September 17, 2020
This year has inspired some SERIOUS content for memes, Facebook articles, SNL skits, and vulnerable conversation. Sometimes (all the time), it feels like we are living our lives in a post-apocalyptic movie. It feels like we’ve seen it all. A global pandemic, raging wild/megafires, air we can’t breathe (inside, outside, or on any side), social/racial justice movements, riots, toilet paper shortages, elections, working/schooling from home, unemployment, and the general crumbling of everything & anything we think we’ve known. Not to mention all the personal struggles: canceled weddings, loss of loved ones, and regular life stuff (flat tires, loneliness, and technical difficulties… to mention a few).
Yeah, 2020 is getting a lot of shade. ALL the hate. “Worst year ever,” we say. But where is the context here?
2020 definitely deserves some of this bashing. It seriously feels like a sick joke that ALL the best holidays are on THE BEST DAYS OF THE WEEK, but we haven’t been able to FULLY enjoy them. Cinco de Mayo on a TUESDAY? Taco Tuesday from home just wasn’t the same as
pounding sipping classy margaritas at the local taco joint. Halloween on a SATURDAY?! How will the kiddos go trick-or-treating? Christmas and New Years Day are on Fridays. Easter was on Sunday (oh wait, it always is). Ugh… It just doesn’t seem FAIR!
Add to it that there’s all this OTHER unfair stuff going on in the world. Racism, educational systems, healthcare systems are all showing their weaknesses. It’s literally being shoved in our face. Like how mom used to shove broccoli in your face. “Eat your veggies, then you can have ice cream for dessert.” NO, I don’t want the yucky broccoli. I just want the good stuff. I just want to have FUN and forget about all this mess. I SCREAM for ice cream. As Veruca Salt
says demands, I want it NOW!
Yet… we can’t do that, can we? We can’t seem to escape these truths being revealed to us. We cannot avoid the grief, anger, and injustice surrounding us.
This year has highlighted how we weren’t ever really put together. We are falling apart and it is painful, raw, and incredibly uncomfortable.
I really feel this brokenness is helping us to see collective truths and challenging our willingness to see things as they are. We are here, experiencing groundlessness of our being.
When it feels like everything we’ve known and understood has been taken away from us, what are we left with?More
July 18, 2020
Starting Location: Pennsylvania (Depart 10:00AM… woohoo sleep in!)
Ending Location: Kristen=Long Island, New York; Abby=Connecticut (Arrive 04:00PM)
Driving Time: Together=3 hours; Kristen=4 hours; Abby=5ish hours
Driving Miles: 215 miles (to
Long Strong Island)
Total Miles: 3,561 in seven days! WAHOO!
Today marks the grand finale of our journey and return to our east coast roots! Abby and I enjoyed a slower morning as our driving mileage today was 25-50% of our driving miles on other days and our bodies were calling for rest. Abby and I were planning to split in Allenstown, PA where she intended to rent a car and drive to Connecticut while I continued to New York. However, she got TWO car rental cancellations the morning of our departure because the rental facilities were over-booked. We resolved to travel together to JFK Airport where she’d rent a car. Once she got her “CAR-firmation” that her vehicle was going to be ready for pick-up, we were good to go! We were both excited to have a little more time in the car together and to drive into NEW YORK (the greatest city in the world, according to Hamilton… and every New Yorker).
Driving home across the country has been more than I expected it to be. It was eye-opening in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, our country’s landscapes, and the differences between coasts. There are many things I’ve always looked forward to when getting to the East Coast, but I think the gentle and gradual progression from west to east allowed for growing anticipation and appreciation for the things that make truly feel at home.More
July 17, 2020
Finger Lake Friday
South Bend Howe, Indiana (Depart 09:30AM)
Ending Location: Pennsylvania! (Arrive 08:00PM)
Driving Time: 8.5 hours
Driving Miles: 530 miles
Currently, I am laying in bed in the Holiday Inn with super slanted eyes, an empty plastic cup of red wine, and a subtle smile brushed on my face.
