a stop in the shop

Holy moses we have a lot to catch up on! I’ve just finished a whirlwind and unplanned (isn’t that always the way) 5 weeks and 5,000 miles on the road. (Yes, five thousand) The results, just to share a few:

1.) A happy girl, because I:
*Found a home base city
*Got to participate in fun activities
*Worked from many interesting places with pretty views
*Saw lots of great people in lots of fun places like Charlotte, Nashville, Columbus, and Chicago
*Ate lots of de-lish food
*Had the moments of quiet I live for; On the road alone, windows down and dreaming big

2.) A very tired BLR-Mobile that ended up on the shop yesterday after my trek from Chicago to Vermont for a bit of an emergency appointment:

BLR-Mobile goes in the shop

(Tear, I know…)

Fret not though! (Ok, so I was freaking out a little because after all- this car is my home.) She’s getting all fixed up as we speak and it was “just” a wheel bearing. When I asked the mechanic in a panicked voice as he and I drove around the block so he could hear the loud rumble I was worried about “What the heck could cause that?!” He looked at my odometer and replied: “185,000 miles causes that!” We both laughed.

Oh yeah- that wear and tear thing. This car really does work hard for me. No wonder she needed some love! I have never put a single penny into my amazing partner in crime other than for regular maintenance. That’s what I’m talking about! (I love you Honda:)

I have a laundry list of things to share, news, updates and exciting things about BLR Play It Forward coming up in just 6 shorts weeks, interviews I’ve been asked to do, the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship, and other awesomeness. Catching breath and up on work after a 5,000 speed-racer road trip is a big pile to tackle, so I’ll be back. Right now It’s time to go pick up the mighty Civic. I feel like my left arm is missing without her!


queen city to music city

Windows down, warm and sunny on the road is my perfect kind of day, so naturally the drive from Charlotte to Nashville in the green nature gorgeousness made me very happy yesterday. I highly recommend the 6.5 hour trek to anyone who hasn’t been through Western, NC/Smoky Mountains.

One little hiccup though, was that my malfunction indicator lamp came on in my trusty little Civic:

BLR-Mobile has a boo boo

My car is my constant and these lights never come on so I was worried for a few seconds there. Thankfully at this point nothing seems to be wrong. (It’s a Honda and I never go without AAA so I’m not afraid to keep on trekking.) This light can come on if something as simple as your gas cap isn’t screwed on tight enough. I made stop into an Advance Auto Parts and had them hook up a code reader just in case to make sure I was good to go and nothing seemed alarming so I kept moving! 183k plus and counting.

It was near 90 degrees, so when I stopped outside Asheville, at one of those gas/McDonald’s stations to fuel up the BLR-Mobile, I went inside to grab a diet coke with lemon. (Always a craving on a hot day.) The young kid behind the counter handed me a cup and winked as I pulled out my money to pay, shaking his head and offering “Have a nice day!”

Why thank you, young one. I promise to pay it forward:

McDonald's Diet Coke

A full tank of gas, full diet coke, and full water cup and I was on my way through this beautiful scene:

Great Smokey Mountains

…and drove through sunset as I rolled into Nashville:

Sunset outside Nashville

Sunset outside Nashville

Not too shabby for a bug-splattered windshield.

There’s nothing like a Great America Road Trip. If you’ve never just jumped in the car for a few days with no plan- do it. It will change your life.