I apologize for my recent blog absence, but I have a good excuse, I promise! I’ve been busy driving halfway across the country and settling into my new home, Austin, TX! I have so many stories to share with you about the drive down and my Austin experiences so far, so I’m going to break them up into a few separate entries. Let’s start at the beginning, making the 30 hour drive to Texas.
I was so so extremely excited and nervous before making the drive down to Austin, that I’m pretty sure the first 9 hour driving day was fueled by adrenaline alone. My mom made the trip down to Austin with me (she leaves this weekend to head back to NY), but since she is legally blind, I drove the full 30 ish hours. The first night of our trip we stopped in Roanoke, VA, the second in Nashville, TN, the third in Texarkana, TX, and by day four we had finally arrived in Austin! I know that some hard-core drivers think that splitting up a 30 hour trip into 4 days is weak, but I honestly don’t think I could have pushed myself to drive for 10 hours straight three days in a row.
A few observations from the road:
The billboards in Pennsylvania were by far the most entertaining of the whole trip. There’s nothing like glancing to the side of the road and seeing billboards advertising Adult Superstores, Fireworks, and Amish Quilting Outlets all within a 1/4 mile of each other. I’m also pretty positive that Pennsylvania has the highest density of Cracker Barrel restaurants in the country.
Virginia was my favorite state to drive through by far. The route we took cut right into the Blue Ridge Mountains and it was just a gorgeous ride with stunning views. I can’t imagine how beautiful the ride would be in the fall.
Our second night on the road, we stopped in Nashville to explore and the city was much smaller than I expected! My mom and I had planned to spend the evening walking around downtown Nashville, and I was surprised by how miniature it seemed. Broadway definitely had a gritty, young vibe, and looked like it would have been fun place to listen to some music for the night at a bar. Unfortunately, this wasn’t in the cards since I had an 8 hour driving day ahead of me. We finished walking around the area after about an hour. Did I miss an awesome part of Nashville? Let me know so I can plan accordingly next time!
During the drive through Arkansas the next day I experienced another first, a southern thunderstorm. When it rains here, it RAINS. I drove through torrential rain on the highway and was only slightly terrified when I saw low hanging clouds and what looked like the start of a funnel cloud forming in the distance…
My last day of driving took me through Texas and was the shortest driving day of the trip, only 6 hours, but seemed to drag on the longest. I made it through intense Dallas traffic, stopped at a few questionable gas stations in the middle of nowhere, and finally saw my first peek of the Austin skyline. Almost as soon as we entered Austin city limits I got lost driving around, but it didn’t even matter. I was finally HERE.
I’m still learning how to navigate the city and Texas roads in general. I’m not used to feeder roads and am still a bit confused by the multiple different names highways have here, but I’m learning. I LOVE Austin so far and think that everything I’ve researched about it has been 100% true. The people here are friendly, the area is beautiful, I’ve seen about 30 restaurants I want to try already… I could go on and on. And I will, in another entry ;).