the fun never stops by Kayci Detweiler

Ok all. I know everyone has a million questions, and so that I don't have to answer them to everyone individually, I decided to do an "all questions answered" post. Hopefully this will cover everything you've ever wanted to know about taking a crazy trip across the country! Here goes...

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Weeks gone: exactly 10 full weeks on the road
Miles traveled: approximately 14,633
States visited: 42
Countries visited: 3
Northern most point: Glacier National Park
Southern most point: San Antonio, Texas
Highest elevation: Pikes Peak, Co {14,114 ft}
Longest driving day: New Orleans, LA to St Augustine, FL {8.5 hrs}
Longest location stay: Harrisonburg, VA {4.5 days due to car trouble}

Favorite natural location?
How do you pick one best place out of all the diversity and natural beauty in this country?! I think my favorite National Park was Zion, and my favorite "nature" experience was Fern Canyon in California. Both were magical.

Favorite city stay?
As an overall experience, Austin, TX and New York City were my two favorites...we had great days in both places. I also really enjoyed both of the Portlands! 

Favorite experience?
Looooooved our beach times in SoCal, especially paddleboarding in La Jolla. Also, checking off the bucket list with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Amazing.

Best doughnut? {I know you're dying to know}
Hard to choose, but I think my two faves were the Lemon Poppyseed from Blue Star in Portland, and a Key Lime filled from a bakery in Toronto. Yum.

Easiest part about this trip?
Having fun with Kelby, of course! Couldn't have asked for a better travel buddy.

Hardest part about this trip?
Staying in a new place each night, and accepting hospitality from strangers. I learned so much about both giving and receiving hospitality! Also being mobile and unstable for 2 months was a bit rough for me...but I made it.

Is there a place that stands out as the next step?
NO. I am extremely confused, but happy to be in one place for a little while as I figure it out. I have also discovered that, personally, as much as I enjoy visiting the city, I don't think it's a great option for me as a living place. I need a little breathing room. 

Do you have a next step?
NO. See above. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them. Also prayers are welcome. I'm looking forward to a bit of discernment time, but also don't want to sit around for too long. Must keep busy!

Do you have any regrets?
Not a one. My only regret is that we went so fast and didn't have time to properly explore each location. If I would do it again, I would have less area to cover and more time in each place. Would I do it again? Not exactly the same...living out of a suitcase for 2 months got to me a bit :)

What a wild ride! I'm so thankful for this experience, and I will have many stories to tell for the rest of my life. 

Canada, eh? by Kayci Detweiler

It is with a semi-heavy heart that I write this, the last post cataloging our journey! We are back in Wakarusa and "done" with the trip. At least for now. What a wild ride it has been, worth all the hours and miles. But more on that later...now on to our last few stops! 

From Maine we headed over to Vermont, to get a little bit of fresh air and ice cream! And of course more lovely views of leaves. 

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We headed to Stowe, VT first, where we ran into a school Halloween parade...all the costumes were quite cute. What a small town thing to do, gotta love it. The things you see in Vermont.

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Of course, we had to stop by the Ben & Jerry's Factory and take the tour {aka sample ice cream.} What a delicious place to visit! Don't worry, I let Kelby out of the stocks eventually...

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On to Canada! To complete the trip we felt that it was only fitting to stop in the third possible country, so we headed over to Toronto. In our short time there we tasted Tim Hortons, stayed with a wonderful host, took a walking tour of the city, and got a feel for the flavor of Canada. 

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Great architecture downtown...at this point all the great facts that I learned on this trip are running together, so I won't bore you with too many incorrect mutterings. I will say that Toronto has a lot to offer and is a cool city to check out!

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...and then my phone died, so no more pictures! A great end to a FABULOUS trip. 

I know a lot of questions are probably dying to be answered, and I will do that! I promise! Tomorrow is a new day, with more time. Stay tuned for a follow up post on the best and worst parts of the trip...hopefully. 

a wicked ahsome time by Kayci Detweiler

I am loving the Northeast. I don't know if it's the coastal vibes or the crisp, fall air... but they're onto something out here I must say! We've seen so many quaint little towns.

Our time in this part of the country is short and sweet, totalling in at less than one week. Sad but true, folks, our time is coming to an end. :( Bittersweet feels. 

The NE tour, as we'll call it, started in Boston (pronounced bah-stan), full of history, pastries, and stereotypical accents. I loved it.

We took a walking tour of part of the Freedom Trail, which gave us the story of Paul Revere and the American Revolution... Including the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to warn the colonists that the British were traveling by sea {I sadly don't remember the rest of the story.} Can you imagine sitting in those boxes for a church service? Fascinating. 

Mike's Pastry shop was a necessary stop because of this:

Holy Cannolli!

We also had dinner at the oldest operating tavern in the country, the Bell in Hand. Yum!

Also, a slight detour took us to the original Dunkin Donuts location. So New England of us. As far as donuts go, this one was a classic, so obviously it's high on the list.

We drove past Harvard on our way out of town, because why not!

After Boston, we headed off to a stop in Portsmouth, NH. Maybe the cutest little town ever. It was a little rainy, which was unfortunate, but it didn't deter us from walking around the shops in Market Square. Beautiful. 

From there we drove to Portland, ME {also known as, the other Portland.} I actually really enjoyed this Portland as well! A cute little sea-town full of brick buildings and lighthouses and lobsters. Love it. City but not too city....which is my kind of city :)

Tomorrow night is actually the last night of the trip, which means last blog post? I can't take it! 

welcome to new york by Kayci Detweiler

Yes, I am titling this post after a Taylor Swift song. Deal with it. :) 

I could also title it, New York: a photo essay, because that's what most of it will be. But oh, what a time we had. There isn't anywhere like NYC, and I couldn't help but love it!  

