Monday, August 12, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 10

We left Ohio around mid-day and headed south for a final day of travel to our final destination of South Carolina!  Woo Hoo!

As we left Ohio we entered Kentucky and even better than a road sign, we got a photo of Vante at the FIRST Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant! She was very interested in the smells. 

By this time Vante was used to us carrying her around outside the car.  After our photos she totally relaxed in my arms.  What a pro!  
For this part of the trip we had lost our co-pilots and it was just Vante and I in the car.  She took full advantage of the passenger seat and spread out for her naps.   During a particularly boring and unpopulated part of our drive I snapped this quick photo of Vante racked out with her leg propped up.  (She's so stinking cute!)

Then we were off again and entered Tennessee a few miles later.  We missed the road sign.
Then we hit the North Carolina state line and we stopped at the sign but I refused to get out of the car.  It just wasn't safe for me to tote Vante out there in that itty bitty shoulder.  So we made up for it by stopping at the North Carolina welcome center and got this great photo of Miss V!
Several hours later we said goodbye to NC and entered our final state on this trip--South Carolina!!!
We finished our drive around 12:30 a.m. that morning.  We were all happy to get out of our cars and get some shut-eye.  So, after 10 days of travel and 16 states we can finally call our journey complete.

I did some digging and highlighted in pink are all of the states that Vante has visited.  That's 21 states in 4 years!  She's a well traveled girl!

Here's the list:
Arizona--she went on a weekend trip out there
California--she visited my USAF reserve unit out there multiple times



Minnesota--layover for our trip to Alaska
Nevada--2009-2013 she lived there
North Carolina

Virginia--Vante and my husband went there while I was in Afghanistan

South Carolina--2013 to present, her new home state!
South Dakota
Utah--Best Friends Animal Society for 10 years
Washington State--layover for our trip home from Alaska

As we settle into our new home I'll take photos and share. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 8 & 9

Folks, sorry for the delayed post.  We have moved into our new house & have been busy trying to clean carpets, set up internet, electricity, water, etc.  So please forgive our tardiness. 

Vante doesn't love the new house, even though she has her own room again.  It's just because we have no furniture here yet.  So it doesn't feel like home.  Just a blow up mattress, a card table w/4 folding chairs, her cat cube furniture.  To try to help her settle in, today I bought a wingback chair for her at a thrift store for her room.  She's napping in it as I type and loving it.  :)  Yeah!

Anyway, back to the cross country travels.  Day 8 & 9 we explored Ohio.  My husband has family there, my sister and I shopped, and Vante caught up on her sleep and enjoyed staying in one place and out of a moving car.
There were geese outside the window in the grass, but Vante just wanted to nap. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 7

This was a crazy day of driving.  We went through 4 states & drove for 11 hours, and that's not including stops!  So let's get started, I'm tired just remembering this marathon driving day.

We spent the morning driving through Iowa.  Lots of corn.  
 Mid-day we began our trek through Illinois.  No photo op since the state line is on a bridge due to the Mississippi River.
 The Indiana state line was beautiful with the tall grasses.  Quite possibly my favorite photo yet. 
We left Indiana and crossed into Ohio around 10 p.m.  Due to the fact that it was night and also another state line that you can't take a photo at, we got creative with this photo.  (Special thanks to Ed for lending his expertise for this photo.)
We ended Day 7 in Cincinnati.  Exhausted but happy. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 6

Day 6 & we're on the move again.  The day started by leaving Rapid City, SD and driving East with a destination of Omaha, Nebraska!

First stop--Badlands National Park!

Vante is sitting down--I promise!
There were no cars, or cows in sight so it was completely safe to let her explore the sign for a minute or two.  She enjoyed it.
We entered Nebraska, but they didn't have an accessible sign.  So we made our own photo op.
Nebraska!  We took this photo outside our hotel the next morning.
Stay tuned for Day 7--4 states!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 5

On Day 5 (July 20th) we left our hotel in West Yellowstone and headed East.  But not before taking a photo!
We drove East through the park and enjoyed a few final sights along the way.  
Driving out/in the Eastern side of the park you go through the famous Roosevelt Arch.
We left Montana & entered Wyoming. 

Then we  entered South Dakota.  This was a first for everybody on the trip!  We had to wake up Vante for this photo & she wasn't interested in posing for the camera, but we had fun. 

Vante, my sister Joy, & I.
 Some bozo had drawn mustaches on all the presidents.  It's funny, but not.

