U.S.A. – A Wonderful Source of Inspiration

Readers, I haven’t posted much in the last week and a half because I was on a vacation.

Okay, it wasn’t really a vacation. I mean, it was, but it was a bit more of a fast paced vacation instead of a leisure trip.

My vacation involved taking my 17-year-old brother on a college campus tour of his top schools. He’ll be applying this fall to begin in the fall of 2012. The first stop was Phoenix, Arizona and the last stop was Blacksburg, Virginia.  The trip started Thursday, the 21st and ended this past Wednesday night the 27th. We were a bit ahead of schedule since we weren’t supposed to return the car until 7AM Thursday morning, however we returned the car to Dulles Airport at 11PM the night of July 27th.  When you look at these dates, you see six days, but the actual driving did not start until Friday, the 22nd, which also happens to be when we also saw our first college campus.

This was my second time driving across the country. The first time, I was younger (which is a huge deal – you are less tired, I think), and I was with a friend who had a completely different itinerary. We saw a ton of amazing things on her trip and I had an amazing time, but this trip was completely different. We had a schedule to follow thanks to tour meetings we had signed up for, but we also were able to stop at places that I wanted to stop to. Places that seemed interesting and left me speechless.

Now, there are some things that I missed out on and I’m a bit upset about- 1. Springfield, IL – the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and 2. The Whale that resides on old route 66. Springfield, Illinois may have cost more time because I’m such a Lincoln lover, but Springfield isn’t out of the way. Driving to the Whale would have taken me almost 2.5 hours outside of 40 East, the highway that I needed to get through Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee. I very much wanted to meet this Whale, but by the time we stopped in Arkansas to sleep I needed sleep and Memphis was extremely high on my list of cities to see this trip.

Which leads me to another point-driving across the glorious USA is a job! As an artist, yes, I may lose sleep to complete a project/order, but it is nothing compared to driving 20 hours across three states within 1.5 days is a whole heck of a lot of work on the eyes, the mind and the body. It gives me respect for truck drivers who drive full-time for a living. Sleeping 5 hours in a car to wake up and drive almost 800 miles is nothing to take lightly. This trip found me sustaining on copious amounts of caffeine. I don’t love McDonald’s coffee or Starbucks that much, but both got a large amount of my money in the past five days.

As the title says and I’ve mentioned above, we drove through 16 states in 5 days. I was able to see two of my best friends in life, eat amazing food, see historical sites, watching gorgeous sunsets, walk across five very different campuses, and the most important, bond with my  youngest brother. He called me psycho the entire trip, I called myself fun. He later told my 9-year-old nephew that one day he has to have a trip like this with me to experience the world of “Sara.” I’ll take that as a compliment and a sign that he had fun.

I share all of the above with you mostly because I need to get my thoughts of the trip on “paper”, and partially to explain my absence, but lastly, and mostly, to share some pictures from the trip because my eyes saw things that made my mouth gasp and thank the world of having me be part of its gorgeousness. I saw colors, shapes, rocks, plants, trees, mountains, grass, people, and food that awed me in a way that will undoubtably show-up in future designs of mine somewhere in the coming weeks and months.

Below are some of my favorite pictures and sources of inspiration. The itinerary of the trip (so you can make sense of the photos -they are in order of how we drove) is as follows:

Germantown, Maryland
Los Angeles, California
Phoenix, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Amarillo, Texas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Little Rock, Arkansas (we didn’t get into the city)
Memphis, Tennessee
St. Louis Missouri (we didn’t get into the city)
Chicago, Illinois,
Bloomington, Indiana
Cincinnati, Ohio
A cross into Kentucky to see Harry Potter
West Virginia
Blacksburg, Virginia(with a drive through the sky drive in the Shenandoah Mountains)

Quite a lot of pictures, I know. I debated whether I should create a section in my flickr feed, but I want to keep that just stationery, so you, kind reader, are just stuck with having to view them on this blog that is super long. I hope you enjoy. I also hope that this inspires you to seek beauty and inspiration everywhere and through everything. I also hope it gets you biking, driving, walking across the country to see the beauty that it holds.

Regular blogging resumes in August. For the next two days, I have some last vacation days to enjoy.

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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