Quick Road Tripping

I know I’ve been a bit silent on my blog recently and I apologize. These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, as I’m sure many of you can relate to as we enter 2018.

2018?!

How the hell did that happen? Wasn’t it just 1995? But I digress… Over the past four days, I traveled to Northern California to see my sister and her six-month old baby and then to one of my oldest and dearest friends, who is in a nearby city and also happens to have a six-month old baby.

I was in baby heaven.

But before anyone asks, here’s my response to why we decided to not have children.

This past weekend was fantastic. Hanging with little babies full of love is not a bad way to spend a long weekend, that’s for sure. And I was able to see a dear friend of mine who I don’t get to see anywhere near as often as I’d like.

Though this road-trip of mine (solitary btw, which I recommend for everyone, married or not!) was short and sweet, I did make some observations along the way that I would love to share with you, my readers, as I have in the past :)

Also, happy new year to you all!

Some observations from a short road trip from Southern California to Northern and back again…

  • get your gas where it’s cheap. Prices at gas stations can fluctuate several dollars within miles of each other.
  • bring a car trash bag. it will make your life easier.
  • ignore your phone. people will text and call but do your own thing when on the road. it’s freeing and a great time to be in your head…
  • san francisco drivers are no joke. they get the job done and take no prisoners. los angeles drivers either wait for, what my brother calls, “the golden invitation” for lane changes and such, thinking they own the road, or they cut your off and then brake. I am a Los Angeleno but SF has us here. The drivers there need and want to drive. Here, everyone drives whether they want to or not.
  • be careful of “Economy” car rentals. Though my car did what it had to, it had no key fob to open doors (I used a key, what?!), no arm rest, side mirrors adjustable only by hand (yup, it’s still a thing!) and the most annoying beep if you didn’t immediately put your seatbelt on.
  • sing out loud to your heart’s desire. it’s cathartic
  • And I may have said this before but it’s worth repeating. It’s incredibly easy to drive over 90mph. My advice- keep your eyes on the speedometer unless you want to fork over hundreds of dollars to the state.

 

#roadtripping

Road Tripping Day 14

The past two weeks have been some of the most amazing days of my life. Traveling the east coast with my husband as we visited close family and friends allowed me time to explore the great outdoors, see cities and states I hadn’t before and learn about love, life, myself and my relationships on a deeper level.

And I’d like to extend a big thank you to all who have come along for the ride with us.

If I had to say what I learned most from the trip, it would be how much I love my husband.

The universe gave me a chance to see how important the commitment I made to this man is to me and I have a new-found excitement for getting to be with him everyday, for all the days we are given.

I also learned a few overall lessons and made some observations that I thought I’d share with you for the last of my Road Tripping posts…

  • Bug spray is something now at the top of my packing list when traveling. Especially to the east coast.
  • Tim Horton’s is very popular on that same east coast. (FYI, it’s a coffee place for those like myself who didn’t know.)
  • Nissan Versas are a great rental. Smooth ride. Excellent mileage. Comfortable. (And no, I’m not getting paid by them…)
  • Subway fast food restaurants are everywhere. Literally everywhere.
  • Do not put on mascara while the car is moving.
  • Overpacking is a waste. I learn more about it each time I travel. Biggest takeaway – Ask myself if I really will wear/use/read it. If I hesitate, don’t bring it.
  • Priceline is my favorite travel website.
  • Heated hotel pools are also a favorite of mine.
  • My hair hates humidity, but I was prepared this time. I came armed with serum and a straightener.
  • Lyft is a Godsend.
  • Sometimes, Denny’s can in fact hit the spot.
  • Each state has different rules for speeding. Some take it insanely serious. Others, almost invite it. My advice – pay attention and act accordingly, unless you want to waste your money and time.
  • Rain is very different on the Atlantic/Pacific coasts. Atlantic is unpredictable, wild, warm, odd and part of life. Pacific is periodic, wet, cold and quite seasonal.
  • I love to collect things and my bottle cap, seashell and magnet collections grew rapidly over the past fourteen days.
  • I missed my bed, getting the mail and family the most while I was gone.

I am already looking forward to another trip. Stay tuned, as I hope you’ll join me then as well.

Cheers!

#roadtripping

Road Tripping Day 7

Today we left the Carolinas and made our way north to the Maryland/Washington DC area. My husband was born and raised in Baltimore and I have always wanted to see our nation’s capital so lucky for us, they’re very close to one another.

