Let’s face it. There’s a lot I haven’t shared yet… but let’s also face this… reading posts about things that happened 2 months ago when you’ve probably already seen pictures on facebook or watched E! News and heard the exact same thing is simply not fun. So I’m skipping over the amazing and life-changing things I could write pages about like my last week at USD and the super fun parties I was thrown by my fabulous co-workers there, like the Nike Women’s Marathon (followed by Napa Valley!) which Erin so eloquently wrote about here and here, like crying over dinner with RaRa and Julip as we said our goodbyes, like Bread and Cie almost every day because I knew I would miss it SO much, like The Last Supper at Cucina Urbana and Extraordinary Desserts with my favorite frenemy where the man at the table next to us was bored with his dinner companions and so he let our stories entertain him all night, and like ACTUALLY GETTING THE HOUSE TOTALLY PACKED AND CLEANED thanks to fabulous friends and family. All of those things will be skipped, and we will start the journey of Kristin in the South right here — with the road trip.
The Road Trip started, where else, at Bread and Cie. The people responsible for keeping me sane (and packing the car!) while Glenn was away were there to eat eclairs and croissants at 10am, and pray for us (and said packed car!) as we started our journey. First post-bread-coma stop? Somewhere I have certainly never been, and don’t plan on returning to, the Golden Acorn Casino. I don’t know if I would call this place a casino per se, it’s more like a glorified gas station with a smoking/slot machine room. I would have taken photos inside but I’m pretty sure I would have been murdered, so this is as good as you’re gonna get.
Our mission on Day 1 was to get to Scottsdale to stay with family there. It took FOREVER. What should have been a 6 hour drive turned into an 8 1/2 hour drive because of a) my bladder b) massive stress c) never-ending hunger and the realization that Arizona was our last chance for In-N-Out for who knows how long.
Day 2… we wake up and drive. And drive. And drive. We drive north. And then we go more north. We are so far north that we hit up Flagstaff for lunch, where, by the way, it’s freezing cold. It’s also severely overpriced, and apparently the servers don’t listen when you order “soft pretzels with cheese dip” and instead bring you a massive plate of fondue that is 3x the price. Hmm. Oh well, it’s road-trip funds which are unlimited, right? Arizona, we have had enough of you! Here we are after lunch, very excited to be close to New Mexico and also very excited to be inside a heated car!
Our goal for Day 2 was to make it all the way to Santa Fe. Before getting to Santa Fe, however, we absolutely had to eat the the Standard Diner in downtown Albuquerque and ordered at least 1/2 the menu, as recommended by the friends who had eaten here on their cross-country trips! S’mores milkshake – fabulous.
Baked cinnamon brie with apple-pear chutney spread on toast — I thought we were going overboard doing a milkshake, appetizer, and two entrees, but the server told us it would be just fine and boy was he right. This was a highlight of the meal for me. Actually, might have been a highlight of the road trip.
For dinner (this was all pre-dinner, remember?) I had chicken-fried ahi – which was really yummy and actually fairly light – in traditional terms it was more of a tempura ahi tuna steak and it was fresh and excellent. Kimberly ordered the macaroni and cheese – fabulous. It’s made me want to make macaroni and cheese at home every night this week which is a problem because we told ourselves we would be eating fresh and healthy once the road trip was over. I have said no to the temptations so far… we’ll see how the rest of the week goes.
Santa Fe itself was a blast. Great Mexican food – totally different than anything in Southern California but still excellent. My favorite spot was The Shed which I wrote a little about on twitter. If you are ever in Santa Fe I highly recommend eating lunch here. I might even convince Glenn we need to go BACK to Santa Fe just so he can try this place and their yummy chips, salsa, guacamole, tacos, chile, margaritas…the list goes on.
We did all the touristy things while in Santa Fe, which included the Georgia O’Keefe museum, walking around the Plaza and buying Navajo turquoise, and taking a self-guided tour of the beautiful Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi.
After a relaxing day in Santa Fe, it was our LONG day of travel… day 3. When I figure out how to upload videos and imbed them into the blog (I am sure it’s not that difficult, I just haven’t really tried yet…) I will need to add a video from our long driving day. It’s too entertaining not to. We left at 3:45am and arrived in Dallas at 6pm. We stopped at 7 different McDonald’s locations and probably at least 5 gas stations. McDonald’s and Shell became our “clean bathroom” staples.
With all of the horror stories I had heard about driving through Texas and how it was never-ending and ugly and boring, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed our Texas drive. It was beautiful, clean, and the people were friendly. They have almost everything we have in Southern California, just bigger. I can see why they want to be their own country, and if I’m being honest, I don’t know if I would mind turning into a Texan if they went the “we’re on our own” route. I like Texas! There, I said it.
These Texas-friendly snacks got us through half the state.
We were told, by a sweet old man in overalls, that these snacks showed that we were “good Americans on a road trip!” Another Texas highlight? A middle-aged man stepping out of his car to tell Kimberly that “there’s nothing sexier than a woman putting oil in a car!” as she was doing just that. She was creeped out, I laughed. I’m pretty sure he meant it as a compliment and wasn’t planning on inviting us into his van to sample some candy.
From Texas, Day 4 of the trip, we only had a 5 hour jaunt up to Little Rock. Starbucks (another road-trip staple) and only 2 bathroom stops later… we arrived! It was a gloomy day, and most of Arkansas was horrifying to drive through (big bad semi’s!) but once we got to Little Rock… we loved it!
Now come visit me!