Archive for April, 2018

My Most Recent Road Trip

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Photo courtesy of

My Most Recent Road Trip

Chicago was our destination. I had always wanted to visit the Windy City, but now I was relocating to live there. My fiancée and I left Los Angeles around 10:00 a.m. on a pleasant day near the end of September. She was a native Chicagoan whom I had met in Los Angeles, and I was excited to travel with her by my side.

We had mapped it out, so we drove the Southern route, going through Arizona, New Mexico, north Texas, a portion of the Oklahoma Panhandle, up through Saint Louis, and into Illinois. We stopped overnight in Kingman, AZ the first night; Flagstaff, Az the second night; and Tulsa, OK the third night. From there we drove the rest of the way and arrived in Chicago three days later.

Three things made this trip so special. There was the the beautiful scenery along the way; the pleasant weather we encountered all the way to Chicago; sharing the drive with the love of my life; and knowing that we would eventually settle down in “Chi Town.” It didn’t get any better than that.

Seven years earlier, I had taken a solo road trip to Houston to visit my parents. The route along Interstate 10 from Los Angeles was long, flat, tiring, and not very scenic. It seemed like I would never arrive, although I listened to my music CDs while driving. But having a driving companion made all the difference in the world on my Chicago trip. And for that, as well as for her, I remain extremely grateful.

Having spent most of my life in California, I love the variety of landscapes indigenous to the western U.S. The mountains, hills, ocean, deserts, agricultural fields, rivers, and national parks, all combine to make the Golden State one of the most diverse in the country. I found it intriguing to observe how the landscape gradually changed as we left California behind. Quite noticeable was the flattening of the terrain, as mountains and hills gave way to flatland.

“I’ll have to make that adjustment,” I thought to myself as we inched ourselves closer to the Central Plains and up toward the Midwest. But I was willing to see how it would turn out.

Upon arriving in Chicago, we were grateful to rest and take it easy for a few days. No matter how pleasant, road trips can be exhausting, especially since I did all the driving. From this point forward, when we travel, I prefer to fly and rent a car when we arrive at our destination. Still, the memories of this road trip will last forever, as will my joy at sharing this experience with the woman of my dreams.

Unfortunately, my first winter in Illinois was the third coldest since records have been kept. The snowfall was relentless, and I had a difficult time adjusting. Further, I had never had to commute in the snow, nor dig my car out from under two to four feet of snow. Honestly, I didn’t think I would ever spend another winter in Chicago.

But I survived it, and this past winter was not as intense. There was less snow, although the cold weather took its time before finally departing. Still, I remember the fond memories of driving to Chicago from Los Angeles, and those memories of my most recent road trip will last forever.

Have you taken a recent road trip? What was your experience like? Leave a comment and share your details.