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Old 09-16-2007, 01:44 PM   #1
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GoofyMom's Great American Road Trip to Florida

Wow. I don't know where to start. The opportunity to take 3 weeks and drive across half of the United States of America doesn't present itself often. Add to that the opportunity to visit with some really good friends, and you've got a recipe for one awesome vacation! Well, it turns out that the opportunity arose and Dan & I went for it! Here's the story:


The travelers: Me and DH, Dan. The kids are old enough to leave at home alone now, so they were not invited.
The dates: August 27 – September 15, 2007
Where: From North Dakota to the Florida Panhandle to the Rocky Mountains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Round trip = 5100 miles
Why: To visit some really good friends, Bill & Jan (LizardCop and ShadowBonus)


So. How did this all come about? Well, I'll try to give you the short version. Despite my best attempts, Dan is not a Disney person, so I have been taking trips to WDW without him. I met Bill & Jan on a trip in 2004. Afterwards, we kept in touch via emails, PM's and Instant Messages. We planned a couple more Disney trips together with a herd of other terrific PassPorters and had a lot of fun. For those of you who read the WDW Trip Reports forum, you already know this.

The more time I spent with Bill & Jan, the closer our friendship developed. Eventually in May this year, they invited me to join them for a short trip to the Flower and Garden Festival. I think Dan started getting pretty curious then about these people I was going to be sleeping with After I got back from that trip, it was sealed. The friendship the three of us had formed had turned into one that the occasional trip to WDW was not going to satisfy anymore. We needed to get together more often! So Jan started sending me photos of the beaches where they live. The bait was set. We started out by talking about me flying down to visit them. But Dan decided it was time for him to meet Bill & Jan! So he invited himself along and we decided to drive.

There were a few detours thrown into our plans, but everything worked out and eventually we decided on the dates for our trip. Dan hasn't used a lot of his vacation time he had accumulated, so he booked 3 weeks off with no problems whatsoever. We Google Mapped our trip out a variety of different ways and eventually I visited the CAA (Canada's AAA equivalent) and ordered TripTiks for the route that suited us best. The TripTik was not set in stone and we changed things up on the fly as the mood hit us. The only absolutes were spending time in the Destin, Florida area, seeing San Antonio and seeing Mount Rushmore.

In the meantime, PM's, IM's, emails and phone calls were flying fast and furious. We didn't know exactly how long we were going to be staying at Bill & Jan's because they wouldn't give us a definite date for when they were going to throw us out! Keeping their options open just in case, I guess! So Dan & I worked backwards, considering how long it was going to take us to travel and do the things we wanted to on our return trip. It seemed that Sept 10th would be the latest we could stay and still get in all the sightseeing in the West. If it seemed like we were overstaying our welcome, we would be able to leave earlier. Otherwise, we would have 12 days to spend playing in the Gulf of Mexico and just hanging out with some wonderful people.

Coming up.... Departure day: August 27
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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Someday I would like to drive across the USA myself, though not by myself lol. Then it would be nice to drive across Canada too mmm Maybe drive out west through the US then back east across Canada
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:30 PM   #3
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Great start Donna - I can't wait to read all about this!!
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:01 PM   #4
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Can't wait for more Donna!!! I'm sure there was plenty of laughter among the 4 of you cause Dan sure keep me giggling when we vacationed togther a couple years ago! Hurry with those pics!
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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Great start Donna, I can't wait to read more.
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #6
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Great start Donna - I can't wait to hear all about it, it sounds like an amazing trip!
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:40 PM   #7
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Waiting for more ( and hoping theres lots of pictures)
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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Waiting for more ( and hoping theres lots of pictures)
Trust me Sheila, there will be pictures....

And some of them should probably never be shown in public
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #9
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Now that's what I'm talking bout! Let's get this show started!
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Woo- another trip involving you guys!! I can't wait. Now I have to decide to read it bit by bit or all at once like a great book....
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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Woo- another trip involving you guys!! I can't wait. Now I have to decide to read it bit by bit or all at once like a great book....
Oh geez. No pressure!!

I'm still trying to put my photos on the internet so I can get this show on the road!
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:56 PM   #12
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WAHOO, now this is going to be the TR of all TR's......5100 miles of pictures..

I can hardly wait.......

you get all your pictures loaded....

Okay I am all settled in let the story begin......
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:57 PM   #13
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Great start Donna Bring on the pictures
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:28 PM   #14
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I'm glad you've started the report. I've been looking forward to it ever since I saw your list of cities, when you were asking for restaurant advice.

It ought to be really good!
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:41 PM   #15
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Trust me Sheila, there will be pictures....

And some of them should probably never be shown in public
Hmmmmmmmmmm, why does that not surprise me???
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