When we returned from our 5,000 mile road trip through the Southeast, we told you that we’d be locking ourselves into our house in Nebraska so we could write all about it.

Our 5000 mile road trip

And this map doesn’t even include the driving we did at our various destinations!

And, with the exception of a seven course whole-hog Valentine’s Day dinner at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, (read about that HERE) we’ve been pretty good about staying on task. After seeing that meal, can you blame us for getting a little off course?


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surviving a road trip with your spouse


Anyway, we returned to Crete, and have since been barricaded in our home, mostly because it keeps snowing. But, after taking the snowblower for a walk every morning, we’ve been working away on stories for our blog. We can’t wait to share some of the highlights from our trip with you.

Our 5,000 mile road trip

The journey began when we left our Nebraska home and spent a few days in Oklahoma with our daughter, Meghan. A couple days after Christmas, we set out from Pawhuska (Handy’s pops in hand) and pointed the car southeast.

Because of Ann’s achy joints and our desire to stop and see some things along the way, we only drove 4-5 hours a day. With stops in places like Bentonville, Arkansas, and Greenville, Mississippi, we slowly worked our way into a warmer climate. By the time we arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in time for a beautiful hosted dinner at Coast Restaurant, it was positively lovely. From there, we skirted along the Gulf Coast before turning south and driving the length of Florida. On this leg of the trip we even got to make an unexpected stop in Orlando when our car broke down. The nice folks at the dealership there were great and got us to our scheduled stop at the Downton Abbey Exhibition in West Palm Beach in plenty of time.

Next, we parked the car in Fort Lauderdale for a week while we boarded the new Celebrity Cruises Edge. We took a seven-night cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard the brand new ship and loved every minute of it. I mean, look at this rooftop garden!

After the cruise, we drove on south to visit my folks in Marathon, Florida. And because we were so close, we went on down to Mile Marker 0 in Key West. You guessed it. It was all north from there.

Heading north

We left the Keys, heading north via Orlando and a dinner at Universal CityWalk and went on to Atlanta the next day. We saw one of Ann’s former colleagues and then toured the magnificent Georgia Aquarium. Lamenting it was getting cold again, we headed back west towards Oklahoma and made some interesting stops along the way.

Quapaw Baths

By the time we got back home, we’d gone more than 5,000 miles sitting next to each other in the car. Believe it or not, we still love each other! Really love each other. We honestly enjoy being together and the time in car gave us a chance to talk, sing, and just enjoy each other. We did discover, however, that we could go an hour or more at a time without talking because after five weeks of close togetherness, there really wasn’t much more to say. And that was OK.

As you might guess, we’ve got quite a bit to tell, and we can’t wait to share. We hope you’ll find some travel inspiration and a few tips along the way. If you have not subscribed to our email list, this would be a great time so that you don’t miss anything! Just put your email in the box below.

As always, thanks for following along on our journeys and travel well!

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.

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