Because Montana, I hear, is beautiful

A trip? A while back, back before we packed up all our things and said our goodbyes and moved from North Carolina to our temporary home here in Maryland, J and I talked about the fact that these months - before we officially move up to New Haven and he officially starts at Yale - would be some of only months off we'd have for a while.

I mean, sure, we'll have vacations and I don't think we'll never get to a point in our life where we stop traveling. It's something we love to do and there are still a lot of places we want to see.

The point being, I don't see these few months off as our last chance to do something cool or anything like that, but we agreed that we should make the most of this time. And we started talking about the possibility of taking a cross country trip, because it's something both of us have always wanted to do.

After we got up here to the Bay we were busier than we expected. We both had work and were hanging out a lot with friends and family. We started thinking about things like looking for a house to buy, and our travel plans kind of got sidetracked until we started to talk about it all again recently.

We talked with people about how we should really do something worthwhile with this time off. Like go to Europe for a solid month. Or go somewhere really far away, like Tahiti or New Zealand.

I'll admit - when I think about all the things we could possibly do it kind of makes me crazy - in a good way, totally, but it's still a bit overwhelming. Are we insane if we don't spend a month exploring France? Are we not adventurous enough if we aren't jumping at the chance to jet off to India or China, simply because we have the time?

The thing is, the two of us keep coming back to this cross country idea. While we've both been to a fair number of states, thanks to having good friends we can visit, I've always been intrigued by the idea of really spending some time getting to know this country. Like John Steinbeck in "Travels With Charley."

I guess I also feel that we're at exactly the right age to make this adventure part road trip/part cultural experience/part relaxation. We like to sleep in beds and take showers regularly and all, so I don't really fear we'd be exhausted and drunk and without shelter at the end of each day. We're almost 30. We're better planners than that.

While our trip certainly isn't set in stone, I thought I'd put this out there because I thought some of you might have some helpful suggestions, enthusiastic recommendations or even negative comments ("Weeks in car with your husband, are you crazy?")

Plus, your aunt and uncle? Who live in North Dakota who no one ever visits because, come on, it's North Dakota, maybe they, I don't know, want to have two fairly cute and very polite strangers over for ice cream or something sometime soon.