Tag Archives: USA road trip

Adventure planning


the open road - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

We’re full steam ahead in the planning stages for our next adventure. No name for the trip or anything yet, but accommodations are booked, national parks have been chosen and the route has officially taken shape. We’re open to suggestions and hoping you’ll come along with us for the ride. Read the rest of this entry

National Parks, Forests and Canyons…Mother Nature’s Magic!



Now, we all know, I’m a water girl. There’s not an ocean you could show me that I would dislike. Pop me on a body of sand; add in some salty sea air, the crush of white caps of waves on the shoreline and a heavy dose of Vitamin D and I’m one happy girl. Like in all travel, it seems that the internal learning is sometimes greater than the external and I for certain, have learned on this trip. Who knew I’d be taken with features of land?

Knowing we’d have the opportunity to visit national parks across the country, we purchased the national parks annual pass. For $80, access is granted to your vehicle for national parks and countless other national entities for an entire year. The first week or so of our journey was mainly cities and large swaths of land dotted throughout by cattle, farmlands and changing scenery but even more amazing bits of natural beauty was yet to come. Read the rest of this entry

New Mexico: Land of Enchantment


Welcome to New Mexico

It’s exceptionally easy to understand where New Mexico gets its name. Known as the land of enchantment, I can honestly say it’s the prettiest state I’ve ever seen. Driving west on Route 40 from Amarillo (Texas), New Mexico welcomes you with open arms. Yellows, greens, browns, ambers, oranges and reds pop along the open plains speckled with jumping junipers. The land meets the bluest of blue skies at the horizon as the cotton ball-like clouds float above just out of fingertip reach. As the sunlight dances on earth’s terra firma, nothing but beautiful strips of nature are beside us while an entire state embraces guests. Read the rest of this entry

In the Middle


The license plates on the cars in the car park of the Oklahoma City Holiday Inn this morning said it all. There were cars from New York, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and more. The road is open to all. The last few days we have awakened to news of more violence around the world. Deplorable acts on innocent people have left hearts aching on all continents. Discrimination is unacceptable. The road does not discriminate, the road says otherwise. The open roads around the world call to travelers of all ages and stages in search of that ever elusive ‘something’ that only the road provides. These last few days we’ve had the privilege of being part of that wonderful diversity on the open road. Read the rest of this entry

Protests, presidents and a positive attitude


Welcome to Arkansas

From Memphis, Tennessee to Little Rock, Arkansas is a straight shot on route 40 West. Within minutes of heading out of Memphis the ‘Welcome to Arkansas’ sign greets travelers in the middle of a bridge welcoming visitors to The Natural State! It was on this road (so far in the trip) that I felt we were reliving a scene out of Thelma and Louise. Driving on the open road amidst the endless plains alongside trucks and travelers alike, we were in middle America. We’ve passed silos and farms, grains, tractors and trailers, country towns and suburban sprawls and made our way down the two-lane highway as so many have done before and millions more will after us. It could have been a scene out of any movie or a page out of history and we remembered again just how lucky we are to be able to traverse these lane ways. Read the rest of this entry

Tales from Tennessee


the Grand Ole Opry

I’ve wanted to go to Nashville since I met my friend, Naomi, my first week at Brandeis University. Since that first meeting, I’ve visited her four times and have seen a new part of this city and its surroundings each time. This was Mat’s first time in the home of country music and we had a blast! Getting to take in a show where the Grand Ole Opry got its start (at the Ryman Auditorium) was incredible. It was as if we were living a scene out of a movie. The radio announcer for WSM Radio had a podium in the corner of the stage and not only introduced each act, but in between, did the commercials for places such as Cracker Barrel and Dollar General. As he spoke, his voice sounded perfectly built for radio and although it took a minute to realize that we were all now on the radio, it felt as time stood still and the world of television did not yet exist. There was something pretty special about sitting in those pews where so many have sat before us. In this place where newcomers share the same stage with country royalty and fans get up close interactions with their favourite stars or those who will soon become favourites, magic happens. This was an experience in itself. Read the rest of this entry

Fresh Air, Family and Firearms


The husband's chicken and waffles at Miss Shirley's in Baltimore

The road trip has begun! It’s amazing that with such little direction we feel so very grounded. As always, travel has treated us to a metaphor for life. Having set off with a car filled with belongings to cover over 3000 miles across the country, our first two stops have been with family. Baltimore was first for a quick 24 hours, which of course, included a brekkie of utter deliciousness at Miss Shirley’s Cafe in the Inner Harbour. After a rejiggering of car possessions, a space bag mishap, endless rain, a three-hour trek to touch the inside of the West Virginia border and countless country roads we entered North Carolina and the weekend began! Read the rest of this entry