A few of the things we accomplished with our time include: visits with friends, a walk in Central Park, the Today Show {including shaking Al Roker's hand}, a visit to Mood {project runway fans?}, a walk on the High Line, the Chelsea Market, the Doughnut Plant, a taping of Late Night with Seth Myers {!!!!}, and a free Pitbull concert. 

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Whew. What a day. We walked around 29,000 steps in one day and didn't see near everything but it was WORTH IT.

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I'll be back, New York!

retreats in pennsylvania by Kayci Detweiler

Fall is officially a part of our lives now...not just a fleeting moment but a lifestyle. Filled with fires and mums and falling leaves. Pennsylvania was a great time for us to just "get away" from some of the hustle and bustle that we're used to as of late.  

Activities included tearoom visits, witnessing the mum mountain at Ott's, shopping in New Hope, and Peddlers Village. And of course priceless visits with friends! 

In PA, we take our coffee in teacups. 

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We even crossed the bridge into New Jersey for an hour or so! 

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Pretty sure I spent the whole weekend like this...love the wood stove! 

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Magic. A great intro to the northeast! 

frolicking in the fall by Kayci Detweiler

I have a confession to make: I am weary.

After a couple months of traveling, I suppose this is to be expected, but I didn't want to admit it! Whew. I am, as a result, going to be a bit lazy on the blogging this time. 

I will tell you that we've had a wonderful, FULL, week of beautiful weather and leaves in the south. First in Asheville, NC, and then in Blacksburg and Harrisonburg, VA. I do love Virginia in the fall. It's quite magical. 

In Asheville we had the pleasure of staying with wonderful hosts who spoiled us rotten, walked around their Crafters Fair {which is not as good as Shipshewana's :)}, explored downtown shops, tried Carolina BBQ, and enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. It was a glorious day. 

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Blacksburg is home to lovely friends and their many pets. We made friends with puppies and kittens alike {mostly.} We went on a 8 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail and ate family style Southern cookin'. A good time was had by all. 

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In Harrisonburg we encountered a slight problem with the lights on our dashboard {the speedometer, etc are all digital}...mainly that they weren't lighting up! After taking it to a dealer we discovered good news: that it was under extended warranty... and bad news: that we had to give up the car for several days. 

But never fear, the Burg is the best place this could have happened to us. We had a place to stay, friends to visit, food to eat, and fall weather to enjoy. Not bad, for car trouble. 

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We're on our last leg now and back on the road again today! Definitely do-able. Finish strong!

in with the old {cities} by Kayci Detweiler

Every time I hear someone say “St Augustine” I think of the song St Augustine by Band of Horses…{feel free to listen below while you read this post}

I didn’t know anything about the city before visiting, but I’m ready to go back already! There’s so much history and cool things going on in this area. Did you know it’s the oldest city in the US? Because I didn’t!

But, the best part about being in St Augustine was that we got to meet up with this lovely lady! Thanks for coming all the way from Sarasota, Laur…it was so much fun!! 

Tuesday was even Laura’s birthday, so we got to celebrate a little bit with a mini vacation.

We had our final beach day of the trip {gasp!}, took a tour of the St Augustine Distillery, checked out the Spanish fort, and sampled a few different restaurants in the area. A great couple days well spent.

After reluctantly saying goodbye to Laura {and StAugustine} we headed north to Savannah! 

Talk about history, Savannah is another area that is just filled with those beautiful historic parts of town. It’s also filled with live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. SO amazing. We got to see a few drives that were lined with the trees and it creates an effect that can’t really be conveyed in photos. At least not mine. 

With our very limited time in town we decided not to take the city tour {which is why I don’t know any cool facts, unfortunately} and instead took our own tour which mostly consisted of interesting shops on Broughton street, and walking through many of the “squares” that Savannah is built around.

I tried to sit on the same bench as Forest Gump, but wasn’t sure which one it was.

We also drove down the most beautiful street in North America {according to Southern Living}, which really was quite beautiful, but I don’t know if it was the best one I’ve ever been down.

If only we had more time… 

Coming soon: Asheville, North Carolina!

will work for beads by Kayci Detweiler

New Orleans. The Big Easy. Nawlins. Down in the bayou. 

Well, however you want to say it, we were there! It was a whirlwind experience of a day, trying to fit in ALL THE THINGS because, well, that's what we always do. But overall, it was an excellent experience of the city. 

Most of our time was spent in the French Quarter, which we learned is the original part of the city, settled by the French because it was the only livable land in the middle of a swamp. It's beautiful and so full of culture that's hard to capture with an iPhone.

New Orleans has a fascinating history because it was passed around to so many countries...first, of course, the Native peoples of the area were living here, then the French occupied and settled it, then the Spanish took over, then it went back to France, and finally it was bought by the United States in the Louisiana purchase. So it's easy to see where their variety in culture comes from! Something you can't find anywhere else in the world. 

The number one thing everyone said to us when we told them we were going to New Orleans was "make sure you go to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets!" So, we obeyed and made that our first stop...yum. Worth it. 

You get the cafe "au lait" and the beignets with all the powdered sugar they can pile on. Kelby models the proper way to eat beignets (fried French donuts, btw) below:

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We rode a streetcar to St Charles to see some of the historic houses, took a walking tour of the French Quarter {which is where I learned all those fun facts from the beginning...impressive, I know}, and spent time listening to live musicians in Jackson Square.

I fell in love with the spanish architecture, bright colors, magnolia trees, and the hanging ferns. 

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We even saw a random parade march down the street and ate some delicious cajun gumbo.

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I'd say we had a pretty great peek at New Orleans. Next time I come back, I'll have plenty more to do!

{...but always make time for beignets, for real}