But getting there from the North/South Carolina border took us a good eight hours, with only a few stops. Traffic near the D.C. area can rival what one sees in L.A., though their freeways are not seven lanes, on both sides…

Thankfully, my love let me be the passenger so I could soak it all up without having to keep my eyes on the road (though I did try to be a second pair for him when the rain came down.)

I stared out the car window for many hours today, and with the help of some Apple music streaming, I thoroughly enjoyed the greenery that sped past as I made some more observations along the way, which I thought I’d share with you now, along with some lessons learned as well:

  • found out what a beltway is today (we don’t have them in California, right?) For those who don’t know, like yours truly, it’s a circular highway in an urban area.
  • Virginia means business when it comes to speeding. There are cops right along the freeway and every few miles, one will see a sign detailing the state’s strict speeding rules (and yet, their typical speed limit is 70mph… Catch up Los Angeles!)
  • Apple maps is hands down superior over Google Maps (though my husband would argue otherwise, hehe…)
  • Humidity can make a day of 65* feel twenty degrees warmer, no joke.
  • Rest stops aren’t as scary as I’ve made them out to be in my head. Or is that just the ones on the east coast?
  • I pee quite a bit more than I did as twenty-something, and what better time to realize that when in a car for eight hours. (TMI?)
  • Bug bites come in all shapes and sizes and they suck. Period. And I can’t stop SCRATCHING!!
  • As strange as it is, I literally cannot pronounce the word “Potomac”, not for the life of me.

 

Till tomorrow…

#roadtripping

Road Tripping Day 6

Today was a lazy day hanging out in the Carolinas.

My husband and I explored the local areas and soaked up the culture of both North and South, being by the border to both.

As someone who doesn’t like to be inactive, lazy days are not typically something I enjoy. But while on vacation, my husband helped show me how relaxing can be just being in the moment and enjoying one’s surroundings. He even marveled at my ability to let him drive slowly (normally, I get nauseous and tell him to step on it.)

Being in the moment enabled me to talk to the locals in a deeper way than I normally do. I talked to a young waitress fresh to the area and learned she was there to help her dad care for her grandfather. I bought a used book from a community thrift store where the sweet old lady behind the register chatted with those around her and smiled warmly as she wished me a good day in such a genuine manner. I smiled at passersby and thought about how little I take the time to just stroll without thinking about my to-do list.

I literally took the time to smell the roses today and made a point to vow to myself to continue this when I return home.

See, I loathe laziness but by definition it implies lack of effort. Being in the moment, however, is not a lack of effort. In fact, it’s the opposite as one needs to focus on what is in front of them if they are to be in the moment.

I realized today that being lazy is not synonymous with being in the moment and for some reason, I make that wrong association.

This all means getting out of one’s head. Not an easy thing for me to do but I’m trying and this trip (and my patient husband) is helping to show me how.

Till tomorrow….

#roadtripping

 

Road Tripping Day 5

For day 5, we decided to head out to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a fun day in the Atlantic Ocean. We’re staying in North Carolina with my husband’s biological mother (he was adopted but has since found his birth mother and she is one of the coolest women I’ve ever met!) and the drive to Myrtle isn’t too long.

Once there, I couldn’t believe how different the Atlantic and the Pacific coastlines are from each other. Truly different.

The big difference was how WARM the water was. Anyone who has been to the Pacific Ocean can tell you that on a good day, you don’t freeze your ass off when putting your feet in. The Atlantic felt like a natural spa.

Then, the lifeguard stands. The one’s along the Pacific are towers complete with direct lines to the Coast Guard. The Atlantic. Well… look above for the picture. It’s a chair, that looks like it should be at a pool.

There is no roar of the waves since they are small and little and make you want to jump right in. Unfortunately, the rip tide was in full swing so we couldn’t go too far out (or the lifeguard would blow his whistle!)

And then the seashells! They’re everywhere and I collect them so I was a bit in heaven. Scooping some up for my own collection and the one my nephew keeps, I ended with nearly a bag of interesting looking shells and rocks that one doesn’t find easily on the west coast.

The wind offered a warm breeze as my husband and I strolled along the little boardwalk there and at that moment, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. It was a little slice of heaven.

In the end, I found the Atlantic coast to be more like a kitty cat compared to the lion that is the Pacific coast.

Till tomorrow….

 

#roadtripping

Road Tripping Day 4

Today, we headed out on the open road, leaving Central Florida behind as we made our way toward North Carolina.

