From June 3-10, I traveled with my best friend Missy as she moved back to Chicago. We made a road trip out of it, stopping in Santa Fe, Denver, Mount Rushmore, a suburb of Minneapolis and finally Chicago. It was a trip of a lifetime. Here is a brief story of the trip.
June 3, 2010:
Phoenix, AZ to Santa Fe, NM
Missy and Jen took off around 7 am for Santa Fe, NM, the first stop on their wild adventure to move Missy back to Chicago. Traveling through the desert, the pair found themselves in Jurassic Park, but somehow avoided being eaten by dinosaurs. After two stops for gas and an hour sitting, literally sitting, in traffic, Missy and Jen finally arrived at their first destination. Santa Fe was a darling town full of artsy stores (which were all closed when we arrived). A beautiful cathedral was the center point of the town and a yummy dinner of Mexican food at Tomasitas completed the two adventurers’ first stop on their journey.
June 4, 2010:
Santa Fe, NM to Denver, CO
After an early start, the two travelers embarked on a five-hour drive to Denver. The drive was beautiful as the Rockies could be seen in the distance. After a short rest (and a poor decision of McDonald’s), Missy and Jen met up with a Delta Zeta sorority sister, Lindsay, and participated in a Microbrewery Tour in Lodo, aka Downtown Denver. Visiting and tasting beers from four different breweries was joyous time. The breweries on the tour included The Great Divide, Breckenridge, Wynkoop and Rock Bottom. Missy and Jen wrapped up the evening meeting up with three more old friends (Garrett, Alex and Alan) and enjoying the nightlife in Denver.
June 5, 2010
Denver, CO to Keystone, SD
After sleeping in due to the previous evenings’ festivities, Missy and Jen prepared for a trek to Mount Rushmore. The two adventurers drove through the rest of Colorado and into a bit of Wyoming before eventually reaching South Dakota. A long drive, which featured numerous cows and fields and very few towns, Missy and Jen were floored by the geography of this portion of South Dakota, which featured several mountains. After a very slight detour regarding the hotel, the two set out for one of America’s most famous monuments. The two explored Mount Rushmore and learned of the history of Mount Rushmore, as well a few tidbits on the four presidents featured: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
June 6, 2010
Keystone, SD to Plymouth, MN
The longest stretch of road laid ahead for the dynamic duo. Missy and Jen woke up and readied themselves for a 9-plus hour drive across the entire state of South Dakota. Thankfully, a series of bizarre billboards advertising some drugstore amused the two during the drive. In likely the only poor decision of the road trip, they did not stop at the famous Wall Drug. They could see the famous Badlands of South Dakota in the distance but continued their odyssey, stopping only for lunch at a random Pizza Hut. Missy and Jen had three more hours to go after finally crossing into Minnesota, but it passed quickly as they were finally able to reunite with their former roommate and good friend Jillian. Two other friends, Jihone and Michael, met up with the trio and enjoyed drinks. A relaxing evening with good friends was just what the two travelers needed.
Plymouth, MN to Lake Zurich, IL to Chicago
Missy and Jen ate lunch with Jillian, their good friend, before bidding adieu and heading off to their final destination, the great state of Illinois. After an uneventful drive through Wisconsin, the pair reached Lake Zurich, Ill., the hometown of Missy. The two settled in for two relaxing days full of pedicures and delicious Filipino food. On June 9, the pair drove for one final time as they headed to Chicago. After checking into their hotel, Missy and Jen took a boat tour and gained knowledge on the history of Chicago and information regarding the architecture. They explored Navy Pier and Millennium Park before resting for a night out. The Chicago Blackhawks were playing in the Stanley Cup Finals and Missy and Jen attended the official bar to watch it. The atmosphere was intense but it paid off as the Blackhawks won the coveted trophy for the first time since 1961. The final day of the journey involved apartment hunting for Missy and at the end of the day, the two good friends bid each other a tearful goodbye as Jen took off for the airport, thus concluding their amazing journey.