Joe had been home for 5 months when he got the phone call asking if he was ready to come back to work out west. At the time, we were more than ready to leave, but if you would have asked me just a few months prior, I could have never been more unsure.
For me, the hardest part was imagining a life I've never been introduced to. I love traveling, but how would I be able to sustain a job moving all time? Would we ever be able to settle down in one place? Multiple questions ran through my head from the time I graduated college to when Joe moved home. After 5 months of being home together after a year of long distance, my uncertainty washed away and we both knew where we wanted to be.
Everything happened so fast. Our friends and family pretty much saw it coming, but nobody really expected us to be gone two weeks later. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't have done it any other way. It was quick enough to where we got our things together, met up with our friends and family a few last times, and we were off. Everyone told me I was holding it together well but I think I was just too excited to feel anything else. I knew we would figure everything out together and make the Pacific Northwest home.
The days before the move, I was stoked about the road trip. Joey, on the other hand, had just made the cross country drive a few months ago and was less than excited about it. Trying to make things a little more enjoyable, I bought us some walkie talkies. During the drive, I had a 5 month old Husky in my back seat, and Joey was pulling a uhaul, so the walkies were the best way we could communicate safely and frequently throughout the trip. It was now Thursday night, our last night in town. We packed up the uhaul, had one last bonfire with friends and we were off to bed before the big day.
Our families stood together outside Joey's house, every one of us had tears in our eyes. We said our "see you soons", took some pictures, and promised to keep our parents updated on the trip. The morning was the definition of bittersweet.
Jester was behaving surprisingly well for the first couple hours, until he hacked up a pile of fluff and polyester from the last stuff toy he could get his paws on. It wasn't long before he was back to his hyper self so we stopped to walk him around and gave him some Benadryl with his treats. Before the trip we read it was safe for dogs to have Benadryl to calm them down, and it didn't take more than 25mg to help him sleep during the long days of driving. This tip made the drive much safer for all of us.
After 7.5 hours of books on tape and puppy pee breaks we stopped for the night in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. We unpacked our overnight bags in our hotel room and then drove around to see the town. Apparently, Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world! Neither of us knew about this, so driving down a road and seeing nothing but resorts, theme parks and other various attractions caught us by surprise!
DAY TWO ON THE ROAD
We probably had more than our fair share of wine the night before and the morning was going slower than we expected. Jester looked too cute to disturb while laying on the bed and another day of driving sounded very unappealing. Eventually, we packed up our things from the room and headed out.
Our first stop was the nearest gas station, we filled up on gas and caffeine and we were on our way to what we hoped would be Montana. Most of the day was filled with flat country roads with nothing but farmland for miles upon miles. Joey and I talked on our walkies about everything from songs on the radio to where we wanted to stop for the night, until the batteries died and we were too bored to go any further.
The 11 hour drive brought us to Dickinson, North Dakota. It was past dark when we got there so I couldn't tell you much about the town, but we ended up hitting the jackpot of hotels when it comes to having a dog. There was a brand new Comfort Inn that seemed to be welcoming anyone that came along. They knew we had Jester and didn't even charge a pet deposit. The huge, new room had us on cloud nine after the hotel we had stayed at the night before. My head hit the pillow as Joey ordered dinner, and I was fast asleep before it arrived. 11 hours was the longest I'd ever driven by myself and the road had gotten the best of me.
DAY THREE ON THE ROAD
That brand new, Tempur-Pedic, king sized bed made it difficult to leave, but I was ready to hit the road again and fall asleep one state closer to Washington. We were on our way to Missoula, Montana. Joey lived in Missoula for awhile after high school, and we were going to visit the family he stayed with while he played hockey there. I was thankful we only had an eight hour day of ahead of us and couldn't wait to meet the family that Joey had told me so much about!
The drive from Dickinson to Missoula was breathtaking. I shot a few pictures on the road, but they don't begin to capture Montana's beauty. Before we knew it, we were in Missoula and I got to see the town I had heard so much about. We went to visit Joey's second family and when their Golden Retriever, Mango, saw Joey she instantly peed and ran right up to him! They welcomed us with love and even took us out to dinner. After dinner, we came back to their house and watched Jester and Mango run around. They were so kind, and the nearest family we would have. Spending time together made it sad to leave Missoula after just one day.
DAY FOUR ON THE ROAD
We hung around Missoula for a bit until we checked the forecast. It turned out that if we left right then, we would beat the storm that was coming. We packed up again and were only 8 hours away from our "hotel home" waiting for us in Washington.
The drive from Missoula to Seattle had both beautiful and boring views. Montana was still lovely and driving through Couer d'Alene, Idaho made me want to stop and spend a few days on the lake! Eastern Washington however, was flat and dry and strung out the last few hours of the trip like no other.
It had to of been about 10:30 when we made it to the hotel that the company Joe works for set up for us. After 4 days and 2,400 miles, we were home, or what would be home until we could find a house. We made it to Washington safely and were thankful for everyone's prayers during the move. The weeks to come would be full of house hunting but at that moment we put everything else on pause, kicked our feet up, and enjoyed the first night of our life together in Washington.