Category Archives: Travels

Road Trip Adventure cont…

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Road trip Adventure continued…..

Day 4

I slept till about 9 this morning and it felt great! ¬†I was feeling refreshed, excited and ready to start our day ūüôā ¬†We were on the road by 10am.

Not a bad view for the drive today :)

Not a bad view for the drive today ūüôā

Today’s destination was for Blanching, UT.  We were just gonna drive straight there from Denver but then I came up with the idea to take a long way there and check out the Great Sand Dunes.  It would add on another 3 hours but I heard it was worth it.

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As long as our view stayed like this I didn’t mind how long we were driving today.

I used the navigation on my Android Razor phone to get us there.  To make a long story short,  my GPS put us on a route that would take us on a road that is closed during the winter and only meant for 4 wheel drive vehicles.

"Where is the GPS taking us?"

“Where is the GPS taking us?”

We turned on to a dirt road covered in a thin layer of snow.  We both assumed that the main road would come back up soon.  We were totally wrong and the snow started getting deeper the farther we drove up the mountain.

"Should we turn around?"

“Should we turn around?”

After driving on the road for about 3-4 miles we came upon a big patch of about a foot and half of snow.  I do not know why we tried but we did and we got stuck right at the very end.

We were so close to getting thru it!

We were so close to getting thru it!

We tried pushing ourselves out but we were unsuccessful.

Our attempt to get out on our own haha

Our attempt to get out on our own haha

We started making phone calls at this point and found out nothing positive.¬† The road side assistance for Andrew‚Äôs car would not help us because we were more than 10 feet away from a paved road….damn you! All they did for us was give us a towing company number that they could not get an answer too….thank for nothing.

An hour later the tow truck company called us back and said he did not want to drive up the mountain for us…he would if he had too but it would be VERY expensive…..UGHH.

Andrew decided to read his book, Game of Thrones, while i freaked out

Andrew decided to read his book, Game of Thrones, while i freaked out

So I called 911 at this point.  Thank god we were on top of the mountain and still had service because I had nothing at the bottom earlier.  911 informed us that they were sending people from the county with a wench to get us out.

I decided to have a photo shoot to pass the time

I decided to have a photo shoot to pass the time

View from the top of our Mountain

View from the top of our Mountain

If I was gonna be stuck in the middle of no where, I am glad it was here

If I was gonna be stuck in the middle of no where, I am glad it was here

I was not sure what a wench was but they ended up showing up with what looked like a bulldozer….they don’t joke around in Colorado.

My Heros!

WOW!

The men were very nice and helpful to us.¬† It is nice to meet good people in the world like them.¬† I actually gave one of them a hung as soon as I saw them because we had been stuck up there for about 2 ¬Ĺ hours and the sun was about to start setting.

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The bulldozer pulled us right out and then we started our journey back down the mountain to Blanding, UT.¬† I had booked a hotel at a Super 8 in Blanding, UT about 2 weeks ago.¬† Our GPS said that we were over 7 hours away from this point…..ughhhh! ¬†Andrew and I were both emotionally and mentally drained at this point.

Sunsetting on our way down the mountain

Sunsetting on our way down the mountain

Once the sun went down the temperature started dropping and dropping and dropping and then the heat in the car stopped working and we were driving through mountains with no service….yes I started freaking out all over again.

BURRRRR

BURRRRR

Long story short, we ended up finding a Best Western in a small town called Monte Vista.  We still had another 45 min drive through mountains and neither of us felt safe doing this at night with no heat and the check engine light being on; we were both ready to crash into a nice comfy warm bed after the days adventure.

Day 5 ¬† ¬† ¬† “Here comes the sun doo doo doo doo…”

We started our day at 5am.¬† We wanted to get an early start because we had a lot of time to make up; we have another 12 hour drive again. ¬†The car was making a really funny noise when we tried starting it…uh oh….but it started sounding normal again after a few minutes of warming up. ¬† The sun did not start rising till 7 though so we took our time getting ready and got some breakfast at a local diner.¬† Andrew and I agreed to no chain food restaurants on our trip and we have stuck to it great!¬† We packed a ton of food for the trip so if we had gotten stuck on that mountain yesterday, starvation would not have been what killed us, it would have been the -22 F.

"On the road again"

“On the road again”

Once we saw the sun coming over the mountains we began our journey through/over the San Juan Mountains and forrest.  Our plan for today is to stop at the Grand Canyon for a little bit and then continue on to Las Vegas.

