Monday, May 30, 2005

Where's the next stop?

Just got back from dinner and Return of the Sith here in beautiful downtown Salt Lake. Some of the highlights from ten hours on the road between North Platte and SLC.

-heavy rains in Nebraska and Wyoming made driving a little dicey in places.

-Becca navigating through a dense fog in Wyoming which combined with the rain and construction made driving guesswork at best.

-The 30 degree temp swing during the day with a stop in Wyoming bottoming out at 35. Not good for a pair of drivers in shorts :-)

-Lots of open land. Not a whole lot of civilization in the 20+miles between exits.

-Beautiful landscape once we got into Utah and headed towards Salt Lake.

(the great lake itself)

-sprinting about 400m after the movie when we suddenly realized our car could quite possibly be in a tow zone. Thankfully the car was still there.

Sleep time now. We head to Reno tomorrow. Hopefully there will be enough time to play a little blackjack...


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fines Double in Construction Zones

Day 1 and three states (MN, IA, NE) down.

Surprisingly, Nebraska turns out not to be that bad to drive through. After four hours we have yet to see a single cornstalk. What's up with that???

The worst part has been the constant construction zones (made even more maddening by the fact that of course no construction is being done on a holiday weekend Sunday) and the rain.

The front runners for favorite bill boards for day one of the trip are "The Spam Museum. Either you get it or you don't" from Austin, MN and "Duck. Duck. Duck. Duck. Duck. Duck. Duck. Pork." from the Pork Council ("the other white meat"). The culinary priorities of the
Midwest just keep shining through….

We're spending the night in the hometown of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Yee-haw! (Thanks, Robert :-)). On to Salt Lake City tomorrow.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

It's finally real!

After a last brutal stretch (11.5 hours of frantic packing and cleaning) we are officially out of the house and on the road. Unbelievable.

It was sad leaving the house…we really love it and our neighborhood and it's still nerve-wracking not having renters for the place. (We REALLY hope that issue gets resolved before we're too far into the trip. Otherwise you'll be reading about a lot of ways to travel the
world on a shoe-string budget) However we're excited and elated that this dream is about to become real.

Despite the fact that we're going to be traveling the world with two small packs and two small daypacks, we still haven't managed to translate this whole packing-light thing into the rest of our lives (as the picture of our Subaru above shows).

We spend the next few days driving across the central Midwest to San Francisco. Then after a few days visiting friends and family there we'll drive up to Portland, Oregon to be with our immediate families before flying to Brussels on June 14th.

Off we go!

B & B

Friday, May 27, 2005

The real travel planning...

Ideally, my goal when this site went up was to be updating a little bit more frequently while we were still in the States. Sort of our adventures in travel preparation if you will. Instead what started out as a four page list of to-do's the day we quit work (and what Becca accurately described as a hydra) has just taken over our lives, especially in the last two weeks. Here's a little example of what our days have been like leading up to our departure; this was yesterday:

6:00 Get up
6:30-9 Pack House
9-10 Take cars in for tune-ups
10-11:30 Meet with insurance agent
11:45-1 Meet with property management company to finalize details
1-2:30 workout
2:30-7 Pack House
7-7:30 eat
7:30-12 Pack House

Not exactly exciting stuff but all things that have to get done. The most amazing part about this process is how little planning we've done regarding the actual locations we're visiting. I'd say 90% of our time has been used to get everything done on the Minneapolis end. My advice for anyone thinking of doing this? Do it while you don't have a whole lot of obligations :-)

The house is about packed up and the cleaning process will start tomorrow. Hopefully we get it done early and then we're off a little early to go to Northfield to visit our friends Chris and Katie and then the drive to the Bay Area begins. Anyone who knows of any hot spots along Hwy 80, send them our way. Perhaps we'll post some pictures of corn or something of the like.

Until next time!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Six days and counting...

Until we leave Minnesota that is ;-). For those of you who made it to our Bon Voyage Party, thanks for coming and making it such a great time; it was great to see so many people who have made our Minnesota experience up to this point such a great one.

This final week in Minnesota consists of finishing the last bit of packing and finalizing a number of mind-numbing financial/logistical details before getting in the car Sunday to hit the road to the Bay Area. Anybody who has any suggestions as to how to pass time during
the 32 hour car ride, we're all ears.

Also, any suggestions/input into how to make our blog look a little nicer are always appreciated. We're not HTML wizards by any means but we have been known to learn quickly.

Cheers and we'll try to post a little more frequently with the trip just around the corner!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines...

It's official....we're leaving!

Yeah, yeah. I know that was the whole point of this thing, but we were missing a couple of very important details: like plane tickets across the ocean. As of yesterday we finally have those tickets so we know that at least the first leg of our trip is a go. (And getting 2 tickets to Europe for $60 works for me. Gotta love those frequent flier miles (I knew I traveled so much for work for a reason!))

We'll leave Minnesota by the end of May and drive west, spending time visiting friends and family and then start the adventure June 14th!

T minus 1 month and counting....


and now if we could just find someone to rent out house....

Monday, May 09, 2005

Practice makes perfect...

Here we are, hard at work training. After all, we gotta get used to this whole 'travel to beautiful, exotic places and relax' thing.

Actually, this is in Tulum, Mexico in 2002, during the only break we've had from the madness of work and illness since we moved to Minnesota in 2001.


and yes, this is still part of the "working on making sure we can post things the way we want before we get to the good stuff on the trip" phase. (p.s. if anybody can figure out how to do captions or imbed the pictures in the text, PLEASE let us know.)

This is dedicated to the ones we love...

(aka: experimenting with posting pictures)

This is Becca's Dad, who died shortly after our wedding last year and is the inspiration for this life-affirming adventure on which we're about to embark.


The genesis of the trip...

(a.k.a: expirimenting with different ways of posting) did we happen to be start on this journey in the first place? Becca grew up travelling and living in other countries and has never been able to get the itch out of her system. Brian hasn't done as much travelling and has a mile-long list of places he wants to see and experience. Since meeting 5 years ago, we have both been running the rat race non-stop. Between intense work and an unbelievable run of family crises, we haven't really had an opportunity to do any of the other things that we love: playing ultimate frisbee, volunteering, hiking, travelling, spending time with friends, hanging out with our families on the Oregon coast, etc.

So we decided to call 'Time Out' and to take a year to just experience life and other cultures and countries.

More background to follow....


Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Countdown Begins

With the advent of May we've realized that this trip is about to actually happen. (And that means we'll actually start posting to and updating this site regularly. We know, it's about gosh-darn time.)

We have a many-paged, single-spaced list to get through before we leave and we're just trying to cross off a couple of things each day. The current plan is to leave Minnesota by the end of May, drive to the West Coast and make a last swing through to see friends and family and then be headed across the pond by mid-June at the latest. (Of course, one of the things left on that many-paged list is buying the aforementioned plane ticket to Europe, so you never know....)

Keep your fingers crossed that we can get there...


And if anybody is a blogger guru, give us a holler. There are number of technical questions we have about ways of making this cooler and adding pictures, etc.