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?


PIN THIS FOR LATER

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 had a few windy days in the #FloridaKeys this week that stirred up the waters. It created the most gorgeous colors in the Atlantic Ocean including this area at Sombrero Beach.
  • We miss waking up on the Celebrity Edge. That's all.
  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
⁣
We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
⁣
Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
⁣
The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
⁣
Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska