Monday, October 12, 2015

Cross Country USA (East to West)

Hi, I'm back! Was taking a break for mental health and paid work. This time I roadtripped from East to West with a few detours (Naples, FL; Savannah, GA; Raleigh, NC) before starting my journey. Made it home to LA from Miami in just four nights, and I've never been so happy to see California. 

Day 1: Drove straight through Florida for something like 13 hours. Had this idea that stopping in Daphne, Alabama could be fun. (It could still be fun.) But by the time I got to Alabama I just wanted my hotel in New Orleans. Did touristy NOLA this time -- Bourbon Street, the Port of New Orleans, Jackson Square--because my dad was with me. Had the strongest drinks ever and a muffaletta pizza AGAIN at Port of Call. Dad thinks we should have a family reunion there. I think that could be trouble. 

Day 2: I sent my dad off to the airport and drove from New Orleans to Houston, stopping for lunch with an old friend and amazing photographer. (You can see his work here). From Houston I drove to Fredericksburg, where I spent the night. Adorable little wine town--I just wish I'd had the time and energy to actually drink wine. Will make my way back to Fredericksburg one day. 

Day 3: fThis was one of the shorter days on the road. I did breakfast at Mahaley's, coffee at Java Ranch and a little sightseeing in Fredericksburg (always go to Main Street) and then drove a little over 7 hours to Las Cruces, NM. There, I stayed in the most charming and colorful casita I found on Airbnb (you can see/rent it here). It was on a fenced in acre and my host said there was a resident roadrunner on the property, though I didn't see it. She also left me a list of bars, restaurants and cafes, which I thought was very nice. Had dinner and wine at High Desert Brewing Co. The dogs and the people were super friendly there.

Day 4: In the morning, I drove past the Rio Grande and through Old Mesilla to a little breakfast place called The Bean. Again, people were friendly. Went from Las Cruces to Phoenix and encountered a scary rain/lightning/thunderstorm on the way. I think this is the day I went through Border Patrol again. It was just as interesting to me this time. In Phoenix, there is nothing to see. My hotel was scary. Slept with a knife next to the bed. 

Day 5: Left Phoenix at the crack of dawn because I was still scared. Stopped in Palm Springs to visit my dinosaur friends, and then home finally to LA. 

Tips: If you're traveling with a dog, La Quinta is a great, dog-friendly hotel to stay at. It's clean, comfortable and has free continental breakfast. The one in New Orleans charges a $30 parking fee per night, which I found ridiculous. The one in Fredericksburg was my fave (free parking, friendly staff, etc.). Take note, though, there is a difference between La Quinta Inns & Suites and plain old La Quinta Inn. My stay at the latter in Phoenix was NOT a pleasant one.

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