While it is still mostly fresh in my mind I’m going to recap our road trip across the country during our move from Chicagoland to Seattle. Mostly because I love having the record from our other two relocations on the blog and I know someday I’ll want to look back on this wild trip we took as a family. During the trip I took tons of pictures and shared them on Instagram Stories, most of which will be a reposting, with a little text for color/stories.
Day 1 started with the CLUSTER that is trying to fit the remaining items of our entire life into the truck. House crap, our crap, crap that hadn’t fit in the final container, crap we needed to live off for the road trip, crap we needed to live off once we got to Seattle, dog crap, baby crap, SO MUCH CRAP. The only way to accomplish this final packing was to send Nellie one final time to hang with our next door neighbors (who we already desperately miss). They had donuts, hung out, played, while Adam and I finished the hell that was packing the car.
Finally around 9am we were packed up and on our way. The goal was to make it to Sioux Falls, SD which was about 554 miles in total. We were going to start off our trip with a BANG.
Quick packed car selfie and we were on our way!
Girlfriend was a fan of the Beef Jerky Outlet. I mean who wouldn’t love barrels and barrels of beef jerky and lots of people in camo?
Stopping here at the Super America gas station is where we realized that our original plan of having Oly in the back of the truck (under a camper shell) was not cutting it. She was cold, it was loud, and she couldn’t see anything. Some quick rearranging in the bitter cold South Dakota or Minnesota wind (who knows where we really were) and Oly moved into the car next to Nellie. Everyone was happier.
Things got weird in SD… #AG4US. Around this point we stopped for lunch in a town that had about 30 people total. There was a gas station and a restaurant. The restaurant was clearly THE place to be as the whole town was there. Adam got a chicken fried steak that was to die for and it all felt extremely Americana. A very pleasing middle America moment.
Overall the day was so long, from about 9am-6:30pm with hardly a break other than some gas station stops and our lunch. It would be our longest day with the least stops overall and Nellie KILLED IT. She played with her toys, ate tons of snacks and we got hardly a peep out of her. By the time we made it to the hotel it was madness trying to unpack the cluster that was our car, drag it all into our room and get Nellie dinner before a meltdown, but we did it.
Our big takeaway from the trip was we always rented suite hotel rooms so that there was a bedroom with a door we could close, and a separate room for us to watch tv in once Nellie went to bed. I will never stay in a hotel with little kids any other way. Being able to put Nellie to bed around 6:30 and then be able to eat, watch tv, and generally not lay there silently in the dark for hours made 4 nights on the road bearable. Thank you to whatever parent randomly had passed that tid-bit onto me. I can’t remember which of you did, but you’re my fucking hero.
Just like that it was the end of day one. We’d made it 554 miles from our old home in Chicagoland to Sioux Falls, SD crossing through IL, WI, MN and SD. The next day would be our “short” day, our tourist stop day, and it wouldn’t disappoint!