The Drive From West Coast to East Coast

2785 miles   
Estimated driving: 5-6 days (8-10 hours/day)
Estimated non-driving: 1 day
# Of States to cross 8  (CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, TN, NC)
Total Travel time 6-7days 

April 5th the movers arrived and they were finished by 2.30pm and 3.00pm we were on the road. 1st stop Fresno, CA to visit my sister Kathy, her husband Jon and son Jordan. We had a very nice dinner with them, then off to moms in Wonder Valley. We had a good visit with the family, then a great surprise Ray (my dad for the past 24yrs) came home from work early. It was great that he was able to get off work because I wanted to make sure we had a good visit with him too. 

Day 2 Destination: Phoenix, AZ

We leave Wonder Valley for a 9-˝ hour drive to Phoenix, AZ. We decided to take the route through LA. There was some traffic through San Bernardino, but it seemed like all in all the trip didn’t take too long. W passed by Palm Springs and some beautiful desert scenery. Once we arrived in Phoenix, we just stopped along the freeway at any hotel. Well, once we checked in at about 9pm, we went for a walk and discovered that we weren’t in the greatest of neighborhoods. Oh well it was just for a couple of nights.

Day 3 Spend the day in the Phoenix area

We were able to get a good nights rest then up to meet Cathy (sister) at her new place of business (McDick’s Yard Sale). It was great to see Cathy so happy and running her own business. The shop was really nice and they had loads of Antiques, Collectibles and Furniture. That day Cathy also brought in some of her Siamese kittens that she had for sale. The store was pretty busy so we only stay about 45 minutes.

Later that day we drove over to Cathy’s house to see our nephews after they arrived home from school. It was great spending the afternoon with them and catching up with Robert (16), Michael (14) and Dennis (13). I wish we had more time to spend, but we planned a pretty busy day and evening. You see for the evening we made plans to have dinner with the Wootan’s.

Side note:  Who are the Wootan’s?

Well, way back in my high school days I was an avid babysitter. I managed to juggle babysitting for 5 different neighborhood families from the age of 13yrs. Bert and Marla Wootan lived across the street and had 3 cute little kids: (Leah 7, Kristen 6 and BJ 3 - Ages are approximate). I not only babysat, but that was my regular hang out after school with Marla. 

After a couple of years, the family moved to Mesa, AZ. I obviously lost my job, but we have maintained our friendships over the past 20… yrs. I visited them in AZ a couple of times. They would spend their family summer vacations in Southern CA and I would occasionally pop by. During this time they managed to have a couple more kids Melaine and Tanner. 

That evening we met the Beautiful Wootan Clan for dinner and WOW have they grown. It’s funny I still feel 13, but they are all grown and have loads of munchkins themselves. I can’t explain what a pleasure it was to see all of them and have them meet Alan. The visit and evening was far too brief, but we had to stay on our driving schedule. Back to the hotel for a good nights rest.

Day 4 Destination: Albuquerque, NM

We hopped in the car 1st thing in the morning and headed out. There were many routes to take. We decided to head north via Flagstaff, as neither of us had been through there. A few hours later we were in Flagstaff and stopped for some lunch. After lunch we came out to the jeep and realized that we never checked out of our hotel. Panic!  It was already past check out and we didn’t want to be charged for another day and it is a few hours back. Luckily we had their business card and gave them a call. We were good to go, but wait the jeep is covered with a million bugs. It was as if while we were in The Olive Garden someone dumped syrup all over the car and every bug in the city was on it. Only thing was no one dumped any syrup. We tried to shoo them away and then hopped in the jeep and drove fast until they blew away.

We made it to Albuquerque and decided to push ourselves and try to pass each destination by an hour or so. That’s exactly what we did. We stopped for the night in Santa Rosa, NM. We treated ourselves to a nicer hotel this night that actually had a Jacuzzi. After checking in and driving forever, we went out to the Jacuzzi and soaked our tired bods. There was a group of people out there already and we all started to chat. Turns out they were all Scuba divers there to dive The Blue Hole (famous, so they say). We were out there for quite a while and had turned in to wet soggy prunes. Time to call it a night. 

Day 5 Destination: Oklahoma City, OK

By this time we were beat! After leaving NM we had to cross the tip of the Texas Panhandle then into a long stretch of Oklahoma. Out of the sculpted desert and into a vast open space of farmlands. Can’t think of much for this leg of the trip, other than having to stop about every 2 hours to clean the windshield. You see ever since our bug problem in Flagstaff we were cursed. We hit every bug out there big and small and it was so thick we had trouble seeing out the window in broad daylight.  Well we zipped through these states and stayed in a little town near the Oklahoma / Arkansas border. Up the next morning and off for another long day of driving. 

Day 5 Destination: Nashville, TN

We tried our best not to eat fast food for every meal and to get in our fruits, veggies and water at every meal. Today we thought we should have a proper breakfast and what better place than an establishment by the name of Waffle House. We could have a nice hearty breakfast to get us through the day. How could we go wrong?  Well, let me tell you… the place was filthy, waitresses call you Hun and don’t come out from behind the counter, the hash browns tasted like 10day old grease and the silverware was dirty.  By this time Denny’s would have been a luxury.

On we go across the Oklahoma / Arkansas border. We were now entering the land of green hills and huge luscious trees. It must be known that we also passed by the World Famous - Toad Suck Park, AR. Don’t ask me! I am just tellin’ it like we sees it. Needless to say things were a bit different than what we are accustomed, but beautiful country. We managed to make it just beyond Nashville and stopped for the night. 

Day 6 Destination: Morrisville, NC

This was pushing it, but we were anxious to arrive at our new home. We did over 12 hours of driving on this day just so we wouldn’t have to drive another long day. Tennessee was full of rolling green hills. Every inch of that state that we drove through was very pretty. Along the freeway gorgeous blossoms everywhere. Shades we have never seen before. Peaches, creams, pinks, fuchsia, purple, white, orange, reds and the list goes on. It was as though someone popped us into a beautiful watercolor. We were a day behind a storm the entire trip, but in Tennessee it finally caught up to us. We had rain the rest of the way.

Now into the mountains in North Carolina, thick lush trees and misty fog and drizzly rain. We made it! We crossed into our new state. WOO HOO! Now only 5 more hours and we will be home.  We arrived into Cary, NC late that evening and checked into our hotel. We did arrive a day earlier than planned, so the next morning we went by our town home to pick up the keys. We remained at the hotel for a couple of days until our furniture arrived.

By Friday our furniture was being unloaded and now time to unpack and settle in. 

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