Monday, July 30, 2012

Days 14, 15 and 16

Finally, the final post about my trip! We woke up on Friday to head to Frisco, Texas. As sad as it is, we were excited to drive through Texas and not see any more mountains. We got to my cousin Anne's house just in time to watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics! We went to eat dinner and had the best burgers ever and walked around a cute little area that had all stores and restaurants.

In the morning, we left and headed for Tennessee. We were going to wait and see how far we would drive and stop at a hotel, but instead we made a reservation at one that had good reviews. We stopped in Nashville on the way for some BBQ. Just a note for those of you who want to travel and go to restaurants from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, a lot of them have bad reviews. We went somewhere we found on Urban Spoon and it was a great success. We shard BBQ nachos, a pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese and cornbread. It was amazing. Nashville seemed like such a cool city, we want to go back when we go on a tour of the South.

We eventually got to the hotel we booked...and it was NOT good. We had really great hotel experiences until this one. I should have known to leave when I saw a sign that said "no refunds after fifteen minutes." We got to the room and it didn't look too bad, but the bathroom and the linens were definitely sketchy. It probably didn't help that we have been watching so much SVU that we turned every situation into a crime scene. We got out of there as soon as we could in the morning.

We only had a short nine hour drive home. As awesome as our trip was, we are glad to be back. I missed my bed! Our trip was definitely worth it and everyone should go on a road trip at some point! Thanks for following me on our travels, and I hope you post a blog if you go somewhere exciting!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 12 and 13

It was bittersweet to leave...but at least our first destination was Las Vegas! We got to our hotel in record time, and they let us check in early at 1:30. We stayed at the MGM Grand, which I've stayed in before, but it was still as great as it was in the past! We couldn't wait to get to the pool. It really didn't feel hot at all. The humidity on the east coast really does kill you.

Then, we got ready to go out to dinner. We checked out this one place but weren't too into the food, so we called and made a reservation for a restaurant called Stack in The Mirage. It was really confusing trying to navigate our way there on The Strip. Sometimes you could cross the street and other times you had to cut through a hotel and it took us a while to figure it out. Anyway, we got to the restaurant and shared some appetizers and a salad. The drinks we ordered looked so classy and were very different than anything we would normally order.

We attempted to go out that night. All of the bars we went to either seemed really boring or had more of an older crowd at them. We almost gave up, but then went past Coyote Ugly on the way back to our hotel. We figured we would check it out, since there really wasn't anything else left and didn't really want to play in the casino too much (I did learn how to play Blackjack, but I didn't do very well). So we went into the bar, and the bartenders were dancing on the bars like in the movie. Eh, whatever, we figured there would be other young people in there. Well, it seemed like there were mostly girls our age and creepy guys. We didn't stay too long. We'll have to go back when it isn't a Wednesday, when there are more places open at night. Only going to Vegas for one night is really a tease.

Thursday morning, we had breakfast then headed to the Grand Canyon. We were going to stop at the Hoover Dam on the way, but since you had to pay to park, we just drove by. We got to the Grand Canyon and it was raining. It wasn't too hard though, so we were able to take pictures. Even though it was the third time I've been there, it really is incredible to see. Then, we drove to Albuquerque and stayed there for the night. We didn't get to do anything too exciting because we gt there pretty late.

More Day 10 and 11

I've been a blogging fail. When we aren't driving, I've been busy and when I'm in the car, I've been watching Netflix. Oops...

Anyway, later in the day on Monday, we went to the biggest Forever 21 ever! It seriously looked like a department store. Then, we went on an adventure to In and Out and got some donuts from Sunshine Donuts for dessert. They are pretty much the best donuts ever...that's why there is a picture.

Tuesday, after we got some things together for our trip back, we went wine tasting around SLO. It was pretty good, but we are definitely spoiled after going to Paso Robles. We bought a bottle of white from the first place we went to. The second place, we weren't too impressed until Andrea convinced the guy to open a late harvest Zinfandel for us to try and it was delicious! We had a final goodbye dinner with Kevin, Doug and Cameron. It was so hard to leave!!!! I want to go back already :(

Monday, July 23, 2012

Days 9 and 10

Yesterday morning we mostly relaxed...we do that a lot. We went to watch Doug swim part of a triathlon, and it made me wish I was much more athletic than I am. We decided to go to Avila Beach last night and check out the sunset. The beach was really pretty and had a pier. It was a strange feeling though to walk on the sand and not have your feet burned. It was also weird to be wearing pants and a sweater, and still feel chilly. I love that we have kind of escaped the summer heat on the east coast by hanging out here. Although, once we are driving through the desert on the way back, we will probably feel differently.

This morning, after I could finally get away from doing things for marching band, we went on a hike up a mountain (some would call it a hill, we like mountain) and had a nice view of SLO.

I'm sure I'll have more thing to take about later, since it's not even 2:30. I just felt like taking the time to blog now since I'll probably be too lazy to do it later. I also wanted to thank everyone who has been reading it! The main reason I decided to do this is because I know my family likes to know where I am and what I'm doing. I figure keeping a blog and putting it on Facebook would help keep them updated and let them know I'm alive and having fun!

Some of you may wonder, why did Andrea and I decide to go on our road trip and how we planned it? Well, Andrea's brother Kevin invited us to come in May. I remember I was driving back to PA from Staten Island on Mother's Day when I thought of this whole proposal that we could go on a road trip. Airfare round-trip to SLO is about $600 each, so it just made sense to drive here! Our plans changed on which route we would take a few times. We really wanted to go to Colorado, but didn't want to risk it with the wildfires. We also really wanted to go to the Grand Canyon on the way here, but didn't want to get stranded in my shady car. Well, we ended up not taking my shady car and I learned how to drive a manual just for this trip! Actually, it was more like on this trip. Instead, we are going to the Grand Canyon on the way back. We also attempted to go on a strict budget. We cut out eating out, purchasing alcoholic drinks and coffee and couldn't shop for clothes or nail polish. We were really good at this in th beginning, but I kind of fell off the wagon at the end because I needed to buy clothes for teaching...and just have a need to shop. We also saved our change and put $20 each in a jar each week, and would add more if we had some extra cash in our wallets. So far, the cash thing has worked out well because we used it to buy food and gas when it was cheaper to use cash than a card. Not including the wine we have purchased, so far it has cost us about one person's airfare. That is including two hotel stays, food, seeing Mount Rushmore and enjoying the view on the road.

So, if you are wondering if it is worth it to go on a road trip, I would have to say it absolutely is! It really doesn't have to be as expensive as you think, if you can find some family to stay with here and there, and you save some money in preparation! Just a heads up though, you might feel like you are so free an be inspired to see the entire world...because that's how I feel right now...