The beginning of this blog comes to you from 30k feet, somewhere over farm land between Seattle and Chicago. We’ve been talking about this for months and the adventure is finally underway. I’m en route to Richmond, Virginia for a fast and furious house-hunting, preschool-touring long weekend. Seattle has been a seven-year season of growing, blooming, and reaching for the sun. The Virginia roots run deep, though, and we’re answering the call of the Commonwealth and returning to Richmond.
Rooted in Richmond will chronicle our relocation adventures (or misadventures?) from Seattle to Richmond with a recently potty-trained toddler, giant mutt, and loaded-up old SUV that has seen its fair share of I-90. After all, if we’re taking this circus on a cross-country road trip, we might as well document the shenanigans for some laughs down the road! This will be the fourth time we’ve driven coast to coast in the last eight years. I’d prefer a southern route but, in our quest to explore all fifty states, we’ll once again be logging long hours on I-90 so that we can hit Roosevelt National Park and check North Dakota off the list. Because honestly, who wants to plan a vacation to just North Dakota?
The last time we made the drive from west to east, things were a little different. We were halfway through a month-long road trip around the country. We’d been to the top of the St. Louis Arch, hiked in the Colorado Rockies, wandered through Zion National Park, raced through the desert at night to reach Yosemite, spent a weekend in San Francisco, and driven up the Pacific coast from California to Washington. We’d camped, lived out of the car like a couple of gypsies, and splurged on the occasional night of luxury in a Comfort Inn. We listened to countless hours of The Black Eyed Peas and Dave Matthews Band on our iPod Nano (hey, it was 2010). And we visited Seattle, arriving via ferry on a glorious and dazzling June day. Leaving Seattle was the first time we’d turned east on that trip and I cried when we crossed the Washington state line into Idaho. Chris, who was a sworn Virginian for life, said “I could maybe see us living there someday”. We didn’t know at the time that “someday” would come approximately eight weeks later, after an unexpected job offer from Amazon. We loaded up the cars and turned back west, retracing our steps and miles of a few months prior.
What was supposed to be a year or two in the Pacific Northwest turned into seven, and the adventures, personal friendships, and professional growth we found here far surpassed our greatest expectations and made it almost impossible to leave. Almost. We’ve always been torn between Virginia and Seattle and feel so fortunate to be able to call both ‘home’. After driving all around this great country over the last decade, I truly believe they’re two of the best places to settle down. But as Zoe gets older, the pull of the Virginia roots gets stronger. We’re excited to be closer to family and reintroduce ourselves to a city and region we’ve always loved.
This time, our drive east will be quite different from the last. It will be broken into two-hour chunks spanning nine or so days. We’ll have a chatty, opinionated two-year-old who will negotiate plenty of Moana music and stops for playgrounds and ice cream. Her partner in crime and trusty backseat sidekick, our 75-pound pup Laney, will keep her company and steal snacks and kisses every chance she gets. And each night, we’ll watch the sunset in the rear view mirror as we trek the 2,800 miles between our two favorite cities. Thanks for reading and we hope you’ll follow along on our adventure and share everything from road trip recommendations to suggested pit stops to inspirational words of wisdom when it’s clear our sanity is in short supply!
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“Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.”