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My U-Pack Moving Road Trip - Part 2

December 27th, 2011 - 5:04 PM

I have officially been living in Chicago for two weeks. A few U-Pack boxes still decorate my apartment, but for the most part I'm settled and adjusting to the winter weather. I've reconnected with a lot of family and friends and had a chance to fill them in on my road trip out here. The drive out to California was a bit of a whirlwind - we drove straight through without stopping - but this time we made sure to stop. The convenience of not traveling with a truck-load of stuff provided me and my mom with the freedom to take the scenic route and stop whenever (and wherever) our hearts desired.

Leaving Los Angeles was tough. Not only did I have to say goodbye to friends, but we left right after the Santa Ana windstorm. While the winds may have left LA, they were still causing a ruckus outside of the city. For a while it was impossible to get above 60mph as I drove right into the winds. California wasn't ready to let me go I guess!

Somewhere outside of Barstow we stumbled upon a small town of Calico. There wasn't much to it other than an actual ghost town and a nifty 50's diner with a dinersaur (get it?) park in the back - you know, the usual pitstop attractions. If you ever find yourself driving through California (on your way to Las Vegas perhaps) be sure to stop at Peggy Sue's.


Calico, CA

When I planned the road trip, I purposely routed us through the southern states as to avoid snow for as long as possible. Apparently Mother Nature felt that Arizona was a good place to reacclimate me instead of, oh I don't know, Chicago. Almost instantly the dry land disappeared under a blanket of white. Confused and surprised I made my mom pull over so we could get a picture of my flip flops in the snow.


Arizona: Flip flops in the snow

Eventually the snow piled up a few inches past our comfort zone and we decided to stop in Flagstaff, Arizona. We were only an hour or so away from the Grand Canyon, but when we woke up the next day it was only 1 degree outside. Any plans of sight-seeing were cancelled - of course it didn't help that about 10 miles into our drive a heavy fog set in erasing mountains from our view. Thankfully New Mexico warmed us up a bit. We managed to get in and out before the snow crossed the state line. If you ever find yourself in Albuquerque, be sure to stop for some frybread and honey! Delicious!


Flagstaff, AZ

By day three we were pretty exhausted. Snow was on our tail so we kept pushing a bit further to stay ahead of the forecast. Unfortunately the terrain got pretty flat and bare after Texas so we didn't have much to entertain ourselves with - except for some funny signs, buffalo, and our own inside jokes.



We stopped at a trading post (a gift shop) attached to a diner. Outside of the diner were two camera shy buffalo. I ran back and forth trying to take a better picture of them and I'm sure the locals were laughing at the girl in flip flops chasing buffalo. When we got inside we were met with a sign that read "Try our buffalo burgers!" I'm guessing those buffalo weren't just a tourist attraction!

Countless cans of Red Bull and stolen complimentary breakfast muffins later, we crossed the Illinois state line. Throughout our drive we heard at least seven songs about California. Remember how I said it wasn't making it easy to leave? After we got to my apartment in Chicago, we turned on the radio and "Sweet Home Chicago" was playing. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.


Moving to Chicago with U-Pack

We have so much to look back on during our road trip, but the above highlights some of our favorite moments. Thank you U-Pack and Move Builder for giving me the chance to have some fun during my move!

Jennifer is the author of a great blog called Bottle Up the Crazy. This is part two of a three-part series Jennifer wrote about her cross country move with U-Pack. Read part one here.