This post is longgg & LONGGGGG overdue (about 3 months – oops), but whatevs, enjoy!
Starting December 30 2014, Craig and I went on a road trip out west! LOTS (seriously, LOTS) of things happened.. I’ll dish out as much of the trip I can remember (or want to share) & a good amount of it was caught on camera, so look forward to seeing too many pictures! (: *Events may or may not be in perfect chronological order.
12/30 – We left Austin, TX for Salt Lake City, Utah! We drove straight through the night and hit a little bit of a snow storm in north TX, but we made it safe to Dan, Ben, Titus (the sweetest big & fluffy dog), and Edgar’s house! On our way to SLC, we drove through beautiful Moab, UT and nommed coffee & food while being mesmerized by the red rock wall surroundings.
12/31 to 1/4 – We were in SLC for Criag’s fantasy Snow Cup Quidditch Tournament. NYE was spent at a party with a bunch of Quidditch players (who are all awesome, btw)! The days following were at the tournament, staring at majestic mountains with our jaws agape, drinking, being hungover, and playing fun games like Werewolf, Coup, Waterfall, Ticket to Ride, etc. On the 4th (our last night there), we partied hard with Quidditch players and all I really remember from that night was getting a giant pizza and going to bed early, haha. :b
1/5 – Craig & I slept in super late and headed toward the Grand Canyon! Side note: before this trip, I had never been west of NM, so all of this was so new to me and so very wonderful! We arrived late and it was dark outside, so we crashed in my car and woke up early to see the sun rise over the breath-taking Grand Canyon!
1/6 – After we regained our breath from being in complete awe, we drove around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for a few more views, then headed to LA (not before stopping to take a few pics at the Flintstone Bed Rock Cafe)! Once we hit Cali, we nommed a few samosas from an Indian restaurant/gas station (random, but good), and then drove to Andy’s house. Andy is a really fun & outgoing guy that we met via couchsurfing.org! He took us (Craig, Margo, Amanda, & me) out to a local bar to dance & drink the night away!
<Bed Rock Cafe>
1/7 – We got up as early as we could muster and left Andy’s house to head for Hollywood. Before we ate some delicious Thai food at Ruen Pair on Hollywood Blvd and toured the Hollywood Hills in the Mt. Olympus neighborhood, we took a wonderful nap at Ernest E. Debs Regional Park. (: That night, we crashed at Julia & Diana’s (Quidditch players) place.
1/8 – Craig’s 25th Birthday! We ate a late breakfast, then went to be part of the audience for a Bill Maher taping at CBS Universal Studios in LA! They tried out a bunch of jokes on us to see which ones they wanted to put on air. After laughing for a hot minute, we went to Starbucks, where Craig found a “slug” in his coffee. That night, we went to a Quidditch practice in Long Beach, then spent the night at Lee’s (Quidditch player)!
1/9 – We had breakfast at Lulu’s Cafe, then drove to Zuma Beach (def my fav beach on the entire trip)! This was my first time ever to step into the Pacific Ocean! Oh my, I am such a beach girl. My heart was soaring and there was literally nothing you could have done to take the smile off my face when my toes hit the sand and I saw those gorgeous never-ending waves crashing on the shore. <3 Once I pried myself away, we got in the car and took Hwy 1 to Pismo Beach and ate some of the best damn clam chowder I’ve ever had at Splash Cafe (thanks to the recommendation of Quidditch players Liz & Dan). We then set up tent and camped out at North Beach Campground for the night.
Funny True story: we tried to start a fire, like 20 different ways, but it never caught because the wood there was too wet from heavy sea air & light rain they had been having. We lost many socks and about half a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the attempts, haha.
<Hwy 1 Hills>
<North Beach Camping>
1/10 – This morning we had the best breakfast burritos (in my opinion) of the entire trip at Willie’s Cafe in a gas station store. They were huge and spicy and cheap and yummy. Once our bellies were full, we grabbed some coffee and headed to giggle at the lazy & loud Elephant Seals! Then we drove to watch the sunset at Big Sur and headed to Oakland/Piedmont for some Indian food at Marhaba, then finally crashed at Craig’s uncle Phillip’s house/mansion.
