Friday, September 6, 2013

Our drive to Alaska Part 1

So I have definitely been lacking in posting about our four part drive to Alaska! I meant to begin doing these posts like a week and a half ago, but have been so busy and wanted to put other blog posts first. Without further ado, here we go!

Basically, Jarrett and I left Virginia early August and said "see you later" to everyone there before spending some time with the rest of our family and friends in Maryland. We spent a little less than a week in Maryland and somehow managed to squeeze in pretty much everyone before leaving for good. I still cannot believe how many people that we visited with/visited us in that short time. When Wednesday came, I was ready. I was ready because I had seen everyone, we said our "see you laters", everyone wished us luck, and I finally felt at peace with the day actually being here. I thought I would dread that Wednesday, but it turns out, I didn't. I thought I would dread the moment that I really left my mom, but I didn't. I mean, it was hard. Very hard deep down inside, but I somehow pulled through and so did she. There were not a billion and one tears, so that made us both feel better.

Our truck was packed from back to front with two months worth of our belongings. There was so much stuff that I can't believe that we fit it all in there. Thank goodness for the awesome truck cover that Jarrett remembered to get. We were able to keep everything organized better that way, plus our stuff would not get wet when it rained. Whew. Then came Leo. We were very worried about how he would act on this trip. He is known to get car sick and sometimes he can be very uneasy in a moving vehicle. We decided to buy a pet calming pill and add it in with his Dramamine that we usually gave him on car rides to Maryland. It always worked pretty well for him. The combo of pills worked wonders on him the first day and then for the rest of the drive. We had a perfect little angel the whole entire way. Another whew!! Our little boy surprised us big time with just how strong he was. All he did was cuddle up to us and sleep every day. Of course we stopped every two hours to take a break and let him out. We got into a routine with him and it all worked out much better than we had imagined. All and all, it took us eleven days to drive from Salisbury, Maryland to Anchorage, Alaska! We made great time because the military usually predicts about thirteen days, so they give you thirteen days of pay for your drive and whatever you have left over you keep. We made great time even though we took a day off to rest and unwind in North Dakota.

Day One consisted of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Basically we drove about eight to ten hours a day with some days only being six to seven hours long. We started out strong the first half of the drive so we could have some shorter days. Our first night, we stopped at a Best Western hotel in Ohio. Of course when you're traveling with a dog, you have to find pet friendly hotels. As long as we were still in the US, we would just book our hotels as we got close to a stopping point for the day. After our first day of driving, we really felt good about the trip because we were making good time already and Leo was doing so well. On day two, we drove the rest of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Little did we know that the hotel that we booked was smack dab in the middle of Chicago!! Although it was nice to get to see Chicago so close up, by the next morning we were ready to get out of that city. Way too much hustle and bustle for us. On day three we drove the rest of Illinois, Wisconsin and stayed in Minnesota for the night where we did some more grocery shopping to add to our cooler. I loved Minnesota! We stayed in St. Pauls and we loved it! On day four we drove the rest of Minnesota and drove a little further into North Dakota about an hour from the Canadian border where we stayed two nights in the nicest La Quinta Inn we've ever seen before. Our room was HUGE and we knew that we needed to take a day off to recharge and rest in that nice room.
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