13 Apr


Note to future self- when you have to wake up at 4am to drive 8 hours don’t have your girlfriends over the night before to drink wine. My lord that was stooopid. Luckily, I was amped with pure excitement and adrenaline so I still managed to pop out of bed at 4am ready to hit the road.

I got so many lovely send-offs before my trip and I was very  thankful and surprised by each one. My father (true to form) handed me a stack of papers entitled, “how to drive in extreme weather conditions”. He also threw in (for good measure) another warning- if we see clouds that start to move in a circular motion (yes there were hand gestures involved) don’t drive towards them. Noted, Dad- I will NOT drive towards tornadoes!

Pamela gave me a brilliant rain coat that can fold into a ball…very handy indeed, especially when faced with tornadoes.

My mother gave me cute dresses to wear in Savannah, and her love.

Irv called me the night before to share his stories about driving across the country with me and they cracked me up.

My friend, Alex, gave me an envelope that had 23 little pieces of paper in it with inspirational quotes on them to look at each day. Beyond sweet.

My girlfriends, Jen and Taline, came over the night before to put my outfits together. If you haven’t noticed yet, I am completely inept at dressing myself in anything other than jeans and t-shirts.

Brian hid an envelope in my book with the most kind, intimate and thoughtful message written in it. It actually made me tear up a bit when I discovered it on our drive. I realized just how much I am going to miss sleeping next to him every night for the next few weeks. You could say I have gotten rather attached.

These moments also made me realize just how supported I am and they made this trip even more meaningful.

The drive…

The drive from Los Angeles to Tucson wasn’t too tiring…only 8 hours- that’s nothing compared to some of our other days!

Despite how tired I was, I found myself smiling uncontrollably throughout the drive…I am just so damn thankful for this opportunity and I can’t believe that I get to travel around America for 23 days with my best girlfriend. It’s stuff dreams are made of, people!

When we finally arrived in Tucson, our first stop was a dive-y Mexican restaurant named Los Betos (Rachel’s favorite burrito place from her days at the University of Arizona) where we scarfed down food in 1 minute flat- we were starved! Then we headed to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for an afternoon of cacti and animals. The highlight for me was most definitely the Javalenias. Have you ever seen one? The are so damn cute- like little pigs! After our nature walk through the museum we hopped back in the car for a karaoke filled drive through the rolling desert hills. There is something about the desert that makes you feel so connected to life. There is just so much beauty everywhere you turn- big open spaces filled with cacti…the blue blue sky…the bright pops of color.

It was at that point I finally felt away.

I did not think the day could get better, that was until we arrived at our first hotel- The Arizona Inn. It’s such a classic, glamorous and beautiful hotel. Its history dates back to 1930 and it is also where Eleanor Roosevelt stayed when visiting Tucson! I’m in love with everything about the hotel…the colors, the decor, the service, the croquet lawn, the flowers, the pool and well everything.

I am in love with every little detail about this trip so far actually and it’s only day 1

More to come!

check out One Part Gypsy’s post


5 Responses to “86”

  1. becca3416 April 13, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I love the picture by the pool. Looks like a very unique Inn indeed.

  2. gregorychankins April 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I love this posting. It really feels like your taking is with you. So much fun to tag along! Also love the pictures, especially the two sets of feet. That’s kinda cute. I’ve even put Instagram on my iPhone. So keep them pictures rolling!

    • katemcclafferty April 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      Thank you Gregory!!! I’m so happy to have you along for the journey!!! I have become a crazy instagramer with this trip so many many many more pictures to come:)

  3. rebecca koo April 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    So, so great! I love it! Enjoy and I look forward to more posts on this adventure!


  1. Day 6, part 1: Driving to Marfa, Texas « - April 23, 2012

    […] middle of nowhere and we saw what looked like a mini tornado in the distance. I thought…omg my Dad was right there’s a tornado!! I started taking pictures of it that was until it started coming toward […]

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