I just survived a road trip to Georgia…with a one year old in tow. I have always claimed to hate road trips, and this one had it’s moments, but overall I really did enjoy the experience. There were a few meltdowns (both me and Edith), but we all survived without any threat of divorce or adoption. On our 16 hour drive we traveled through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally Georgia where we got to see a beautiful couple get married (Congrats Dave and Barbara!)
My eyes were really opened to how amazing it is that we live in this huge country that has so many climates, landscapes, and cultures. I have been to Branson, Missouri on a number of horrible family vacations and never realized that the entire state (not only the Ozarks) is covered in beautiful bluffs and trees. You get to drive through and see the layers of red earth and every color of tree. The people of Missouri were all gems too. Well I guess I should say the old people we encountered at a McDonald’s were. Every single one of them said good morning to us and gave Edith a cute wave or smile. This was a welcome change a day after I was at a mall in Omaha and surrounded by old ladies who ignored me, and refused to hold door for me despite needing help maneuvering with a stroller… humph!
It was such a great time of year for this trip. The trees were turning, and really changed from the beginning of the trip to the end. Nearing Nashville we drove through these large hills. It was morning and with the fog, I felt like we were in a rain-forest. And close to Chattanooga we saw a natural spring/waterfall coming out of the rocks next to the interstate. The Smoky Mountains are completely deserving of their name. The low and intense fog makes you feel like you are driving into a giant fire. Northern Georgia was just as gorgeous as the rest of the trip. We drove over Lake Lanier several times. It’s a sight you just don’t see in Nebraska, the red clay banks and forests lining the lake. In Georgia, we also saw signs almost every mile that there were boiled peanuts for sale. We didn’t stop to partake of them, honestly they sound gross, but it was cool to see so many people selling things near the road.
Even though I enjoyed traveling through this part of the country I am still happy to be living in Nebraska. There may not be mountains, big lakes, or tree-lined roads, but it’s clean, safe, and there are never pedestrians on the interstate (I’m talking about you Missouri). I think about how much I have yet to discover about Nebraska and then I think about the rest of the country and I get overwhelmed. I really hope the whole “buy local” trend expands to traveling. We all have so much to appreciate right where we are.