As a shop owner said to me today in Santa Fe, “God, man, you’re doing it! You’re living the dream!” (accompanied by two fist pounds)
Our first stop after the City by the Bay was in Lake Tahoe, NV (which means south side, no one refers to the location by which state or city… just by north or south).
After losing some money at the slots, it was time to walk around Heavenly Village. I really enjoyed the shops, food and sights of the Lake Tahoe area. What I didn’t like? I think I was the youngest person in the area, by about 30 years at least.
Our stay was short lived. On to Boulder, Colorado – with a pit stop in what is becoming by home away from home, Salt Lake City. We were only in Boulder for two days, one of which being a game day. From what I saw, Boulder is just as beautiful as everyone says. But it was time to go back to Utah. This time, we had a game at BYU in Provo.
As absolutely beautiful as Provo is, it has some cultural differences. First of all, I couldn’t order Diet Coke (with caffeine) on campus. Second, when you go to a restaurant they make your drink (or grab your bottle of beer) from the back. Yes, apparently people find it offensive to keep alcohol in plain view in a bar. This is a real law. In 2012. Some other things I noticed, many of the women were MUCH younger than their husbands/boyfriends, women didn’t wear a lot (or any) make up, dye their hair, etc. I should let you know, I have no problem with the way they are living their lives. It’s probably much healthier than the lives some of us lead. There were some things I saw in regards to the way parents treated their children and men treated women that I did take issue with, but it’s their choice. Just more reason why I will always have an affair with Utah, but will never move there.
From Provo, we went south to the Grand Canyon.
I feel like there’s not much to say about the Grand Canyon. It’s the Grand Canyon. So, let’s just look…
And then it was on to Tempe. I wish I would’ve taken some photos of our hotel, Tempe Mission Palms… it was incredible. The ESPN crew was staying there to, so you best believe I was on the hunt for Jesse Palmer for a few days. But to no avail, maybe I’ll have luck in these last few weeks on the road…
After our game at ASU, we woke up and drove to Los Angeles. 8 hours later….. but seriously. How on earth do people live with that traffic? It added 2 hours to our driving time. TWO HOURS! Insane.
We opted to stay in Santa Monica. I mean, as appealing as staying near USC, in Inglewood, sounded… We stayed at another amazing hotel, Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica. Walking distance to the pier, the 3rd St. Promenade and Santa Monica Place (that’s where Ryan Gosling takes Steve Carrell shopping in Crazy. Stupid. Love.).
After 6 (just kidding, it was closer to 3) hours of driving, we arrived at San Diego the day after the USC game. If you ever head to this part of the country, a tip: stay in La Jolla. Don’t stay in San Diego. The beaches are north in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla. Plus, the shops and cafes are much more unique and memorable.
AND if you ever have the chance, check out a sea cave kayak tour. I will post photos once I have them, yes I have to develop them because I bought a waterproof camera. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. Sharks were swimming beneath us, sea lions were perched on the rocks, seals and sea lions would periodically pop their heads up right next to the kayak… It was unreal. Add it to your bucket list. OEX La Jolla, ask for a tour with Kyle. Incredible, incredible experience. Also, get a wet suit. It gets cold, even with one on…
Then we went to Vegas. And well, what happens there, stays there.
After Vegas, we went back to Utah to repent. This time, we decided to stay in Park City (famous for hosting Sundance Film Festival every January). Utah had already won me over. Then I stayed here…
Unfortunately, our stop was a short one. We were headed to Laramie, Wyoming. I’m sure you can guess how exciting that was. Not to mention, the high during our event was only 25 degrees.
We didn’t stick around long. We had tickets to Sunday Night Football. Brees. Manning. Faith Hill… does it get better? (Well, it kind of does… Seahawks, Packers, replacement refs…)
Waking up in Denver, completely confused as to where I was… I packed my belongings and headed south for Colorado Springs. Specifically, the Garden of the Gods.
Colorado Springs is not exactly a destination I would go, but tucked in the mountains, near Pike’s Peak is a quaint town of Manitou Springs. There is a lot of history, hiking, caves…
And in case Colorado hasn’t won you over yet, head 2 hours south of Colorado Springs to the Alamosa area. Go to Kristi Mountain Sports and rent yourself a sandboard or sandsled. It will be the best $20 you ever spend.
Add this to your bucket list. I mean it. This was one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. And it’s quite a workout.
And if you don’t like sand, the mountains and other remaining areas of the park are also beautiful.
I’m currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tomorrow we head to Lubbock, Texas for a few days. I’m excited to be back in the Central Time Zone for the rest of the trip. It will make life so much easier in regards to talking to friends and family back home. Plus, it will just be nice to be in one time zone for more than a few days.
I hope everyone had a great Halloween and enjoys Movember as much as I do.
And one last shot from the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The epitome of ‘Merica.