Today, Abby and I are feeling pretty pooped. The time change, many hours in the car, and emotional anticipation of being reunited with our families has been cascading over us in emotional waves. We’ve also each had personal journeys on this trip – from aiming to connect with family and friends across the country to emotional processing of events, we’ve had a lot of heart and connection on this trip.
I truly cannot believe it’s coming close to the end. As I mentioned yesterday, the indications we are approaching to the East Coast have been getting more obvious. Today, we drove from Indiana to Ohio to Pennsylvania and are OFFICIALLY reaching the East Coast of the United States.
We didn’t really see too many sights today, but it was definitely an emotional day. I am feeling so ready to be reunited with the people I love, while also grieving more of what I am leaving behind in Washington. Add to it real grief and my heart is a little all over the place, but mostly filled with gratitude for this meaningful journey with meaningful people.More
July 16, 2020
Starting Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Depart 06:30AM)
South Bend, Indiana 60 minutes further east and as far away from planned Air BnB as possible (Arrive 12:30AM, EST on Friday 7/17)
12 13 hours or so
Driving Miles: 760 miles (ermahgerd)
We need to talk about the midwest and Air BnB. Abby and I are now TWO for FOUR on successful Air BnB stays and I have NEVER had a problem with accommodations prior to this trip. Tonight was another FAIL of Air BnB that resulted in driving further east and finding new accommodations. Today, we also drove through MANY states: South Dakota, Southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois (with a stop in Chicago), and Indiana. Until we got to Chicago, we experienced LIMITED people (aka, NO ONE) wearing masks. It was as if there is no awareness we are in a global pandemic. However, once we were in Chicago, we noticed a DRASTIC difference in percentage of people wearing masks and thoughtful considerations for public health.
Today, we played tourist between the marathon of driving. Abby and I took turns driving and napping today. I can’t believe the distance we covered and we are feeling awake, healthy, and satisfied with our day!More
July 15, 2020
Wide Open Wednesday
Starting Location: Riverton, Wyoming (Depart 06:30AM, Mountain Daylight Time)
Ending Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Arrive 09:30PM, Central Daylight Time)
Driving Time: 11 hours
Driving Miles: 710 miles (woof)
Today was a day of driving, bales of hay, stops in tiny towns, and super touristy attractions. Thankfully, Abby was up for driving through most of the day as I was pretty zonked after driving yesterday.
Our evening in our extremely disappointing Air BnB last night didn’t lead to as restless as a night as I anticipated. Abby and I resolved to each put the fresh sheets from the closet on the couch because we didn’t entirely trust the beds… considering the sheets weren’t really tucked in. We also didn’t shower there (don’t judge us) because (1) I found a smushed bug on the bathroom vanity, which neither of us killed. (2) There were hair strands on the towels, again that were not ours. (3) We were generally skeeved [<wait, is that not a word??] out by the place given the evidence that cleaning did NOT occur, such as random crumbs on the kitchen counter [surprise – not ours] and Axe smell that seemed to be covering up a discrete smell of cat litter or something worse. Who knows. I don’t want to know. Ugh. We are really grateful to have only been there to sleep. I am NOT picky about places to sleep and don’t often feel uncomfortable. Given the fact we are STILL in a global pandemic, I admit I am more sensitive… yet, this was definitely a breach of typical cleaning protocol – pandemic or not.
We woke up early and booked it out of the little apartment, contemplating how to artfully leave an appropriate review of the place. Still thinking on that.
Today, we had a LOT of driving. We basically drove the entire state of South Dakota and half of Wyoming (<not in that order lol). However, our biggest win of the day is OUR AIR BNB HAS A HOT TUB. #worthit
With more than double the amount of miles driven today, I am honestly impressed we carried through with so much energy. Having Abby as a travel companion is freakin awesome. We definitely tend to be on the same page with needs AND are good at taking turns making executive decisions. (Like when Abby makes the executive decision that I need food lol).
Yay for checking off more bucket list items, car naps, and 80 mph speed limits.More
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