I am getting very excited for #GlanzerRoadTrip18! In just under two weeks we hit the road for a 9-day, 8-state, 2500-mile road trip to the Black Hills. I haven’t been there since 2000, and Lauren, and obviously Johnny, have never been.

We have traveled to Germany, Mexico, North Carolina, and a few trips back home up north over the past few years, but those times were always via air. As I’ve stated before, I actually miss driving long distances. In the past year, I’ve only once driven a car outside the Austin metro, and that was a short jaunt to Houston last summer. The last time we really drove anywhere was the Walsh wedding in 2013, and then we were on such a tight schedule we didn’t have a second to spare. Nearly every single day on the way to work I have an overwhelming urge to just keep driving once I get on the highway. Thanks to Johnny’s Montessori School taking all of Memorial Day week off, we have a built-in excuse to travel. Lauren had mentioned Big Bend National Park in western Texas, but I felt that wasn’t far enough. I really wanted to put some miles on the Chrysler.

Additionally, I don’t think I’ve done a true road trip where we have stopped off at silly roadside attractions in… maybe ever? I have been researching things we can stop off and see every step of the way. Giant rabbit statues, diners with crazy shit on the walls, cacti shaped like things… pretty much anything photo-worthy. My thinking is that Johnny will need frequent potty breaks, and we have nothing but time… so why not?

I think we’ll leave Friday after work, and I’ll drive as far as I can go until I need sleep, probably Lubbock or Amarillo. Saturday we’ll drive from there to Denver where we plan to crash with the Hovdes! Sunday we’ll go to a Rockies game and hang out with the Hovdes again. Monday we’ll hit the road to South Dakota, where we will wing it and see where we wind up… maybe Hot Springs. Tuesday we’ll explore a bit—hit up Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Cave, whatever—before arriving at our big cabin near Deadwood that afternoon. There, we should be greeted by the rest of the Glanzer family. With 16 people, we were able to afford a giant executive lodge-style cabin! We’ll do some serious relaxing Wednesday and Thursday at the cabin. Friday, we’ll head east and check out some fun stuff like Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, and Wall Drug as we begin to make our return to Austin. If all goes to plan, we’ll stop in York, Nebraska where we could conceivably meet up with some old friends. And then Saturday it’s the long ass haul back to Texas. Maybe we get the whole way that day, maybe not.

Anyway, a lot of this route is uncharted territory for all of us, so I’m brimming with excitement thinking about it.