Why fly when you can drive

My fiancé (as I am now newly engaged🙂 ) and I decided to buy a car a week before we were about to start the final leg of his 3 Michelin star experience and satisfy my culinary-traveling whatever you would like to call it…

We were to travel more than 4 800 kms from Montreal, Quebec, to the quaint town of St. Helena, in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Seemed like a great idea, since neither of us had ever traveled through the Mid-West.

In total, it was one week of running around to 1- buy a car and get accepted on the financing (which I must thank daddy for because he largely contributed to our acceptance) 2- shop for car insurances, buy CAA membership and a GPS (that decided to so perfectly stop working somewhere between Buffalo and Pennsylvania) and anything and everything else car-related, 3- continue our search for an apartment/room in St Helena,  5- sign our lease for an apartment upon return to MTL, and 5- work, pack and move things out of our Montreal room (which my brother so graciously lent to us and his flatmates so generously accepted that we crash for what was originally a 2 week stay and turned into 3 months…)

Well, we can now say that we’ve seen the great lakes that separate Canada from the USA, not once, but twice in one day ! And crossed the border 3 times… Yes three times, once at Lacolle, once in Champlain, and once closer to Kingston (did I mention I don’t like GPS’s)… The fun never ends when you’re on a road trip!

We’ve stopped in Cleveland, Ohio, and killed our palate on our first dinner meal:

Steak'n'Shake

Drove through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, and saw corn fields and soya bean fields that went on endlessly.

Spent the night in Denver, Colorado and drove through the next day:

And headed off to Salt Lake City, passing through Wyoming State, where we saw some antelopes and camels???:

In total, it was more than 60 hours over the last 5 days… Enough to make you go crazy!

But thankfully, we made it and we learned so much along the way.

I have to that admit the physical pain sometimes becomes overwhelming. Our spine is now S-shaped, and we probably gained 5 pounds from all the fast-food we’ve been eating on the road. However, this huge amount of time spent together is a couple’s true test and forces you to make it or break it. In our case, I don’t remember the last time we were so in love!

My 5 cents of advice to avoid your couple from crumbling:

1- Reward yourself with at least a glass of wine, a pint of beer, your fave drink  or all once you’ve completed your daily distance goal.

2- Reveal something new about yourself to your partner.

3- Chat up the cashier at the gas station, the waitress at the dinner or the couple having a drink beside you at the bar: you’ll need social interaction and you’ll probably be to beat to party.

4- It’s not the mile high club, but you can definitely become a member a of the mile-long club…😉 Just watch out for truckers…

5- (For your partner’s sake and self-esteem) When you’re in the passenger seat, try to be as discreet as possible holding on to the holly-f#@* bars and pumping the “imaginary” brake.

A little bit of advice when planning:

1- Map out your route: Technology is great but when your GPS is out of batteries and you’re at a fork in the road, you’ll be thankful for your good old map and to remember what cities are along the way.

2-Opt to spend the night in a place with a swimming pool: laps in the AM before you hit the road, and once you’ve reached your destination. Your back, hamstrings and glutes will thank you!

3- Switch driver after 3 hours and pace yourself. Pushing further will only tire you more, and catch up with you the next day! And be sure to get in a little nap when you’re not at the wheel.

4- Pack a lot of gum, water bottles (and be sure to put them in the freezer when you’re in the hotel/motel: you’ll save on ice-packs and they be refreshing).

5- Pack comfy shoes and comfy clothes!

Entertaining myself on the road

Shout outs also go to Caz and Craig (ytravelblog.com) for your post with tips for traveling couples!

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