Thursday, May 11, 2017

From Saint to Saint

Necklaces featuring Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, were worn around many a neck when I was growing up. Most of my friends weren't Catholic; to my knowledge, none of them were, but it was a cool thing in the seventies to wear a Saint Christopher medallion. I think I even asked for a Saint Christopher necklace for Christmas one year. My folks did not indulge me; to this day, I've never had a Saint Christopher to protect me on my way. 

Our Utah family, a couple of years ago.

Saint Christopher has been on my mind lately because of our upcoming road trip to see my kids in Utah, with our puppies, Bristol and Sami. This is the biggest travel agenda we've ever undertaken together, being responsible for anything more than ourselves. The patron saint of travel; if we ever needed travelers' blessings, now would be the time.

We'll be traveling so very far, and I hope we will be okay without Saint Christopher hanging around our necks, as we travel from one city named for a saint to another. Chuck and I will drive 1600 miles from Saint Charles, Illinois to Saint George, Utah, and we plan to do it straight through. As soon as Chuck shuts down his computer today, this little Midwestern crew is piling into our SUV, and riding off into the sunset; literally. 

People have been surprised by some of our plans. One, that we're not stopping at hotels along the way, thereby breaking up our trip into smaller segments. Two, that we're not going to board Bristol and Sam at a kennel; we're taking them with us. Three, that we're driving straight through, except to gas up, and give the puppies stretch and potty breaks.

Chuck's vacation days are so precious to us. Each year, we divide our time between two trips to Florida, and two trips to Utah to visit our faraway kids. The number of days he has for sick days and vacation are all bundled together, and he only takes sick days when absolutely necessary so we have more time with our family. We want to spend as much of our time with the kids as possible, and as little time traveling to see them. We figured if we drive straight through, we'll save time traveling and money on accommodations.

Can't wait to see another beautiful sunset in Saint George, Utah tomorrow night, if all goes well!

We usually fly to Utah, but now that we have the puppies, we would either have to pay to have the puppies fly in the cargo hold because they're not exactly lap dogs, or we would have to leave them behind at a local kennel. We didn't even consider flying them, and when we found out it would cost over $350 a week for the two of them to be boarded, we figured it would be much cheaper to take them with us. By driving out, we also save ourselves the cost of airfare and a rental car.

One of my friends asked me why we were bringing an air mattress. While one of us sleeps in the back, the other can keep driving. It may sound grueling, but Chuck and I have loved our road trips, and are glad we have the space to lie down and rest. 

We had a practice trip last weekend.

A big consideration in buying a new car this year was it needed to have enough space for one of us to sleep in the back so we could do our long-distance trips more comfortably. In January, when we bought the Highlander, we didn't know there were two puppies on our horizon. Sharing the back of the car with a large dog crate cuts down the amount of space for us to stretch out, but it's doable. 

While we travel from Saint Charles to Saint George, may we be blessed with safety, sanity, and smooth driving. We could use all the blessings we can get. 


  1. Have a fun, safe trip, D! Your dogs are lucky to have "saints" like you as owners!

    1. Thank you, Cindy! We are having a blast. I'm not so sure our puppies have SAINTS for owners, but they are truly loved.

    2. There is always Saint Francis of Assisi -

  2. That sounds like fun. We took our dog with us, on a road trip to Yosemite only to find out, they are very dog-unfriendly! So we camped outside the park. We also camped for free at BLM property and that was fun. A bit spooky at night. One night, we were close to home, but too tired to drive so we actually slept a few hours at a rest stop.

    It was adventurous and fun. Although I was very happy to see my comfy bed once home.

    We love our dog and cats we hate to leave them. We do have our daughter who can house sit for us and watch the animals but we miss them so much, we never stay longer than maybe 4 days.

    Have fun and take lots of pictures.

    1. Ooh, I wish one of our kids could watch the puppies. They are probably glad they can't!


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