Everyone at some point in their lives have thought about driving coast to coast, wherever you may live, that might seem like a fun idea. Yet, most of us never will. Now I didn’t think I would drive coast to coast until I was much older, yet here I am a twenty something year old driving across the country with a group of lifelong friends. Let’s call them Cassie, Maressa, and Eliss for the sake of giving them privacy. The reasons for driving across the country wasn’t just your average girls trip. No, it was because my friend, Cassie, was moving across the country to be with her Navy husband in southern California.
Maybe with a little twisting and pleading her and I convinced our two friends to jump in the moving truck and make the trip worth the miles! Now here was the real twist to the trip, we had to do it in four nights and five days. How did you do that and still get to see the countryside? Well it was a challenge for sure, early mornings, cruise control, and a plan when we got into our destination for the evening.
Since Cassie’s hands were tied up in getting everything prepared for the move and coordinating with her husband in California that left me with polling the group on what we should do and making it happen! I am the fairy godmother of travel. Bippity Boppity BOO! With our route set, I started to put together things to do in each city.
Stop number 1: Nashville, Tennessee.
One of the coolest things I thought about this trip was riding on a golf cart through alleys, parking lots, and pretty much going wherever we pleased with the helpful driver. Not sure if this is a year round thing, but if you get the chance it is a fun way of seeing the city with a local guide sitting in the front seat. My only words of advice, HOLD ON TIGHT!
We spend the evening walking up and down Broadway seeing some of the most iconic sights. This was my first time in Nashville, not being a country music fan, it had never been on my list of must see places. On the other hand Ellis has been more time and it is probably her favorite place in the United States. She knew all the places we should go. We spent a great time at Jason Aldean’s bar and restaurant enjoying the beautiful summer night with great company. We had started out cross country trip right! If we hadn’t had to leave bright and early the next morning we would have probably spent the night bar hopping but with better judgement we went to bed.
This next leg of the journey was probably some of the most painful part of the whole trip. No offense to anyone who lives in Arkansas, but man what a boring state to drive through! As well as, the roads! I thought roads in my home town were bad because the potholes are literally TERRIBLE! People make memes about it. In the last two years our hometown has repaired 32,455 potholes! While driving through Arkansas we were constantly hitting a new hole. Now it has been some time since I last drove through, but hopefully your roads are better.
As the drive continued we finally crossed the ten hour stretch and made it into Texas!
As we droe across the line to Texas all of a sudden these large white structures that started to pop out of the landscape. SO MANY WINDMILLS! If you have never seen a windmill, they’re power generating machines as all over Texas. That might not seem like the grandest thing on the planet, but it was so cool to see them in person. They are huge! I kid you not I took close to twenty photos of windmills. These guys were so fun to watch as we drove through the state, getting closer to our destination: Dallas.
We were about two hours away from Dallas and I wish I had the time to take a picture, but the craziest most Texas thing happened! While we are driving down the interstate a MAN ON HORSEBACK is riding down the center median! I mean it was straight out of the wild wild west or something. Full gallop, dust flying behind him, and I think if I rolled down the window I would have heard a Yee-Haw! The whole car went silent as we watched the man traveling straight towards us in a full on ranchman getup!
Driving through downtown Dallas, Texas it was a beautiful cityline for sure. Once we arrived and had our things settled in our hotel we decided to go out and explore. Our uber picked us up to take us to our dinner location. Now I don’t know if any of you have ever been with an uber on their very first ride, but let me tell you it was an adventure. I was in the front seat and Eliss, Cassie, and Maressa were in the back.
As he drove us around, he gave us a little tour, and told us we were his first uber. Now trying to get to restaurant was a whole different problem, he couldn’t find it, even with the uber instructions! So he was looping around yet again, now picking up the speed because he was clearly uncomfortable because he couldn’t find the place. As we are coming up on to a four way stop, he doesn’t see the stop sign. We literally all at once say, “Stop sign!” he FLOORS IT and screams “WELCOME TO TEXAS!” and blizzes through the four way stop! That evening we enjoyed some hole in the wall food and drinks and retired for our next leg of the journey.
Dallas to Santa Fe! I had been there once before as a child and had probably some of the best chocolate mousse of my life! I can’t tell you where, but it was heavenly. On our way to Sante Fe two very exciting things happened, one being while I was driving the moving truck the gas began to become very very low and I can tell you driving through the middle of nowhere with little gas is a whole new level of stress! But the coolest thing ever was while driving through some of the dryer parts of New Mexico, I saw a dirt devil, dust devil, or as Josh calls them a whirling dervish! No, not a vacuum but a small dirt tornado! I know that sounds absolutely strange as to why I would be excited by such a thing, but it was. I have always had a thing for storms and storm chasing.
Traveling through these open sandy states you will see rather interesting signs at their rest stops that are not inviting at all!
We stayed in the less built up side of Santa Fe and that was for one reason, Meow Wolf. If you haven’t heard of this I don’t blame you because it is a one of a kind place, well not really, there are three. Meow Wolf is like an Americana neighborhood replica inside a warehouse that became a bomb shelter, an escape room, and a club.
In the parking lot there’s a giant spider sculpture and I am ABSOLUTELY terrified of spider so this was the closest I ever will get to a spider willingly, but once you walk inside it is a completely different world. I don’t have enough photos to even explain the whole experience, but here are a few.
Discovering the washing machine was actually a L.E.D. slide that took me to a new part of the art amusement park. I also discovered along one of the path a bioluminescent “underwater” grotto.
Once leaving the acid surreal americana art museum we had wild dreams until moving on in our travels to Phoenix or really the GRAND canyon. This was also my second time seeing the Grand Canyon, but first time as an adult. I was wondering the whole drive there if it was going to be the same amazing and grand natural landscape and boy was it! I think my favorite part of the whole time spent at the Grand Canyon was when I went a little adventurous, now I do NOT approve of walking on land that is being protected for animals or from erosion. Also do not go out into a dangerous situation without confidence, mental preparedness, and in general don’t take a risk if you don’t have to.
I am not an expert hiker, but I am an avid hiker with a fair bit of experience. So naturally when the chance arose I took it.
That tiny pink and red dot is me. The one far out towards the edge of the canyon. This is not apart of the traditional and more travelled part of the trails for visitors, but is an options.
After giving everyone in my party a heart attack I returned to the main watching and trail area. This was our last stop before we reach California and it was worth every detour on our map.
Driving into California, can you guess what the first stop was?
In-N-Out. As a person from the east coast, we don’t have this and it was a MUST do on our trip out there! If I had to compare it to anything, it would be Cookout back home, but still not really the same. It was a cool experience and very good. As we made the final stretch to Cassie’s new place, we started planning all the exciting things we would do! That would included: the zoo, urban wine tour, the beach, and so much fun!
WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE. As a group of friends in their twenties getting to do something so out there was truly a memory that will be shared for years to come. If you have the chance to travel from coast to coast, do it! Since returning, Josh and I have started talking and planning out our cross country trip. Thanks for reading and partaking in an adventure that means so much to me and hopefully will inspire you to do the same thing.