Driving

Driving through the San Juan Mountains/forrest

The heat started working again was the temperature up to 30 F again…THANK GOD.  I started thinking Andrew and I were going to start losing limbs since we couldn’t feel our toes for about the first 3 hours of the trip :/.

Trying to stay warm...

Trying to stay warm…

Our drive to the Grand Canyon was very uneventful.  I felt like we had made a wrong turn at some point and ended up on another planet.

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"What planet is this?"

“What planet is this?”

The Grand Canyon was amazing! ¬†It just kept going and going and going….I drove up the mountain and Andrew was a little worried. ¬†There was snow all over the roads and we were driving along the edge of the Mountains with no railing :/ . ¬† Usually I am the horrible passenger seat driver so it was nice to have him freaking out for a change.

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Nerdin it up at the Grand Canyon

Reflection

Reflection

Okay just one more

Okay just one more

After the Grand Canyon we started for LAS VEGAS BABY!!  Coming over the mountain to see the Las Vegas Lights was a sight.  I have never seen anything like it.   I tried taking a picture but it does not do the view justice.  You will just have to go and see it your self.

Does not do it justice

Does not do it justice

We had made previous reservations at The Flamingo!  I did not know what to expect but it exceeded my expectations.  It was super nice, great location, and great view from our room.

View from our room...not the best picture

View from our room…not the best picture

After yesterdays kaos we decided we deserved to treat ourselves/get drunk haha. ¬†We started the night off with dinner at one of the restaurants in the Hotel. ¬†Our waitress talked us into getting tequila…did not take a lot of effort haha.

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He was REALLY excited haha

 

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Cheers!

Andrew ordered a 32 oz. beer while I got a 16 oz. ¬†He thought it would be a good idea to bet me that he could finish his beer before I finished mine….hahaha jokes.

After dinner we hit up the Penny slot….big spenders! ¬†After playing for about 5 minutes Andrew noticed that his wallet was missing…OH SHIT! ¬†He swore that someone must have pit pocketed him. ¬†We ended up going to security, they looked through there security cameras and figured out that Andrew missed his inside coat pocket and dropped his wallet. ¬†That 32 oz, tequila shot, and 3 shock tops earlier was maybe a little too good haha

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But we brushed off the drama and were still determined to have a fantastic night…so we took a shot and continued with our penny slots.

Winner

Winner

Andrew ended up winning over $200 off the Penny slots…..AHHHH!!! We were so excited we acted like we had just won a million bucks haha

Perfect representation of his excitement

Perfect representation of his excitement

After we had enough of the penny slots we headed to the streets.  The Bellagio fountains did a cool show ever 15mins or something.

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I have to stop there because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas ;).

Next post I will finish up with me and Andrews final day of our Road trip adventure and update you on how I have been doing with out him ūüė¶

Road Trip Adventure Day 1 thru Day 3

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So it has been week 1 of Andrew being in San Diego for his internship.  This week has been pretty ruff without him but I hope that it gets better from here.  I am trying to stay as busy as possible so I do not have enough time to mope that he is not here :(.

Anyways enough of my sob story, here is the journal I was keeping while on our road trip from Raleigh, NC to Chula Vista, CA.  I would write a daily entry  everyday on our trip.  This helped the 12 hour day drives go a little faster.

Day 1                             Starting off the New Year with an adventure

Started off with us barely making it to the first gas station out of Raleigh haha.  When I turned on the car it was already on Empty…freaked me out pretty bad because I have run out of gas before trying to get to a gas station this low….but we made it J (Andrew added that in).

My collection of drinks for day one....I still had that damn cough going on

My collection of drinks for day one….I still had that damn cough going on

Then about 2 hours into the trip the tape deck that we are using to play our iPod music through got stuck.  We were both freaking out… listening to our choice of music make the drive so much better.  So we pulled over and banged on the radio for about 10 mins before it finally popped out.  HALELLUJA!

It rained the ENTIRE way to Nashville.  But it cleared up just as we were pulling into Nashville, TN.  We stayed in a very cheap hotel I found off Expedia, called Knights Inn.  We are both pretty sure there was a drug deal going on when we pulled up to our room :/.  We slept with one of Andrew’s golf clubs in our room that night.

Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville

I had been to Nashville a few times before with my family so I was more excited about showing Andrew around then anything else.

We had dinner at Big River Restaurant in the Historic part of Nashville.  It was really cool because they only serve their locally brewed beers.  I went with the Beer Sampler and Fish Tacos.  Everything was delicious….except the IPA and their light beer sample.  Andrew got their Barbeque Bacon Cheeseburger with a Sweet Magnolia beer (award winner).  We left Big River with very satisfied stomachs and on the look for a cool bar to listen to some local music.

Personal Beer Tasting :)

Personal Beer Tasting ūüôā

We walked around the historic downtown streets for a little while before we decided on a Honky Tonk Bar.  It was just a little hole in the wall bar, but those are always the best.  The band was playing old country and bluegrass music.  Andrew is not usually a country music fan but he really enjoyed it.

Andrew can only handle so much country accents and cowboy boots so after our beers we headed back to our classy hotel.

Day 2 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “Meet me in St. Louis”

We both woke up pretty early in Nashville and I was ready to get out of that hotel room ASAP.  We hit up the complimentary breakfast, which was just waffles and cereal before we hit the road.  St. Louis, MO was our destination to stay with our friend Jordan.  Andrew and Jordan played soccer in college together at Winthrop University.

The sun was shining bright for this drive.  We saw our first snow of 2013 in Illinois.  I was way too excited probably, I kept trying to jump in it but since it was so cold it was more like a sheet of ice.

SNOW!

SNOW!

We found a Cut-out of superman at a random rest stop in Illinois.  A fun unexpected find.

Super Jay!

Super Jay!

sm a

haha

Our fist stop in St. Louis was a little sports bar called Port’s.  We treated ourselves to the locally brewed beer, Schlafly, while we waited on our friend, Jordan, to get off work.

Schlafly beer

Once we got to Jordan’s house I decided to do one of my Beach Body Turbo videos since I had not worked out in a couple of days.  It felt good to get a quick workout in.

Jordan was a great tour guide! He took us to Anheuser Busch first; we took a tour, tried some beers that they brew, and checked out the Clydesdale Horses.

Anheuser Busch Car

Anheuser Busch Car

We attempted to go up The Arch next but it had already closed by the time we got there.  We headed to the famous Blueberry Hill Restaurant for dinner instead.  It was a unique place; they had a ton of action figures from Pee Wee to N’sync.  The walls had pictures of all the celebrities who had visited Blueberry Hill over the years too which was cool to see.  By the time we had finished dinner and gotten back to his place I was exhausted.

Darts at Blueberry Hill

Darts at Blueberry Hill

St. Louis Sunset

St. Louis Sunset

Day 3 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore”

We left St. Louis by 7:30am en route for Denver, CO.¬† We were not looking forward to this days drive because it would be a 12 hour drive through boring Kansas.¬† There were not many eventful things on the drive.¬† I learned that Kansas is pretty opinionated with their billboards.¬† Some of the best ones read: ‚ÄúSmile, your mom chose life‚ÄĚ, ¬†‚ÄúAbortion Kills Gods Creation‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúAdoption, not abortion‚ÄĚ, and they just keep getting better from there.¬† We did see some HUGE windmills.¬† They looked terrestrial to me because of their size, location, and amount.

Sorry I think these pictures were taken on Andrews phone.

We made it into Denver, CO around 730pm.  I was so ready to get out of the car after our 12 hr and 30min drive for the day and I started getting car sick the last hour.

We were greeted by my long life friend, Maren.  We have known each other for as long as I can remember.  We grew up together in the same neighborohood and swam every summer at Sedgefield Swim & Racquet Club.  She has been living in Denver now with her boyfriend, Jesse, for almost a year.

We all went out for dinner at a cool local bar/restaurant called Guvnahs just a few blocks from her place.  It was nice to walk there because I was dead set on not getting back in the car till the next day haha.

Guvnahs food was nothing to brag about but their drink specials were.  We all started off the $3.50 LIT’s and then they had a buy one get one free beer deal going on so we all hit that deal up after we ate.

After dinner we walked back to Maren and Jesse‚Äôs apartment and chilled before passing out…..we may or may not have taken advantage of the the smoking law. ūüėČ

To Be Continued…….

