Friday, September 7, 2012

Sea to Shining Sea, a Recap

Our American Adventure
7,792 miles
25 days
28 states
6 house stays
4 Walmart parking lot sleepovers
3 campsites 
3 hotels
I can't believe I didn't lose my mind.
    I honestly can't. I told you I thought I would, but instead, this trip gave this mind of mine plenty to hold on to; the exact detour it needed. 
     When we first planned this journey I was so anxious you would have thought I was going to scale Mount Everest or something really significant and frightening. I mentioned that here. I thought I'd be dying to get home, and I was excited as we crossed the state line into California a few days ago, but I knew I'd miss looking out the window at something different every day. Driving into new territory was something we'd been doing for a month and I'd begun to crave it. I'd miss having Scott inches from me at all times, eating all our meals together and looking at the same things he was. It's not like we held hands every second. There were definitely days when I wished I had a partition around me with the words "don't talk to me" written on it and so did he (although his probably would have said please don't talk to me or something nicer). But, like I said before, as the road became more of our home, we became more of a home for each other.
     I have to say, growing up in California and never living outside of it has given me a bit of a one track mind. I'm always so enthralled with what is in front of me- the waves, the beach, the sun. I also feel as though visitors from other places are constantly telling Californians that we are so lucky not to have the humidity or the freezing weather and so onI was thinking about this the other day when we were in the southern part of the country. We drove by a billboard in South Carolina that read "California Dreaming Restaurant- exit 56" and I said, as Scott read it aloud with a smile, "That's silly. It's awesome here."
     California is incredible and I love my home, but after this trip I realized how much I love my country too. I never felt good when I heard about bad weather or tragedies happening in other states, but now when I hear those things I feel an aching in my heart over it because I have loved those places. They have welcomed me, exposed me to different perspectives and have helped me grow. In a small way, it felt like they might have loved me too, like I feel the ocean does in her own mysterious way. 
    I'm a full-on proponent of road tripping these days. It's such a hands-on way to not only see new places, but to interact with and become a part of them. Don't you agree? I would do it again the day after tomorrow if someone asked me (and paid for it). I've done a handful of "hotel" vacations and they're very relaxing and accommodating, but there's nothing like waking up in the back of your car in a Walmart parking lot in a pool of your own sweat then driving to someplace you've never even seen a picture of. And with that, I give you a picture recap of our trip. And a song! Don't be scared off by the title. This song captures the best thing this trip taught me- We never know how much time we have here, so don't waste what time you have being afraid of what you don't know. 

Yellowstone was our first and favorite stop
I've never seen one of these at home
Since we've been home, I go out to our road trip car from time to time to bring miscellaneous things back into the house, but I'm quick about it because I don't want the smell of our road trip memories to escape from the open door (even if that smell is mostly dirt and rotten apples).
this is what I look like when I'm stoked (and haven't had a shower)
Chicago bike ride in the rain with friends. Our friend Mark, who took this photo, runs a bike tour company and showed us a good time, despite the rain. 

there aren't waves in Ohio, I looked

our South Dakota to Pennsylvania adventures (including an argument after sleeping behind Chipotle) can be found HERE
the first time either of us surfed the East Coast was in Rhode Island
Rhode Island wedding with the DeMint family
sisters in the city
I had to turn this photo black and white to make the greasiness of our hair and faces less apparent
Dave is a character and a prankster
North Carolina surf

New Orleans felt like a different country; I've never seen anything quite like the plantation grounds that were covered in these ancient trees

homeward bound
All the stories from our trip can be found HERE. And finally, thanks for caring about our adventures. Really. It's been so fun sharing them with you!

What's your favorite trip or adventure you've been on?

Trip Tale Index:


  1. my husband and i were just talking about taking a trip like this! looks amazing!

  2. Glad you had a wonderful experience ! I enjoyed all of your pictures !


  3. i'm so glad you guys are back safe and sound and so happy you had such a great adventure! traveling is such an amazing experience and you are truly never the same after.

  4. This post just makes my heart feel so full... to read about your love for that trip, for this country, and for all that's out there that is still to be discovered. Kudos to you for going after what you were afraid of. While you didn't scale Mount Everest [thank goodness!] you just completed something MAJOR! Something many people want to do but will never have the courage to just do it! But you did.