Stopping in Savannah, Georgia, for lunch, we ordered some local fried fish and grilled shrimp. Absolutely delicious! And the pralines were to die for. I can’t say we fit right in though….

As we walked down a waterfront street in the historic district,  a twenty-something girl, who was outside on the cobblestone selling tours, called out to us, “Woah there, we don’t walk that fast here in Savannah.”

As I turned around to see if she was smiling, I saw she wasn’t. My husband called out, “We haven’t eaten. We’re hungry!”

She returned with, “Well, I guess that makes it a little okay” and cracked a smile.

Observation – things move slowly in Savannah and the people, even slower.

I dig it though. Different strokes for different folks. And perhaps I do walk a bit too fast… something to ponder….

But before I leave you tonight, allow me to let you in on a few other observations I made while out on the open road today:

  • a sign along a freeway in South Carolina read: “Speeding ticket $200 AND 30 days in jail”    (italics are my own)
  • gas was approx $2.15 at different gas stations for over a hundred miles (in LA, they fluctuate by dollars within a few miles of each other)
  • a dead deer in the middle of the street is a very sad sight indeed
  • sparkling water is not a convenience store staple at all convenience stores
  • there is an actual real store called “Park and Blow”

 

Till tomorrow…

#roadtripping

 

Road Tripping Day 1

Thank you for joining me for Day One of my two-week Road Trip Journey.

Please forgive me though, I’m operating on not enough sleep and fear I will either ramble or head into an incoherent zone that no one needs to see, so I will keep this brief.

I managed to wake up at 3:45 am after going to bed after midnight, surprising even myself with that one. (I’m far from being a morning person.) But I did it, with the help of my husband, and we made it to the east coast safely… after a stretch of logistics.

Isn’t that how most trips begin these days?

All logistics.

Ordering a ride share, lining up for TSA pat down, checking in, getting boarding passes, renting cars, finding transportation, navigating.

With every trip I take, I do get more efficient and that thrills me, as it allows me to get to the good stuff much quicker, but there are still things I need to work on.

Like sleep. I don’t do well when I don’t have enough of it. I can get moody. Snappy. But considering I know this about myself, why on earth do I not bring assistance when traveling? Like a neck pillow for sleeping on a plane. After I jealously watched the man next to me sleep like a baby with his, I vowed to get one for next time.

I’m sure my husband will appreciate this idea too. He was my pillow all flight, as much as my contorted body would allow.

Let’s just say it wasn’t sound sleep.

But it’s nearly 1am where I am so I’m going to shut this down, close my eyes and get the precious sleep I speak so fondly of while putting the logistics of traveling all behind me so I can wake and get to the good stuff.

Till tomorrow…

 

 

Road Tripping Minus One: Countdown

Two years ago, my husband and I took an eleven-day road trip honeymoon from California, through Oregon, up to Washington and then back through Idaho and Nevada, before returning home to Los Angeles,  California.

It was intense, to say the least. I filmed this newly married journey of ours and turned it into a short documentary (for more info, go here.) We were both newbies to road tripping and our schedule proved to be wayyyyyyy too jammed….

But we learned.

And we’re heading back out there.

This time we’ll be tackling the east coast, starting in Florida, heading through Georgia and the Carolinas, up to D.C., and further north to upstate NY, with a finale in Canada. Passports, check!

And this time we’re doing it in fourteen days and going only one way.

See? We learned.

With our home secure and well-watched, we’re heading out tomorrow, before the sun rises since American Airlines decided to change the noon flight I booked to a six am’er. Who knew those even existed?!

I invite you to come along for the ride with us.

Inside of doing any video documentation (I can’t do that to my husband again!), I decided to do a writing series, complete with photos.

I promise to be truthful.

I hope to learn and pass that on.

I hope to meet people different than myself and I hope to talk with them, peacefully and curiously.

I hope to eat amazing food.

I hope to enjoy every moment with friends and family along the way, appreciating that we are able to be together (I was born and raised in Upstate NY and have a ton of family there. My husband was born and raised in Baltimore and spent a chunk of his life on the east coast.)

I hope to be safe and have a shit ton of fun.

Please join me. Expect posts daily but who knows, with spotty internet. But that will be the only reason a post is delayed till the next morning.

And let me know your thoughts and any fun pointers you have along the way. Especially looking for cool things off the beaten track.

Cheers!!

 

“The wise man travels to discover himself.”
James Russell Lowell