Sunday, July 8, 2012

Adventures in America...

Its hard to believe it was this time a month ago that I was trekking across the country! It was a really amazing trip. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone...we both felt like we saw so much of the country (which was especially great for me before I head off to Germany!) and amongst the 4000+ miles, we enjoyed hours and hours of great conversation. We spiced it up with fun things like eating a milkshake a day and making a "pic stitch" of everyday in attempts to capture the here they are with a few explanations. 
Planning the road trip...even though this trip had been a topic of conversation for months, we only actually decided to do it about 10 days before we left, which meant most of the planning was done by iPhone during the hours on the road!

Day 1: Memphis and Little Rock
Songs: "Walking in Memphis" and "Little Rock"
Highlights included Beale Street in Memphis and finding the "little rock" that the city was named for, as well as staying with a friend from Wake Forest in Little Rock and the excitement of completing the first day of the trip!

Day 2: Oklahoma City
Song: "Oklahoma!"
Highlights included swinging by a casino on the side of the interstate (we gave ourselves a $10 limit!), the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum, being in OKC during the Spurs vs. Thunder game, and our first Airbnb experience!
Day 3: Amarillo, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico
Songs: "Amarillo by Morning", "Amarillo Sky", "All my Exes Live in Texas" and "Trying to Stop You Leaving"
Highlights included seeing the biggest cross in America, realizing we had messed up the time zones and had a spare hour, cadillac ranch, finding a natural spring to swim in and cool off in from the New Mexico heat, staying in a casita with a friend's grandparents, authentic mexican food, watching the sunset over the Rio Grande, and getting a milkshake at the Route 66 Diner. This day was a huge success and one of our favorites of the whole trip!
Day 4: Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona and The Grand Canyon
Songs: "Standing on a Corner in Winslow Arizona"
Highlights included the amazing views of the grand canyon, which really cannot be explained in words and pictures do not do it justice. We were able to stay for sunset which was wonderful, as well as seeing the Rio Grande that morning and a fun-filled day of driving and great conversation. The only let down this day was that Chris did not get to see a Moose, despite all our efforts of searching.

Day 5: Los Angeles, California
Songs: "California", "California Girls" (both Beach Boys and Katy Perry...embarrassingly), "New York to California"
Highlights include driving on the old Route 66, and successfully making it all the way across America! When we arrived in LA, we were visiting a good friend of both of ours from college, Hannah Newman, which was wonderful and she was an excellent tour guide. The low point of this day was driving through the desert most of the time, which was hot, dry, and exit-less.

Day 6: Los Angeles, California
This was our first day of full rest, which was much needed at this point! We enjoyed going to church with Hannah, hanging out on the Santa Monica pier, reaching the official end of Route 66, seeing Hollywood Blvd, and going to dinner on Sunset Blvd. The only bad part of this day was that Hannah talked us into seeing the movie Prometheus...and needless to say I do not recommend it.

Day 7: San Francisco, California
Songs: "San Francisco", "California" and every Beach Boys song ever!
Highlights included a beautiful drive up Highway 1/Highway 101 that allowed us to drive along the beach and also see some beautiful mountains! We also ate at In-N-Out, a requirement of any west coast trip, before arriving in San Francisco at Ali and Jonny's house. They took us out to a great dinner and dessert, and we enjoyed hanging out with them that night.

Day 8: San Francisco, California
We took another day off to explore the city of San Fran...I felt like a tour guide since this was my fifth time here but Chris got to see it all for the first time and absolutely loved it. We started the day at Tartine, one of my favorite breakfast places ever, then went to Fisherman's Warf, watched the Seals on Pier 39, rode a cable car and saw the crooked street, went to the beach, and rode a ferry to see the Golden Gate Bridge. This was a fun-packed day, followed by a great dinner and trivia with Ali and Jonny and their friends. We had an amazing stay in San Fran and were sad to say goodbye.

Day 9: Northern California and Eugene, Oregon
Highlights were less this day, as we mostly drove and did much less stopping,  but we did see some absolutely beautiful countryside and had a nice dinner in Eugene, as well as getting to see The University of Oregon (which has extremely nice facilities thanks to the founder of Nike...), and we had our most successful Airbnb stay of the whole trip!
Day 10: Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington
Songs: "Chicago" by Mat Kearney
Highlights were also plentiful this day. We left Eugene early and made it to Portland early, which allowed us to explore the city, walk down by the river, grab lunch at a cute local place, do a little shopping, visit the rose gardens, and then still drive on to Seattle in time for a nice dinner for our last night! The low point of this day was a little Airbnb mishap, but we moved past it, with time to still enjoy our dinner and see Seattle at night, before capping off the night with our final McFlurry of the trip.

Day 12: Seattle, Washington (and a flight back to Nashville for me...)
Highlights included our VIP tickets to the Needle, and the blessing of a perfectly clear day, so we could see the entire city, the water, and Mount Rainer. We also went to the Pike Place market and got some delicious ice cream and fruit before I made it to the airport with about two minutes to spare before my flight left. We were both so sad to see this trip end!
Upon returning to Nashville, I found this wonderful scratch map of the United States, so I started by scratching only the states I had visited this summer (which, thanks to the cross country road trip, was a lot!).
I think its fair to say that both Chris and I had an amazing experience driving cross country and we would both recommend doing this at some point in your life!


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