Two weeks ago we packed up and drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Santa Cruz, California. Our exact route was Fayetteville to Albuquerque. Albuquerque to Las Vegas. Vegas to Santa Cruz. We logged over 4,100 miles of just pure destination driving - not including driving in town on our days in Santa Cruz. That is a lot of driving, folks. Overall, I feel like we were adequately prepared for the drive. I stopped in at Whole Foods and got healthy snacks, moist wipes, lots of water and allergy and headache medicine. We put everything in a small plastic tub in the middle of the backseat of the car. We also had two phone chargers available, a paper bag for trash the camera ready. There were, however, a few mistakes we made along the way.
1. We didn't sign up for hotel newsletters/promotions before booking. We stayed at The Venetian in Las Vegas. It was an amazing experience. If you have never gone, definitely go. The rooms were very affordable - however, we missed a 25% discount offer on our room rates.
2. Eating A&W at Holbrook Arizona. Traveling along Interstate 40 from the middle of the country to the West Coast, you will find that there are random points of lots and lots of good food options and then there are stretches of absolutely nothing. After several hours of driving through nothing, we approached Holbrook, Arizona. There were a few options to choose from, but not many. We came across an A&W shared with an old service-station style gas station. Our thoughts were that it either made the A&W really cool or really bad, depending on how it was done. Not having an A&W in our area at home, we decided to give it a try. Worst. Food. Decision. Of. The. Trip. While I don't go to a fast food restaurant for the atmosphere, the place was dirty, cramped, and the gas station atmosphere did the latter of what we expected....it really brought it down. The restrooms were absolutely terrible. There was only one person working and it took 15-20 minutes to get our food....and somehow...even with it being fresh, the food wasn't hot and fresh. David's cheese on his burger was still cold and never melted. The other patrons in the restaurant were rude and only added to the already negative experience. If you find yourself on this route...wait just a few more miles and hit Winslow, Arizona. You will have many more options!
3. Driving 20 minutes off route to visit the Meteor Crater. Not long after our A&W experience, we were back on the road just past Winslow, Arizona when we started noticing all these signs for a meteor crater. David and I both share a pretty similar interest in science and history and decided it might be neat to check it out. We detoured and drove about 6-7 miles off the exit at I40 in the middle of no where with nothing but desert around us. It took a little more than 10 minutes to arrive at the site. There is a main lobby that is very impressive with spinning doors and pretty steps leading up and a nice parking lot. "Admission to say this giant hole in the Earth is probably going to be ridiculous because of all this fancy stuff they put around it!" I said jokingly to David as we walked up the stairs. We got inside the lobby and saw that tickets were $18 per person! That is $36 to view a crater. While I have seen other meteor craters and they are really neat to experience, it is naturally occurring. All the excess fancy things around it driving the sales prices up to nearly $20 a person is crazy to me. We felt bad, but we walked out and got back on the road to try to make up for lost time.
4. Not spending enough time in San Fransisco. We are both pretty laid back people and we like to take our time and not put schedules on our trips. We got up that morning in Santa Cruz and had breakfast, went to see Natural Bridges then made our way up to San Fransisco via Pacific Coast Highway (by the way, add this to your bucket list if you haven't done it yet. So incredible). We made a couple stops on the way at a beach area and at the Highway One Brewing Company. We made it into San Fran later in the afternoon and walked the Wharf, ate dinner, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and did some exploring. There was so much more I would have liked to have done and seen there. It is a beautiful city. I definitely hope to go back soon and spend more time!
5. Coconut Water. Remember that trip to Whole Foods I mentioned earlier with the perfectly packed snack box and water? Well, I included Coconut Water in that box. On this road trip, we learned that coconut water can be used as a natural laxative. Need I say more?
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