“I Love Jet Noise”

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Andrew and I just got back home from an amazing 3 day trip in Virginia Beach.  The first day we got there we played in the pool, hung out in the hot tub, took a bike ride down the boulevard, and made dinner for Kent as a Thank You for allowing us to stay at his gorgeous house.  We went with Salmon, string beans, and potato salad.

gangsta bikes

we turned shooting the ball off the diving board into a game…Kathryn was the only one to make it

The Lion

So, I absolutely love Virginia Beach minus one detail…JET NOISE! ¬†Kent actually said that it gets so loud sometimes that it shattered his windows one day. ¬†There is an air force base located right around Virginia Beach, which is why we were always hearing them. ¬†I thought I would get used to it after while…but that never happened haha.

For our delicious/huge piece of salmon all we did was squeeze fresh lemon juice on it and put a few slices on top of it for it to cook.  We baked it for 40-45 mins at 350 degrees.  

The potato salad is a recipe from Andrew’s mom. ¬†She is italian so everything she cooks is amazing!

Murphy Potato Salad

3 red potatoes

1 small red onion, chopped

roma tomatoes

garlic powder

italian seasoning

salt & pepper

olive oil

First, cut the potatoes into 1 inch bite size pieces and then boil them till tender.  Once they are nice and soft drain the water and transfer them to your serving dish.  Cut all the roma tomatoes in half and toss them in along with your chopped red onion.  Add approx. a tbsp of garlic powder, 1 tbsp italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.  Be generous with the olive oil and then mix all together.  You can either serve them hot right then or stick them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to eat chilled.  They are delicious either way.

The next morning Justine and I agreed to wake up early and go for a run down the boardwalk and beach.  My alarm went off but I kept pushing snooze.   It was just one of those morning for me where it just took a little extra time to get me going.  If it were not for Justine excited about our run I probably would have tried to skip..thank goodness for Justine!  We ran about 3 miles on the boardwalk and then did sprints on the beach for out last mile.  It was so humid there that I was exhausted by the end of that.

We stopped by a cool coffee shop Justine had spotted on our way in yesterday called “Bad Ass Coffee”. ¬† They definitely lived up to there name. ¬†We both got a blended coffee with sugar free vanilla and hazelnut…I downed it before we even made it back to the house haha.

By the time we got home we only had about an hour to eat breakfast and get ready to go out SPEAR FISHING! ¬†Kent has been spear fishing for a few years now and was nice enough to take us out and show us how it is done. ¬†Im not gonna lie…I was really nervous/excited. ¬†Andrew and Kathryn were more anxious then me and Justine.

Kathryn shot the first fish and Andrew shot one right after her, a sheepshead. ¬†By the time we were done snorkeling and spearfishing we were all starving! ¬†You could tell because everyone was getting a little testy….especially me. ¬†If I do not eat at least every 4 hours my personality can do a complete 360 on you….It’s a horrible quality I know but I am working on it. ¬†Does this happen to anyone else?

Spear fishing was such an amazing adventure.  It takes you back in the primitive nature to when people had to hunt for there food every day.  I would probably be the first to starve to death if this was how we still lived haha.

Kathryn and Kent decided on taking us to Ruddy’s for dinner. ¬†The tables were swings….it was so cool! ¬†They have a specialty drink called Ruddy’s Ruckus there that we all treated ourselves to. ¬†The restaurant limits each person to only 2 drinks. ¬†It hit me all it once and I was feeling pretty good ūüėČ

This was such a great trip! ¬†We will probably never have a chance to spear fish again and not many people can say that they have gone spear fishing before. ¬†Thanks again to Kent and Kathryn for being great host! ¬†Now its back to the real world. ¬†Luckily it is only a 2 day work week ūüôā

Concert Date Night

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So last time I left y’all I was going to My Morning Jacket & Band of Horses Concert at the Raleigh Amphitheater. ¬†The concert was awesome! ¬†This was my first time in the Raleigh Amphitheater, it is relatively new. ¬†It is located right on the outskirts of downtown so you can easily walk from having dinner downtown to the theatre. ¬†The theater is not very big, which worked out for us since we had lawn seats because we had a great view the whole time. ¬†Andrew, I and a bunch of our friends are going to the Florence and Machine Concert in September and it is also at the Raleigh Amphitheater….I CAN NOT WAIT! ¬†They are my favorite out right now!

