Ok, friends, I’ve been plotting and planning for a while, but it’s finally a done deal!  I am going on a huge road trip in December with one of my friends from California.  She is moving from Oakland to NYC, and I offered to go with her, to share in the driving, and to see the country!  I am so, so excited about this trip.

Originally, we were going to take a more Northern route, which would have made sense, and also would have meant I would get to add a bunch more states to my list of places I’ve been.  (I’m determined to get all 50, and I have nearly the whole East Coast and the entire Southern half of the country.)  We were going to go Oakland-Reno-Salt Lake City-Cheyenne, Wyoming-Omaha-Chicago-Cleveland-NYC, which would have given me 3 new states:  Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa.  But alas, I am not so good at driving in the snow, so we decided to take a more Southerly route.  Here’s where I’m going to be and when:

Dec. 12-16:  Oakland, CA
Dec. 16-17:  Santa Barbara, CA
Dec. 17-18:  Vegas, baby!
Dec. 18-19:  Albuquirky, NM
Dec. 19-20:  Oklahoma City, OK
Dec. 20-21:  Little Rock, AR
Dec. 21-22:  NashVegas, TN
Dec. 22:  Arrive home in Durham, NC

We’re taking I-40 most of the way, which means that by the end of this trip, I’ll have seen every inch of it.  I’ve seen it west of Highway 93 in Nevada (where we’ll pick it up), and I’ve seen it east of Little Rock (oh, so many, many times).  I’ll also pick up Oklahoma as one of the states I’ve visited.  And I’m definitely hoping to get some cool photos along the way.  Here’s a list of other random things I’ve got in my head to do:

1.  Get a picture of me “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona”* pretending to hitchhike.
2.  See the World’s Largest…  Something.  I know that the World’s Largest Ball of Twine is in Kansas**, but I don’t know what we’ll see.  I’ve been searching “Roadside America” but haven’t found anything yet.
3.  Make an awesome geographical mix for my iPod.  (Obviously, “Take it Easy” by the Eagles is a must-have.  And so far, I have two songs about Little Rock.)
4.  See lots of friends I miss, hang out, and eat some good food.  (So far, Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville is the only restaurant on the list.)

S000, what do I need from you?  I need suggestions for weird Roadside Attractions (see World’s Largest, above), song ideas for my Geographical Mix (not so much country, though, as I don’t think my car partner would be too excited about that), restaurant suggestions, and, if you live in/near/will be visiting any of these places while I’m going to be there, let me know!  Let’s hang out!

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*God Bless the Eagles.

**There is some debate about this.  Apparently, the one in Kansas has been rolled by many people, while there’s one in Minnesota that’s only been rolled by one person.  But really, when you have to qualify it like that, does it even matter?  Either it’s the biggest, or it’s not.  And apparently, people in the Midwest have a lot of time on their hands.

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