We drove for about 10 hours total that day.  At 8:30 p.m. we pulled up at Mt Rushmore!  
I had no idea how far away and high up the monument was until I saw it with my own eyes.  It really is impressive!
We were just in time for their 9 p.m. presentation.  We were so tired that we didn't get any photos of Vante at the park sign.  There is a parking garage where you park and walk into the park area.  We couldn't bring Vante into the park so she waited in the car.  But it was a nice, cool evening so she was fine and caught up on her beauty sleep.   

Two National Parks in 1 day & another on Day 6 (with photos)!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross Country: Day 4

On Day 4 we explored Yellowstone and left Vante in the hotel room to catch up on her sleep. 

Elk (only 2 in this photo, we didn't get a photo of the herd)
Yellowstone is beautiful and actually quite smelly from all the sulphur.  I've been to Yellowstone before during the Winter, and I saw more wildlife then than on this trip.  We did see 2 moose, a few bison, deer, and herds of elk. 
This bison was walking down the other side of the road uphill.  He was just a few feet away from me & HUGE!  There was a huge line of cars behind him and he was oblivious. 
Morning Glory Hot Spring
We even caught a photo of the ever elusive Outback!  J/K  This is my new car & Vante's ride.  Subarus & RVs were EVERYWHERE in Yellowstone.  You couldn't throw a rock without hitting one & bouncing off the other.
I can't include them all, but there are lots of waterfalls, hot springs, fumeroles (pits that emit smoke), & mud pits in Yellowstones.  It's an amazing place to hike, or even just drive your car around & see the generic tourist sites.  I highly recommend making at least a 3- or 4-day trip of it.

Don't worry, there will be several Vante photos on Day 5's blog!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

10 Day Traveling Cross Country: Day 3

We hit two states on Day 3: Idaho & Montana!  We left Ogden, Utah and spent the night in West Yellowstone.  
This was an interstate sign & the construction workers stopped to watch our photo session. 
Then we saw this Idaho sign & had to stop & take more photos.  We crossed the Continental Divide!!

We checked into our hotel around 3 p.m. and settled Vante down.  Then we went to explore Yellowstone.  It was a win-win because Vante was able to catch up on some lost sleep and we were able to leave the car, walk around, and see some sights without worrying about her. 

Pillow Fort!
Here are a few out-takes.  Vante would go from being a ham for the camera to 'DONE' in seconds.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

10 Day Traveling Cross Country: Day 2

We left the North Rim of the Grand Canyon & headed north.  Our destination was Ogden, Utah.  So we didn't cross any new state lines.  We were able to make some room for Vante in the back seat in between our luggage & plants.  She ignored it completely.  She stayed up front in our laps.

Every stop we made for food, gas or bathroom breaks Vante took full advantage of the open seats.  Every time we came back to the car, there she was, stretched out on one of the front seats. 

 It was a good 2nd day of traveling.  More state lines tomorrow, so check back for Day 3 photos!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

10 Days Traveling Cross-Country: Day 1

In the days leading up to leaving Las Vegas we gave away almost all our furniture and were left with an air mattress and Vante's cat furniture.

We spent 2 nights in a hotel in Las Vegas and my mother and sister flew into town to help up do our final packing.  They helped us drive and took a mini vacation with us.  Vante helped us pack!

Then on July 17th we drove away from Las Vegas!  We enjoyed living there for 5 years (Vante 4) but it was time to move on. 
Vante had a hard time getting settled that morning.  We had not been able to make any room for her in the back of my car, so she had to stay up front with us.  She got creative in her napping positions.  
After about 4 hours we finally reached Best Friends Animal Society. 
I had arranged with Bob, her former caretaker to meet him at her old home, Colonel's Barracks. 
Vante & Bob
There was a welcoming party waiting for her & it was awesome!  Mike worked at Colonel's Barracks when I adopted Vante & gave me lots of advice and good information about her background. 
Vante & Mike
Vante & Mike
 Cathy even came out on her day off, and her birthday, to say hello to Vante!
Cathy & Vante
There is a great painting of Vante up in her old room, Sammy's Room. It looks like it is signed "Mona '05"--If anybody knows Mona, I would love to get a copy of this painting.
We hit up the Best Friends gift shop, grabbed some lunch in town, then hit the road.  I decided to have some fun & try to take a photo of Vante at every state line sign we passed.  A few were too dangerous to stop at or the sign was in the middle of a bridge & we couldn't stop.  However, we did pass through 16 states & 4 National Parks driving from Las Vegas to SC.
We spent the night near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon & I highly recommend it as a must see.  It's very different from the South Rim: less tourists, forested, and populated by wild elk, deer & bison.  There aren't as many driving or hiking trails, but the view is just as magnificent and it's cooler than the South Rim. 

Look for Day 2's photos tomorrow!