green mountains and hello to sandy ones.
And then…we made it!! Seeing my family was such a treat. My mom greeted us with a champagne toast as we brought our stuff into the Benders, where we’ll be staying for the next few months as we begin looking for a more permanent place to settle down.
Once we had unloaded, we kicked back and relaxed with two of my favorite things in fall: beer and football. Northwestern football, to be more exact. Although we couldn’t be at the game this time, we were there in spirit as the Wildcats went on to victory over Vanderbilt.
Next up: Boston College. I’m looking at you, Megan.
Whew! If you’re still with me after 1,760 miles, give yourself a pat on the back. I’m really looking forward to sharing more about our continued journey in the next few months. It promises to be an exciting new chapter!
Have you ever made a big move? What are your tips for settling into new territory?
**On September 11, my thoughts are with the families of those whose lives were lost as well as those who serve our country, today and every day. We will never forget.**