Monday, 27 August 2012

Back In The Land Of Lincoln - August 2012

Today marks the two year anniversary of the day we set off for our amazing roadtrip around the United States. I can't quite believe it was that long ago that we decided to make the dream a reality. Now it is nothing but a memory and a crazy story we bore everyone we know with.

Since I started this blog, it has had over 10,000 page views. This is both unbelievably cool and a little creepy at the same time! Who are all these random people reading about this snapshot of our lives? Are they inspired? Are they wondering if they should try something as insane?

Well, random stranger, if you are reading this and wondering that very thing, then my only advice would be: Go for it! The time spent on the road truly was the most amazing experience of my life and I wouldn't take it back for a second. It really was the trip of a lifetime, and although it's a cliché, it taught me a lot about myself and what is important in life. I think about it all the time, and can't wait until I can one day do something as grand and impulsive again!

Everybody should get out and see the world for a while. It does a person good!

Of course, afterwards there is a huge sense of what now.
What now, indeed.

Well, I suppose you could say we've become grown-ups. We found jobs. We moved into an apartment. We bought a fish. Life is still in flux as we try to put down more and more roots, but it feels like we're finally settled in.

In the two years since the trip we sadly haven't travelled much. We took two short trips to Chicago, and a sweet little trip to Galena, IL. Galena was a small little town that we had passed through on our trip. I had actually missed it the first time round due to a poorly timed nap, but Joe had assured me I would have loved it. We had fun visiting the home of General Ulysses S. Grant and walking around the quaint streets, but overall it was not the outlandish adventure we had become accustomed to! The reality that has settled in during our time here is that Minneapolis is a little isolated for small roadtrips to big famous locations.

We did take our first trip back to London since saying goodbye back in 2010 though. This May we found ourselves catching a flight to England. Returning to the place I'd spent my whole life after almost two years away was a strange experience. There were many times since our move that we'd let homesickness creep into our heads, so we had really needed the trip back to London simply to let go of it.
Despite our questioning doubts, the fact is, home is where your life is and our life is now in Minneapolis. It didn't even take the whole two weeks away for us to miss our new lives, our friends, our family, our apartment and our fish.

Seeing our London friends and family, and just goofing about there was well worth it though, and I'm sure we'll make it back as often as possible.

Today did mark one more trip for us though, as we returned home from an ironically-timed long weekend in Springfield, IL. Springfield marked two missed opportunities for us on our original roadtrip. On the highway from St Louis to Springfield, we'd spotted a strange looking antique mall, The Pink Elephant, and had wished we'd had time to stop. This time we made sure to head out to see what treasures it was hiding.

The other thing we had missed was at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Turns out you can actually go inside the big monument we visited there and see Abe Lincoln's actual tomb. Oops.

So, to mark the two year anniversary of our trip we did some antiquing, and went back to honor Lincoln. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was a very interesting way to spend a couple of hours, and you can also visit his one-time home while in Springfield. All in all, a great little town to visit if you're a Lincoln nut like we are!

Oh, and did I mention we also made a random detour to our favorite thing on our Fifty First States trip?? Well, we were sooooooooooo close, after all. It would have been a shame not to stop by and see our good old friend, the Gateway Arch…

Those of you that followed our blog may remember that we weren't really fans of America's tallest monument. In fact, we found it a downright terrifying experience. This time there was no discussion about whether we would go up. That's for sure! It was nice enough to just snap some pictures and head over to the Cardinals' Baseball stadium, which we didn't get a chance to see the first time through. I think we were so traumatized back then we just had to flee town before looking around!

Of course, soon we'll have to start thinking of our next trip. Two years is a long time to not write on this blog. And now that I think about it, we never did make it to Hawaii…
;o)

I hope the last two years were good to you all!

Ani

You've been reading www.fiftyfirststates.com

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