<Big Sur Sunset>
1/11 – During the day, we went to an event to celebrate the inauguration of Oakland’s new Mayor where we saw some badass metal sculptures with killer pyrotechnics, and that night we hung out at the Starry Plough Pub where there were locals playing traditional Irish music.
<Oakland’s New Mayor Event>
<Starry Plough Pub>
1/12 – Uncle Phillip took us on a “little” tour of San Fran! We visited the Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, Ocean Beach, the Sutro Baths, the Golden Gate Bridge, then the Castro District (yay, gay pride!) where we had delicious Sushi & the most decadent truffles for dessert. We ended the night by driving down Lombard Street and visiting Bliss Dance on Treasure Island (a beautiful sculpture from Burning Man 2010)! Well, I guess our very last stop was at In-and-Out where I ate for the first & last time. That was gross.
<Twin Peaks View>
<Golden Gate Bridge>
1/13 – Laundry day, finallyyy! Laundry took up most of our day, but we watched the sunset at Stinson Beach, then went to Smiley’s bar for a few drinks & crashed in my car for the night.
<Stinson Beach Sunset>
1/14 – 1/15 After waking up with some coffee from Toby’s in Point Reyes, Craig and I stocked up on essentials from Trader Joe’s and headed to Yosemite (so far, this is my fav park I’ve ever visited) for some camping! When we got to the park, we quickly learned from all the buzz that history was made that day: two climbers just finished their 19-day free climb of El Capitan! Pretty freakin’ awesome. The next morning, Craig and I ventured up about 8 miles and 2000 feet to climb to some of the most beautiful falls in Yosemite. For dinner that night, we dined in the park’s version of Luby’s, haha. Blegh.
1/16 – Much needed showers were had, then we drove to the wrong part of Sequoia for sunset (fyi: no trees in the PARK, you have to go to the FOREST about an hour north of the park), and ended up back in LA for some crazy good Thai Food and stayed the night at “The Lost Boys” (Quidditch team) house.
1/17 – 1/18 – Craig snitched for the LA Open Quidditch Tournament and I got to see some familiar faces from Utah & Texas. (: During the tournament, I wandered off to Hermosa Beach for some alone time with the ocean. Our second night there we had some interesting (but yummy!) seafood from a tiny restaurant called Baja California Fish.
1/19 – Craig and I stopped in Long Beach for a walk, which sucked. Haha, honestly, this is the ugliest beach because of all the industrial shit happening around it. There was tar and oil in all the sand and it made me more sad than anything else. As a cheer up, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park on our way to my Aunt Betty and Gary’s place in Lake Havasu, AZ.
1/20 – 1/22 We all slept in because we were up till like 4 in the morning having fun, drinking & chatting with my relatives. (: Then we went to cry our eyes out while watching American Sniper. After the movie, we went to Javelina Cantina for a pick me up of margaritas. The next day, Craig and I went to see the London Bridge (seriously, the REAL London Bridge is in Lake Havasu) and took the ferryboat over to CA to gamble for a few hours. It was Craig’s first time at a Black Jack table and he did really well! The next morning we left for TX, but ended up spending the night in Albuquerque, NM, where we rented our only hotel room of the entire trip (!!) and ate a giant NY style pizza.
1/23 – After a good night’s sleep, we drove the last leg of the trip back to Austin while munching on pizza leftovers. We got to Craig’s late at night & crashed HARD, glad to be home & happily soul-filled from our road trip out west. (:
It was by far the most amazing road trip I’ve been (for so many reasons) and I am so so so very grateful that we were able to have this adventure together. I honestly wish it could have been much longer (there are too many places I still want to see), but I ended up staying with Craig the entire month of February & that was kind of like being on a little stay-cation with him here in Austin. :b More on that and what’s happened since we’ve been back in the next post. XoXo – Love you all!