Packin’ & Plannin’

Sean & I have a seemingly endless list of “to do’s” lately: packing, cleaning, errands….followed by more packing, cleaning, and errands. It started off with the typical stress of attempting to organize and de-clutter a home that’s accumulated years of dusty papers, old clothes that we haven’t worn in years, etc. Thankfully, the stress is dwindling as I’ve started to see more clearly again; that it’s all for the best. It really is.

Apart from the fact that we’re continuing our little lives in a brand new, beautiful, part of our great country, I’m realizing what a happy time moving can be when I choose to see it from its best angle. This past week has evoked a million positive memories from our past; the video I put together from my cross-country bike trip in 2007, Sean’s baseball cards and family photos, letters from my Grandmama over the years, medals from high school and college crew races, and so much more. How lucky we are to have a life like this! It’s so easy to remember what we need to do, what we’re doing wrong, and what we should do better. But what I’ve loved about this time of packing is (apart from throwing non-keepsakes into donate and trash piles…’cause that’s a pretty sweet feeling on its own) has been revisiting these memories and organizing them so that we can reach them again when we need it most.

But then, there’s also the part of packing that gets all-consuming and exhausting. Like, when our house is filled with cardboard boxes, paint, spackle, tools, dust, packing tape, 863 pens, 72 un-accompanied socks, enough change to buy our groceries for the next month…oh, I could just go on and on! I’ve learned via this “newlie” (yay!) found happiness in packing that it’s best to give myself time to do something fun each day to break it all up. Tonight, it’s dinner in Annapolis with my girls. This morning, it was playing frisbee with Stella on our front lawn, talking to my mama and sister on the phone, annnnnd planning our road trip in about 6 weeks!!!

This is where YOU come in. I need your advice! I found the awesome site, Roadtrippers, which helps you plan your upcoming road trip. Check out the map I’ve pasted below to show you our planned stops.. You can click on it to make it larger. We’re hoping to do this in 3 or 4 days:

  1. Day 1: Silver Spring, MD to Newburg, MD – first stop to see Sean’s parents
  2. Day 2: Newburg, MD to Black Mountain, NC – next stop to see my parents
  3. Day 3: Black Mountain, NC to Nashville, TN – onward and westward! Hoping to get dinner in downtown Nashville, and for us to see a show at the Grand Ol’ Opry. I’ve been to Nashville & Opry once before and LOVED it. Can’t wait to re-visit w/ Sean! Any dinner suggestions in Nashville?!
  4. Day 4: Nashville, TN to Memphis, TN to Little Rock, AR to Tulsa, OK! – thinking we could do this all in a day (see the hours in between each destination below on the left). Any lunch or sightseeing suggestions for Memphis? What about sightseeing suggestions for a quick hour/so in Little Rock?

Road Trip to Tulsa!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions, friends!!! I can’t wait for this little adventure, followed by the big adventure of living in Oklahoma!

I’ll get back to packing now.

Big hugs, and happy Saturday.

Dear Tennessee

Dear Tennessee,

You have some of the most kind hearted people I’ve ever met. You set a weary, tightly wound traveler from D.C. at ease even despite her calendar’s limited time for relaxing. Thank you for not letting me witness one single moment of road rage from your drivers (D.C. – you could learn a thing or two from Tennessee!).

Thank you for allowing my fellow Washington College alumnae and I to run up and down your rolling hills, to take in the most glorious star-lit night run we’ve ever witnessed, and to cheer our hearts out while aggressively ringing our cowbells for each teammate running. Thank you to those Ragnar Relay volunteers who stood outside all hours of the night in freezing temperatures, shining a light of hope at the end of our long and exhausting legs. Thank you to those two middle/elementary schools that let our runners sleep on their gymnasium floors and use real bathrooms.

Thank you for your aspiring chefs who are crazy excited about our sensational food industry, with wide eyes and ears for my dear CIA.

And let’s not forget country music. Thank you for live music everywhere I went. Thank you for your head-over-heels love of America through each country song I hear. Including this airport terminal…with live music….I love it!

My soul is restored thanks to this amazing week! I hope to see you again soon, Tennessee.

Big hugs,

Katherine

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