Exactly 12 weeks ago we all packed up our belongings (one 80 lbs suitcase for this girl) and left North Carolina. We’ve put 16,000 miles on our van. I’ve been to 26 states, 12 college campuses (plus other neutral sites), stayed in 43 hotels (that one blows my mind), been to 3 NFL games, 1 MLB (and 1 Arizona Fall League) game and countless restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, farmers’ markets, etc.
We have 4 weeks left on the road until we go home for about two weeks, before we hit the road again.
Some of my favorite moments on the trip so far:
– Shopping at Pike’s Market in Seattle, WA
– Sandboarding in southern Colorado
– Touring Alcatraz
– Singing “Take me Home Tonight” with a cab full of strangers after ISU destroyed Iowa
– Walking around Sonoma, CA and going to a tasting at Envolve Winery. Actually I could really put the entire Bay Area as it’s own bullet point here…
– Shopping in Santa Fe, NM
– Kayaking in La Jolla, CA
– Exploring Salt Lake City, Bonneville Salt Flats and the rest of Utah
– Playing vintage video games at 1Up in Denver
– Las Vegas. Period.
– Shopping and eating in Manitou Springs, CO (after the Cave of the Winds tour)
– Kicking my coworker’s butt in glow-in-the-dark putt putt (two hole-in-one’s, thank you), bowling and pool in Lubbock, TX
– Watching street performers while eating dessert and drinking a cocktail, on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Just put all of Santa Monica here… amazing city
– Street performers everywhere. I cannot ever get enough, they provide a soundtrack to your shopping/eating/drinking/walking experience and I love it.
– Chihuly Garden and Exhibit in Seattle, WA
– Stopping to eat at a roadside cafe somewhere in northern California (still have no idea what the name of that town was) and talking to the woman who owned it, made all of the food from scratch and told us the train stops everyday in town and she feeds the crew
– Reenacting the opening credits of Full House in San Francisco (yes, there’s video of this)
– Touring New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins, CO
– Walking into my room in Lubbock, TX to discover there was a mistake and I got a free romance package… “Is there anyone joining you this weekend ma’am?” – Front Desk “Nope, I’m here for work. Thanks for rubbing it in.” – Me… Discovering Cheetos were part of the package of food, champagne and roses. I laughed for a few days about that one.
– Seeing the fall colors at various stages all over the country (Utah was the best)
Places I will avoid for awhile:
– Inglewood, CA
– Idaho. Seriously. It’s SO windy, dusty and empty.
– Wyoming, for the same reasons listed as Idaho.
– Oregon – they drive in the left lane, under the speed limit, on the interstates
– California – does this need explanation?
– Sunnyside cafe in Albany, CA
– Piranha Killer Sushi in Austin, TX
– Syrup in downtown Denver, CO
– Mariasol on the Santa Monica Pier
– There is a place behind Pike’s Market in Seattle, WA, on the stairwell down to the piers that had Pinneapple Basil gelato that blew my mind.
– Coffee Bean, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Philz Coffee have been my favorites for my morning pick me up
– There’s a crepe place at Pier 39 in San Francisco that’s right next to the sea lions that was awesome
– MGM Signature – Las Vegas, NV
– Sheraton Delfina – Santa Monica, CA
– Tamwoods Hotel – Mission Valley, CA (they had free s’mores at the fire pit every night)
– Hotel Monaco – Salt Lake City, UT (free bottle of wine) – we also stayed at Hotel Palomar in Dallas (free “raid the mini bar” coupon) which are both Kimpton Hotels. Awesome decor, service, food, etc. Love that chain of hotels.
– Tempe Mission Palms – Tempe, AZ
If you’re ever going on a vacation, let me know. I can give you a good list of places to eat, things to do and where to stay. Even though there’s a month left, I know that will go very quickly and I’m already feeling nostalgic about the trip, as if it’s over.
Things I miss most (other than people):
– My bed (I think that’s a given)
– My couch – seriously though, most hotel rooms don’t have couches and the ones that do creep me out (how clean can they be???)
– Pants-free Saturdays (sometimes this turns into an entire weekend) – this is a thing at my apartment… I make a pot of coffee, put on music and spend the day reading, doing some craft found on Pinterest… Pants aren’t allowed. Leggings, shorts, sweats: optional. Jeans, pants, skirts: nope. No shoes, showers or makeup, either. Not until I get ready to go out that night anyway. I’m single and I live alone. Judge away (or be really, insanely jealous…).
– Cooking dinner. Cooking breakfast. Cooking of any kind.