My Cross Country Road Trip: I’ve Made It To California!

August 31, 2012

Moving Road Trip

Hello from California!  The last few weeks have been an insane whirlwind of sorting, donating, packing, shipping and driving!  This is my second time moving from the midwest to the Pacific west (or vice versa actually) and I seemed to have accumulated quite a bit more stuff- including a pug!

My (now former) roomie, Ashlee joined me on the road and we made our way along Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before hitting our destination in California.  What an amazing journey, but it feels good to sleep in my own bed and have access to all of my stuff.  Also, let it be known I am very happy to have a bathtub again and not be living on the 4th floor…moving out was almost as bad as moving in!

Expect two more posts about the move- one with more sightseeing photos and one with my advice on how to frugalize your cross-country move.  I picked up some tricks on how to save money when moving across country that I want to share.  Until then, enjoy the photos of the Chicago-California road trip!

Moving from Chicago To California - Packing Up

Chicago:  Saying goodbye to Chicago which also means bidding farewell to Tiffany & Co.! / Shipping some of my items via Amtrak, the rest had to fit in the car!  / The Impala that got us from Chicago to California  / Enjoying Buckingham Fountain one last time in Chicago.


Moving from Chicago to California-  Illinois, Iowa, Kansas & Missouri

On The Road Day 1-  Illinois scenery /  Stopping for road food (Ralph prefers Taco Bell to Kibble) / Me being psyched about Paul Frank toys at McD’s…LOVE  /  Ralph longing for nom noms at the convenience store


On The Road Day 2-  Enjoying Oklahoma nature at a stop / Gorgeous Oklahoma cloudy day / Finally arriving in Texas, basking in the kitsch that is the Big Texan  /  If you’re in Texas, you HAVE to stop at the Big Texan Steak Ranch!


Moving Across Country- Rest Stop in Texas!

On The Road Day 2.5-  My favorite spot in Texas to stop is The Big Texan for steak, fried okra and BIG beers/  Meeting up with the amazing Lora for drinks and food /  Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the beer.


Day 3 Moving Across Country-  New Mexico & Arizona

On The Road Day 3-  Finally hit New Mexico, yes!  /  Yes, I had to buy new mocassins  / Totally almost bought this cactus but had no more room in the car and Ralph can’t cuddle with it!  /  ARIZONA! WOOHOO!


Day 3/4- from Arizona to California!  Arriving & seeing the pugs!

On The Road Day 3/4-  Sunset near Flastaff, AZ.  /  Back home in Cali in time for Avocados to ripen!  /  Ralph meets part of “the pack.”  Yes, I have other pugs!  /  Savoring a much deserved margarita at the beach!  

We made it!  Thank you for all the comments, tweets & Facebook posts that helped me move with my sanity intact.    Now… to unpack!

27 comments so far.

27 responses to “My Cross Country Road Trip: I’ve Made It To California!”

  1. Yay on the move! & yay for pug packs!

  2. Lindsey says:

    Glad you have a safe trip back west! Looks like Ralph was welcomed right away by the girls!

    • Shannyn says:

      Haha, ya, the puggie girls seem to like Ralph. He still hangs out with me upstairs as I work (he still clings to me like Saran Wrap) but loves being outside and sitting in the sunshine and sniffing all the new kinds of trees he’s never seen in Chicago (Avocado trees=love)

  3. Sarah says:

    I really should get instagram for android…is that how you did the collages for these pictures?

    • Shannyn says:

      I have another app for that- “Picture Frames HD Free” or something like that- but they have a bunch of great ones that are cheap or free to collage your photos!

  4. Welcome back to California! Your pictures made me so happy because I’ve made that drive through the Southwest several times. I love it! Looking forward to more posts about the trip:) Also, I must say, I am a frugal girl too, so I am especially happy to have found your blog!

  5. Kara says:

    Have fun in California! I’ve never been but hear it’s awesome. Keep us posted on what you’re up to, want to see more pictures!

  6. I’m loving your pictures! When I got to the end, I was like, “Wait is that? Is it… It can’t be. AVOCADOS.” Honest to god, I didn’t know they grew on trees. I’m really fascinated. How does it feel to be home??

    • Shannyn says:

      Haha, yes- avos grow on trees, lol… that seriously cracked me up! It feels good to be home, of course, I miss my friends and my bf in Chicago but it’s almost nice to have something to miss, ya know? You know you’ve lived when you have people to long for!

  7. Amelia says:

    New Mexico is my home state, gotta love it. hope you had fun while you were here!

  8. Cross country road trips are so much fun! Glad you had a safe trip!

    • Shannyn says:

      They’re fun for sure, but I think I’m done at least for a little while. Having the pug meant no flying, otherwise it might have been smarter to fly..and cheaper too. It was a fun few days, made some great memories in some good states!

  9. Jennifer M. says:

    Very awesome! Do you mind if I ask how you moved your stuff? Did you haul it with your, ship it separately, sell it and buy more when you got there? I ask because I hope to do this same thing in a few years when I finish school. (I currently live in Oregon, but would love to live/work in NYC!)

    • Shannyn says:

      I shipped most of my stuff via Amtrak Express (you can ship to and from any major station) and that cost around $130. The rest went in the car. I would recommend to downsize as much as possible since toting around stuff is expensive. Ship what you have via Amtrak and fly to your destination… sell off/rebuy anything that’s too bulky or not worth shipping.

  10. Moving cross-country was always stressful, but also a ton of fun and really eye opening! It looks like you guys had a great time! Paul Frank toys at McD’s? That’s kind of amazing.

  11. Mike says:

    I’m really jealous of that big beer! We’re on Day 26 of a whole food adventure and beer is banned (talk about it here: and I really miss it! Enjoy Cali!

    • Shannyn says:

      I love beer- it just to be a reward, now it’s a motivator…”If I do 4 miles today I get a big beer,” or “If I survive this road trip and get my act together, by Texas I’m getting the biggest beer I can find.” Kudos to you for challenging yourself with nutrition! I’m trying to modify my diet so I can splurge on things I love (Like chocolate and beer, haha!)

  12. It was so good to see you–even though it was only for a little bit! Your trip looks so much fun, I love road tripping.

    PS thinking we will need to run a half/marathon together when I get back. We will make it somewhere awesome.

    • Shannyn says:

      Uh, yes!!! There are so many good races out there (as you know) we could do something like the Rock N Roll Half in New Orleans or the Nike Women’s Half in DC (they give you TIFFANY!) I am so excited for the next chapter in your life and cannot wait for you to come back!

  13. Myung Thongdee says:

    I’ve always wanted to do a road trip!

  14. Myung Thongdee says:

    I’ve always wanted to do a road trip! (bg)


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