Whirlwind spring break road trip

During my first two years as a PhD student, I didn’t really take time off for spring break. But this year, since I plan to keep my nose to grindstone over the summer, I decided to put my research down and let loose for a few days. I called up my best friend and convinced her to go on a road trip with me — destination unknown! So we loaded up a rental car and hit the road. I picked her up from Ohio and decided that driving west back the way I came would be a little boring, so we headed south at first. We stopped in Nashville, TN to see the replica Parthenon and then pressed on to Atlanta and the largest aquarium in the world (both well worth seeing, by the way). From there we drove to Pensacola, FL and then along the Gulf coast to Galveston Bay. After a lovely day on the coast in the sun, we went to check out San Antonio (as a historian, I insisted we stop to see the Alamo, of course) and then drove the entire breadth of Texas on a epic quest to encounter my friend’s first tumbleweed. After a brief stop in Roswell (in the middle of the night!), we pressed on to Sante Fe and hiked the Frijoles canyon at Bandelier National Park. With time running out, we turned back toward home and followed Route 66 for about a thousand miles, stopping at the famed Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo on the way. All told, we clocked 4600 miles in 7 days, crossed 17 states and had an absolute blast. Now it’s back to the books, but I feel refreshed and ready to tackle these last few weeks. It was definitely a break to remember!