As most of you know by now, I have settled into my new home in Colorado. Living with my aunt and the family I have out here has been a serious lifesaver during this transition, albeit a little overwhelming! But honestly, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I couldn’t have made this move without my family being out here. So THANK GOD for them!
Moving on from our trip to the Outer Banks, Carly and I set out for Richmond, VA to pick up our friend Rob from the airport before we all embarked on the first leg of our trip!
AVON, NC >>RICHMOND, VA >> NASHVILLE, TN
Carly and I had an incredibly long day on our way to Nashville. We left the Outer Banks bright and early, desperately tried to find an open coffee place, failed miserably, and needless to say, the selfie we took at 6am to mark the start of our trip was the only time we really smiled from Avon to Richmond.
I don’t quite remember where we found coffee, but I know we did find it before we got to Rob in Richmond. That morning is a bit of a blur. We picked Rob up around 10:30/11 from the airport and were off on the 9 hour drive to Nashville! Mind you, Carly and I had already drove 4ish hours that morning. Effing brutal. Thank goodness Carly drove the first leg because I am not a morning person (read: I do not function properly until at least 10am or 3 cups of coffee in, whichever comes first.)
I’ll be honest, there wasn’t much that was super exciting on the actual drive to Nashville. We had this list of ridiculous places we wanted to visit—like a giant butt statue thing that was supposedly somewhere in Tennessee or Virginia. I can’t remember. But we took our first detour in search of this butt and to our dismay, we found it either no longer existed or never existed. Not totally sure. It was a bummer.
We were going to stop in Mayberry and a few other places as well, but as the ride dragged on, we realized we kind of wanted to abandon all unnecessary stops and just GET. TO. NASHVILLE.
So… 9 hours after picking Rob up, we finally got to our Air B&B in Nashville. It was perfect! We basically called an Uber right when we got in so we could go to Broadway and grab something to eat/catch some live music. We went to Jack’s Bar-B-Que for dinner and it was delicious. I couldn’t finish everything I got, but it hands down put the Bluebird back home to shame. Nobody does barbecue like the south!
It’s really funny coming from the north and visiting the southern states because you see just how different the vibes are. When we were in North Carolina, we were shocked by how kind everyone was and the nice Carolina drawls everybody seemed to have. The hospitality didn’t end there, it carried on to Nashville where the accents got thicker and everything just felt like country. Broadway was a really cool place, even though I did kind of feel like I was getting thrown up on with straight neon.
We ended the night at Rippy’s (I think…) to catch one of Carly’s friends from SLU play his gig after dinner. I wish we hadn’t been so exhausted because I would have loved to been able to stick around and visit a few more bars. I’m not too worried though, I have a feeling I’ll be visiting Nashville a lot in the future!
NASHVILLE, TN >> KANSAS CITY, MO
I volunteered to drive the first leg from Nashville to Kansas City, but I think I made it maybe an hour before desperately asking Carly to take over as I was THIS CLOSE to falling asleep at the wheel. And also I had almost rear ended close to four huge-ass trucks. Then when I started zoning out and hitting 95 and Rob had to yell at me to slow down I was like yeah I gotta be done with this. So again, thank goodness for Carly. I think I ended up driving all of two hours that day. Whoops.
Ahhh. What to say about the drive from Nashville to Kansas City. There isn’t a whole lot going on in Tennessee/Kentucky/Illinois/Missouri outside of the major cities. I thought I knew what wide open spaces were coming from Vermont, but as I sat and looked out the window from the backseat (that is, when I wasn’t sleeping…) I couldn’t help but think that I had never seen such a big, blue sky before. There was a beauty to it, the flat land that allowed you to see for miles, and the beautiful blue sky above it, but I know for a fact I could not live in that kind of country. It looks nice on TV, but I’d rather a community with a small town feel that’s 20 minutes away from a major city.
We took a pit stop for an hour in St. Louis and grabbed some lunch before continuing on our way. Once we got to our Air B&B in Kansas City, we had decided that it was definitely going to be a low key night. It wasn’t necessarily a spoken agreement, but Rob, Carly, and I ended up playing a card game for a few hours before all hitting the hay. We’re exciting 20 somethings, but in all honesty, none of us were trying to figure out Kansas City after the second full day of driving. We just wanted OUT OF THE CAR.
KANSAS CITY, MO >> DENVER, CO
Now that Rob and Carly knew I was straight up not able to drive properly in the morning, one of them took the first leg. We left Kansas City at 7am so we could grab an on-the-go breakfast and make it to my aunt’s house by 3 or 4pm. I think we all kind of knew that this day of our road trip, the last day, was going to be the worst day. Not only were we straight up exhausted, but we were driving straight through Kansas to Colorado. And for anyone who’s ever been to Kansas, you know it’s literally the most boring place ever to drive through.
The only good part of Kansas was our detour to Rock City. It was the only one of our original pit stops we made. Rob’s a climber and was super into it, Carly and I made the best of it. If we’re being real here, I didn’t have any desire to go at all but ended up figuring why not? Life’s short, let’s see Rock City. It was actually pretty cool, fun to climb atop the rocks and everything. The one thing that sucked about it though? Kansas has some BIG fucking mosquitoes. I’ve never seen mosquitoes so big! And I’ve never had bites so big. And itchy. But it was worth it.
With Rock City behind us, we continued on to Denver (really, Westminster—which is about 20 minutes outside of Denver). We finally pulled in around 4pm and were SO THRILLED. And ready for a drink. We had some dinner with the family and drank a few bottles of wine… Played some cards again… Then the next evening Carly had her flight home. Rob was moving to Fort Collins and he thankfully stuck around with us for one more day of exploring in Colorado.
I took them to Rocky Mountain National Park and so in turn we also drove through Estes. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of my favorite places to visit in the whole world. You just can’t beat the views, and I was so happy to get to take them both there for their first times. After the park and grabbing some lunch in Estes, we went into Boulder for a bit and walked up and down Pearl St. We grabbed a beer at Walnut Brewery, then it was time to take Carly to the airport.
Saying goodbye to Carly made the move seem so much more real since she’s basically my person. We both knew how hard it was going to be for her to get on the plane back home without me, but we both also knew that this move was the right choice for me—albeit incredibly hard. I do have to say how thankful I was to have her with me in the Outer Banks the week before when my anxiety was at it’s PEAK, and for listening to my worries and fears relentlessly about the move throughout the week. I was even more thankful to have her on the road trip out with me, and that we were able to add to our already long list of memories we will never forget! After Rob and I left the airport, I made him drive and then proceeded to cry all the way to Fort Collins (bless you Rob for putting up with it), and after dropping Rob, was back off to Westminster to start my new life. Stay tuned for how that shit pans out.
OH. and wish me luck!