    These pictures are absolutely breathtaking. I can't get over the sun and the cloud. And New Orleans!!! Now I REALLY need to go there! Thank you for sharing all of this and for your reflections, because like you said, road trips are about so much more than just the trip. They are about the journey :)

  5. Love this post, all the photos are beautiful!

    Took a similar trip years ago and loved it. In fact I would love to do another cross country trip. Our country has so many beautiful, unique places that it's hard to even put into words.

  6. wow-what a great road trip. fab photos-looks a blast-would love to do it-minus the sleeping in walmart carparks ofcourse!

  7. These pictures are awesome!! Looks like you've had quite the fun adventure. I'm considering doing something like this myself!


  8. So fantastic and inspiring all of these pictures are. As soon as my love bird gets out of the Navy we plan on driving cross country, finally. I can't wait. Thanks for sharing!

  9. The entire thing looks beyond words. These pictures are amazing. I think you touched on a really amazing point about the difference between feeling empathy for a place you've never been and one you have. I think that is one of the reasons I find traveling so amazing is that it expands your world and list of loves allowing you to better connect with a larger number of people and wonderful places. It makes us better people in my opinion.

  10. what an unbelievably amazing, beautiful,fun adventure you have had!!

    as always,your photos rock my world :)

  11. You're giving me wanderlust
    That song goes really well to your road trip pics!!! I love the Avett bros!

  12. I love that you did this trip and also that you shared it with all of us. I have always wanted to do this. I think my favorite trip/adventure was our first trip to New Orleans - my 2nd trip there was a bit rocky. I got my wallet stolen and we had to come home early. My 2nd big adventure was our honeymoon - I still have to blog about that but it was during a hurricane in Mexico, scary but adventurous stuff!

  13. What a cool experience. I would love to do something like this, minus the part where I camp.

  14. 'ello! I discovered your blog thanks to Follow Friday. And I love it! Everything about i!

    Your pictures are gorgeous! And, hey, maybe you'll even inspire me to be more adventurous! (let's hope so!) :)

  15. I've been to your blog before, I remember reading your story, but when I saw it on Story of My Life I got so excited when she mentioned a cross country road trip. My husband and I will be moving home next year, driving from California to Massachusetts, and I LOVED reading through all your posts. Can't wait to see what's next!

    Leah :)

  16. I adore your blog.. I just randomly came across it and I have just kept reading and reading.. You have such beautiful pictures and I love how genuinely happy you look in all of them. I'm you newest follower and I look forward to reading more of your adventures!

  17. WOW Devon, this is amazing! Loved this...adventures like these are what I long for. I have never done something like this, but I'd sure love too. :)

  18. Gorgeous pictures. This trip would make a perfect scrapbook. Can't believe y'all were gone for 25 days! So glad you're home safe!

  19. 1. LOVE all your photos. They are gorgeous! I'm jealous of all the places you got to go! I'd love to do something similar some day.
    2. I can confirm that there are not waves in Ohio. Sad :(
    3.I'm glad you made it home safely! I just left California. As much as I love the rest of this country, I know what you mean about being enthralled with the beach and sun.

  20. i love dis. ps are you and caralyn twins?

  21. I just stumbled onto your blog and its very cool. I love all of the changes you've made in your life to stay true to YOU. Really awesome! I live in NYC/CT and my brother lives in San Diego so this was fun for me to read as I appreciated all kinds of aspects of it. I'll definitely be back!

  22. whoo! Way to rep RI. I grew up in Watch Hill, looks like you were maybe in Newport? Such underestimated surf for a small state :)

  23. Sounds like you had such an amazing time on your trip! We drove half way across Canada this summer to visit my family. If you ever decide to do a drive across Canada and find yourself on the pairies let me know. Just to let you know Vancouver Island has some sensational surfing!

  24. WOW what an amazing trip! I am very jealous! We just did a road trip up north to Cairns (I'm in Queensland, Australia) but it was no where as cool as this! :)

  25. WOW what an amazing trip! I am very jealous! We just did a road trip up north to Cairns (I'm in Queensland, Australia) but it was no where as cool as this! :)


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