My Morning Jacket

Band of Horses

There seemed to be a guitar solo in nearly every song. ¬†Andrew has been a big fan for awhile so he recognized most of the songs, ¬†I was a newbie so I only recognized there popular songs. ¬†But they are great entertainers. ¬†The lead singer of My Morning Jacket was wearing a ridiculous blue shirt/table cloth. ¬†I didn’t really understand the fashion statement he was trying to make but with that voice he can get away with wearing anything probably.

The next morning, I got up early and did a cross train workout. ¬†I tried out the “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” workout. ¬†It took me about 35mins to complete and I was huffing a puffing by the end of it. ¬†It was a great workout and I will definitely be doing it again when I am not in the mood to run. ¬†When my body is not in the mood to run I try to find something different to try to keep me motivated to still get my workout in for the day. ¬†What do you do to motivate yourself when you are not in the mood to run or workout?

After my sweaty/successful workout I showered, had a Peachy Keen Smoothie and then we headed out for Virginia Beach for the next 3 days! I have been so pumped for this vacation. ¬†Andrew and I have not had a real vacation all summer. ¬†We are going with our roommate, Justine and Kathryn, and staying with Kathryn’s Uncle, Kent.

I had all the essentials packed for the car ride. ¬†As you can see in the picture below I barely had room for my feet haha. We had Chewbacca’s leash, drinks, snacks,CD’s, Chewbacca treats, magazine, laptop, and a few other random items.

“Mommy are we there yet?”

all the essentials

 

We just arrived at Kent’s and he has an amazing house. ¬†He is located just a few blocks from the beach and he has a hot tub and pool in his back yard. ¬†Well we are about to head to the grocery store and ABC store ūüôā I hope everyone has a great Monday!

“Trust the Sandwich”

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We Finally made it down to Ocean Isle Beach this weekend.  We have been planning on going for this past month but things kept popping up every weekend that prevented us from taking our journey.  My parents opened a deli last summer, Ocean Twist Deli.  They said they have always wanted to spend a summer at the beach, so I guess it is better late then never haha.  This is there second summer living down in OIB and business has picked up a lot more.

I decided to entertain myself on the drive down by attempting to make a bracelet that I saw on Pinterest.  It started off a little ruff but It came out okay and looked good on Andrew :).

Saturday morning I woke up at 730am and had my coffee with my mom. ¬†I always do my long runs on the weekend so I decided to map out a 7 mile run using MapMyRun.com (Love this site!). ¬†Andrew and I picked out a half marathon to do together October 6th, The Triple Lakes Trail Run. ¬†This will be Andrews first and my 3rd, so I have been trying to help him out with the training. ¬†This will be his longest run ever so I was super excited to see how he does. ¬†After getting through half my cup of coffee I could already feel the caffeine running through my veins haha…my mom likes to make her coffee super strong (its more like an expresso shot for me). ¬†I pumped about our run and as I was getting ready to put on my vibrams I came to find that I was missing a vibram! Im not gonna lie I freaked out for a second. ¬†Andrew explained to me that Chewbacca was going through the bag before we left the night before and must have taken out my shoe. ¬†Luckily my mom had a pair of tennis shoes for me. ¬†I have been wearing vibrams for 2 years now (best decision I have ever made when it comes to running) and I was not happy to have to wear tennis shoes, especially since they were a size 9 and I wear an 8 or 7 1/2. ¬†But I did not want to miss out on a run in OIB with Andrew. ¬†I felt like I was wearing bricks on my feet the entire run but I finished the 7 miles :). ¬†I ended up with a big juicy blister by mile 6 but I am no stranger to getting blisters on my feet. ¬†Andrew did an awesome job, he ran the whole time and was trying to motivate me to keep going even though my feet were killing me.

We worked in the Deli with my mom until about 2pm. ¬†And then headed out to beach for some relaxation and a few refreshing drinks that were well deserved. ¬†My cousin, Mazi, is an amazing artist and he just recently gotten into making shirts and tanks with some of his own original designs on them. ¬†I came across some in the deli that he had made for the deli…and of course Andrew and I had to buy one! ūüôā

This is my dads Classic Club=YUM!!

Andrew and I showing off our new Tanks

We had a great time this weekend catching up with my mom (my dad was at the Wyndham golf tournament all weekend). ¬†It is hard to stay away from OIB after having one of there DELLLIICIOUS sandwiches…We plan to go back down in 2 weeks (I will double check that I have both my vibrams next time too haha).