we're laughing til we cry + hotel advice

and we'd much rather laugh the rest of the way back to LA.

We're on the last day of our road trip & will be headed out of Provo, Utah this morning after a visit with American Crafts.We've taken lots of photos, shared lots of stories, and cannot wait to drink it all in. Our plan was in place, and I think it turned out to be quite perfect. We don't think we're experts on driving cross country, but if anyone's going to do it once in their lives, I strongly recommend laying out a plan similar to the one we had.

A couple weeks before our trip, we looked at the map and planned our route. Recommendations from friends who have done the drive numerous times really helped. My dad was a little worried about the journey since we were 2 young girls traveling by ourselves in an SUV full of stuff. He suggested we plan out our hotels & even book them so that we had reasonable driving goals. Cindy & I had a rule to only stay in hotels (not motels or inns) where the entrances to the rooms were from the inside of the building. Obviously we wanted to be comfortable but not spend too much. This is where priceline came in handy. We booked our second stop- Fort Collins, CO on priceline, but did not bid on our price. We knew we wanted 3 stars & we knew we wanted to spend the least with getting the most bang for our buck. The Hilton Fort Collins was $85 a night & looked to be the best option in our price range. That is the only hotel we had booked until just a few days before leaving Chicago. Since we knew we wanted to stay in Omaha, NE our first night & somewhere near Salt Lake City, UT our 3rd night, I researched hotels for about an hour and decided to choose the "Name Your Own Price" option. We knew we wanted to be in downtown Omaha, within walking distance to The Old Market. The rooms were mostly in the $119 range, so I decided to go just a little over half and my bid for $62 was accepted for the Doubletree downtown. Score! Then considering we would be in Provo, UT on a Sunday night, I thought I could low-ball and bid $40. It rejected my offer but allowed me to up my bid $10, so we got the Marriot Provo for $50. Some of you may have had different experiences with Priceline, but I have to say that ours was positive. So positive I did a happy dance because we saved money. All of the hotels were great, just as described & the only thing that would have made them better would have been free wi-fi in the room. But we splurged on the $9.95 in-room internet on our last night and that's the whole reason I get to say hi to you all. Here are some fun photos of our trip thus far: