The Long Trip Home.

Hooooooooome sweet home!  But it took a long time to get here.  Our original plan was to leave Tuesday (today), and get up super early so that our entire drive would be in daylight.  But Monday morning we got up and Casey took a look at his work schedule, discovering meetings lined up for Tuesday afternoon – whoops.  We considered going Wednesday instead, but that made me really sad.  I haven’t been home since May, and that was for the marathon – I was reaaaally looking forward to a good, long visit.

So at 8am Monday morning, with nothing packed or ready to go, we started scrambling around the house to suddenly throw everything together for an 8 day trip.  At 10:30am, we rolled out of Alexandria with two very nervous dogs and a car packed with stuff.

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Casey was a total champ and drove for the first SEVEN hours of our nine hour drive.

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While I provided food, music, and entertainment.  :)

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We started out in the Virginia countryside, which eventually took us to Maryland.

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The weather was great for driving, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

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We’ve done a lot of long road trips in our day, but this was our first time driving from Virginia to Ohio so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect.

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After whining and pacing for about 30 minutes, the dogs settled down and got comfortable.

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Usually when we go on road trips, I’ll head to the store before we leave and pick up some good healthy snack options, so that we don’t have to stop a lot for food on the road.  But since we unexpectedly left a day early, I was forced to scramble and find what little food was left in our house.  A pack of delicious hamburger rolls from the Gourmet deli down the street…

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And a bunch of granola and snack bars to get us through.

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Lots of COFFEE to help us stay awake and stay alert.

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This will definitely always be remembered as the road trip where we snacked on giant hamburger rolls all day long. 

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Indy was very jealous of them.

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I had no idea that our drive would take us so high up into the mountains.  As we got into West Virginia and Pennsylvania, we climbed up, up, UP!

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And the higher we climbed, the lower the outside temperature dropped.  It also got very SNOWY!

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The highest elevation sign I saw was 3,000 feet, and I was very ready to come down when we finally got through them.  The mountains were super snowy and scary, and I felt like my head was going to explode from all the pressure changes.

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We stopped a few times to let the pups stretch their legs and drink some water.  They are actually surprisingly VERY good on road trips – gives me hope that maybe we can do this more often. 

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They usually pace around for about 10 minutes, and then curl up and go to sleep on their dog beds the rest of the way.

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The mountains made me really nervous and sick feeling, so I distracted myself by eating a terrifying amount of hamburger rolls.

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And then just in time for a pretty sunset, we made it to OHIO!

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Unfortunately, we still had three hours to go, but it still felt great to be back in my home state.

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Just before 8pm, we rolled up to our destination after more than nine loooong hours in the car.   Home sweet home!  Well, not really home, but definitely sweet.  Casey and I are staying in my best friend’s apartment while she is Christmasing in Mexico (so jealous).  It’s so nice for us to have our own space that we can take the dogs (my mom’s house has too many cats).  A million thanks to Lindsey for letting us take over her home for the week – it feels so weird to be here without her!

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The dogs have been to her front door many many times before, but they had never actually been inside until last night (because she used to have a cat).  They were pretty pumped.

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The best greeting of all was finding my mom and little sister waiting inside with a giant bag of Thai food – YUM!  I told Sarah to just order something that she knew I would like, and she hit a home run – steamed veggies with crispy tofu and peanut sauce.  Yuuuuuum.

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Shared with family – the best Christmas gift of all.

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The pups aren’t quite sure what to think about being back in Cincinnati.  Even though we are at Lindsey’s place which is new to them, we actually used to live just two doors down from here!  I think they can definitely sense that something is very familiar.

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It feels good to be home.  :)

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I have a long day of last-minute Christmas errands planned, along with trips to the post office, and other things.  Going to go steal my little sister and drag her around town with me.  Wheeeeee!

Who else is road tripping this year?  How long is your drive?