I lived in Florida for thirty-five years and therefore never had to experience a move more than 25 miles within my own state. I was a little anxious over all the things that “could” go wrong during my move like flat tires, getting robbed, getting into an accident, etc. But my cross-country move from FL to AZ really could not have gone much better than it did and I’m truly thankful for that blessing.
On September 27, Chayet and I packed up a Penske truck and car trailer and started loading up our minimal belongings for out trip out West!
We packed up and loaded the car on a trailer and said one last goodbye to his mom, my parents and my fur baby, Pearl.
I had already made peace with my departure and although I knew I was going to miss my family and friends, I was so excited for this next phase of my life, that tears did not come. If you know me, you know that is rare since I cry about EVERYTHING. We got on the road by noon, leaving our ghetto apartment at Lake Magdalene cleaner than when we moved in, and happier than ever to be heading out on this monumental life change (for me) together. Moving around is nothing for Chayet. He has lived in many states and even another country, but for me, this 35-year-old that has lived in Florida her whole life, well this was a big deal for me.
I have never truly been on a road trip. I took a trip from Florida to North Carolina so I guess that counts as a road trip, but that was a trip on a tight timeframe, getting there by a certain time for an event and no stopping along the way. So this cross-country trip was very exciting for me. We planned on taking our time, stopping so I could get pictures with each of the state signs we passed (that was very important to me), stopping if something looked fun or interesting, spending some time in a few cities along the way, etc. There was no agenda.
We had 7 days with that truck and planned on a stress free journey. That being said, we were really excited to get to Arizona and move into our new apartment and let’s me honest, no one wants to be in a truck for more than you have to! By the last day, we were over sitting in the truck and just wanted to be there already!
We only got a hotel one night and spent the night in the car on the trailer the rest of the time. It was fun…sort of. I’m kind of chicken and for some reason constantly think someone is going to rob me, kill me or rape me so sleeping in the car at a rest area and behind a dark closed gas station in the Middle of No Where, TX was a test for me. I think I passed with flying colors because I actually slept!
We stopped at several neat places along the way and I wanted to share a few with you. The first was Derailed Diner in Robertsdale, AL. Seriously, it’s a kids dream and since Chayet and I are practically kids ourselves, it was right up our ally.
And check out this little saddle!!! I know I can’t have kids but that thing made me drop some serious eggs – I couldn’t take thinking of a little one sitting astride a pony on that little saddle!
Hitting Texas was fun, and I have to say it was the biggest “Hey, welcome to our state” attraction than all the others. Most just had a small sign, or even a small visitor center. Not Texas – nope, they did it big.
One thing that also sped up our journey was gas – holy moly filling up that truck hurt! We really tried our best to keep our speed low, most often going a good 10 mph UNDER the posted speed limit. But that truck was a gas hog and even though we planned and saved for months for the cost of the truck and gas, it still hurt every time we had to fill it up and see those savings dwindle!
We planned on spending the most “down time” on the journey in Austin, Texas. We arrived late and got a hotel since we knew we would be spending the majority of the next day there and both were in desperate need of a shower! Getting in a bed felt so good!!!
While in Austin we paid a visit to the headquarters for one of our favorite companies, Onnit. Let me tell you, we loved the company and their products before, but after our visit, we love them even more. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted with friendly smiles and helpful attitudes. We were even given a tour of the facility, which was totally unexpected but totally awesome. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful and you could tell they truly loved their jobs and loved the company they worked for. Chayet even got a special treat. After we had left, we realized we didn’t get our receipt so we pulled back around and he ran in real quick to get it. Well it took him longer than it should have and when he came out, grinning like a fool, he informed me that he got to meet the owner and founder of the company, Aubrey Marcus! He had just arrived to do his podcast for the day and Chayet got to meet him and get a picture with him! Let me tell you – it made Chayet’s day!
We left there so excited and ready for our next planned venture in Austin – Mellow Johnny’s. Mellow Johnny’s is Lance Armstrong’s bike shop in Austin. Chayet has been an avid cyclist for years and a huge Lance supporter so we had to make a trip to the shop while there. It’s a great shop but one of the most amazing things I learned was that the entire staff is extremely knowledgeable. Most have years and years of cycling experience and knowledge. In fact, the guy who helped us raced professionally for over 25 years before one too many concussions forced him to retire professionally. He and Chayet enjoyed bantering about technical things cycling related that I know nothing of, and in the end, I walked out of there with a steal on a brand new Masi single speed. I think Chayet was more excited about my new bike than I was purely because it was purchased at that shop!
We also grabbed a drink from the coffee shop attached to the bike shop called Juan Pelota Cafe – if you don’t know what that means, look it up. Pretty clever name!
Based on where we were and how far we still had to go, we realized that we were not going to make our intended move in date, which was no big deal. It was only frustrating because we only missed it by about 20 minutes. The ladies at our new complex couldn’t stay late and we still needed to get a cashier’s check from our bank, so we ditched that plan and hopped on Hotels.com to find a room for the night once we arrived in Phoenix. What started off as frustrating, turned into a wonderful experience.
We found a great rate online for the Saguaro in Scottsdale and after parking the Penske at our apartment complex, we headed over to check in. The lobby alone was amazing. It was very modern and artsy and super colorful. After such a long road trip. all the colors seemed to revive me and make me smile. We got to our room and were yet again greeted by COLOR and that color was PINK!!!
We rushed out to grab some dinner and then back to the hotel for showers and bed. We were exhausted and just ready to sleep in a nice, comfy bed. The next morning we took our time and explored the hotel grounds and amenities and had a wonderful breakfast outside. We both wished we had more time to truly enjoy all that the hotel had to offer because it was a truly lovely place. Here are some photos we took while wandering around.
As you can see, they really like color! We made a deal that we would go back sometime, maybe for our anniversary, and really enjoy all they had to offer. We were just ready to get moved into our apartment so we checked out and headed to the bank for a cashier’s check and then finally, to our new home in Arizona!
Not sure if you can tell or not but I’m kind of in love with the views already!
So there you have it – my road trip out West! This Florida girl is settling in nicely and really enjoying getting to know my new state. I’m also excited for all the adventures to come! Stay tuned!