The first order of business was to pack my car with all the essentials we would need while we were on the road and for a week or two of living in my apartment (since the moving truck was going to take longer than we were and I could be without the majority of my things for a little while), pick up my cats from being boarded (I had them boarded over the holidays since I was visiting my family and friends for an extended period of time), and hit the road for South Carolina. The ride to Jess's house went smoothly, even if my younger cat meowed through the first and last hours of the trip. After reuniting, getting settled, taking care of last minute details, and getting some sleep, we hit the road in the morning, bound for Memphis.
Instead of driving through Tennessee (which I've partially done before and did not enjoy), we swung a little south and drove through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi so that I could visit Alabama and Mississippi for the first time. Memphis highlights included eating the best baked beans of my life at Interstate Barbecue, visiting Graceland, and seeing the Mississippi River for the first time.
Our next destination was Oklahoma City. As we were driving through Arkansas, we got stuck in standstill traffic for 45 minutes. Seriously. In the middle of nowhere. This was my unimpressed face:
We decided on a whim to stop in Little Rock to see the Clinton Presidential Center and to eat dinner. We had less than an hour to zip through the presidential center, but we were so glad we did. So many very cool things to see, including a replica of the oval office, a Bill Clinton Muppet, and awesome views of the Arkansas River.
Dinner, on the other hand, turned out to be not so great since Jess wound up getting food poisoning. Suffice it to say that our night in Oklahoma City was not a restful one. We saw very little of Oklahoma City and I drove us to Albuquerque the next day while Jess slept most of the way. We did stop and see the Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas to break up the trip a little bit.
Jess was lucky in that her illness was short lived and she was well enough the next day to enjoy the views New Mexico offered on our way to Flagstaff.
Trip notes to be continued in part 2!