In July 2019, I left our home in Umbertide, Italy, not realizing it would be over four years before returning but not for lack of trying. At present, I have had to cancel three different trips to Europe. The latest issue had to do with our passports. They expire at the end of July, BUT many countries have rules about entering their borders with expiration dates under three or even six months. Italy is one of those, and the airlines denied our boarding passes.
Two grumpy people arrived home, spent a few days sulking, and devised a plan. First, we found the form, took new photos, paid for expedited services, and mailed off our passports. We amended our trip to Italy to include a later exit date. And then…. what to do with our newly found free time???? A few discussions later, here we are on a “road trip.”
Many years ago, our family took our first excursion to California, traveling the southern route through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. And we needed to take a few more trips to really see everything we wanted, so we have never traveled the northern route. Except for a boy scout trip to Idaho as a child for, Mike, and a stopover in Seattle on the way to an Alaskan cruise, Debbie, we haven’t explored this area of the country. We plan to visit the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Deadwood in southwest South Dakota. From there, we proceed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, and finally, travel to Seattle.
A considerable difference in this trip is the notion of relaxing. Instead of a packed itinerary, we drive leisurely, stop when we see signs that advertise the best fudge in the state, and even take a day off to read and write. Traveling this way isn’t easy, especially for me. I enjoy ticking things off a list. It will be a challenge to allow the events of the trip to unfold. First stop: the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour challenged photo ops. Entering Iowa for the first time.