We are finally getting settled in our NYC apartment after our epic seven day 4300 mile road trip across the country. We moved to NYC, because Derika was transferred with her job. We left behind a great city, amazing beaches, and some really fantastic friends, but we are excited for a new adventure in our new city. Derika, Julia the Mystical Traveling Unicorn (a thoughtful road trip gift from a great friend) and I, left lovely San Diego on August 30th with a goal to make it to NYC by Sept 5th. We knew that this gave us a decent amount of time, but that in order to cover that many miles in that amount of time we would have to be strategic about where we stopped along the way. First on our list was the Grand Canyon National park and that is what we were headed for our first day of driving.
Our goal was to make it to the Grand Canyon by sunset, so that first day we did not do that much stopping. We did make it to the canyon in time for sunset and it was even more beautiful than I could have imagined!
We ended up spending the night right outside of the Grand Canyon National Park (because it got dark super fast)… we woke up early the next day and pointed our sights to Nashville, TN. We knew that we would get into a few things before we made it to Nashville, but it was nice to have a goal. One of the many stops and one of my favorite trourist stops was in Arizona. We stopped off at a giant Meteor Crater in Arizona. This place had signs along the highway a million miles before the actual tourist site, so of course we had to stop! This crater is one of the most well known and most preserved craters on Earth…who knew!?
After the crater, we were barreling down the highway when we started to see signs about a random Blue Hole…so of course we got sucked into the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM., this was Derika’s doing and I am so glad that it happened. The Blue Hole is a clear blue swimming hole that is known as one of the best diving spots in the US! It is literally in the middle of nowhere. The locals were using it to cliff jump and to cool off in, but there were divers there practicing their diving skills as well. It was so blue that it actually looked fake.
After buying a pair of moccasins, a couple of pitstops and some crazy monsoon weather, we set our sights on Santa Fe, NM, based off of a friends recommendation and for my love of all things spicy.
Santa Fe was definitely a great detour. We got to see our first New Mexico Hatch Green Chilies being roasted. Who knew they roasted them in something that looks like the balls the lottery numbers are drawn from!? Santa Fe slathers everything and I mean everything with their green chili sauce. I Ioved the green chilies, but it is not for the weak of stomach…this sauce totally kicked our butts. We woke up the next morning in search of some more green chili sauce, which we found. In the process we stumbled upon a great art fair, where we bought an amazing Indian bracelet to remember Santa Fe by and enjoyed some awesome iced tea.
I would loved to have spent some more time in Santa Fe, gorging myself on green chilies, but the next day we put the pedal to the metal and gunned it to Nashville, TN. It was Derika’s birthday, so it was a bummer that this was one of our longest days in the car. Fortunately, we made it to Nashville in time for some Birthday cheer and a little boot scootin’s at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. I was excited to go to Tootsie’s Lounge, one of the most famous places in Nashville, to see some live music and for a cocktail or two. It was packed even for a Monday night, but we still had a great time.
We woke up the next morning, drove through the Kentrucky Bourbon Trail, (which I am putting on my list for a future weekend road trip) and stopped off at the end of the trail just in time to catch the last tour and bourbon tasting at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.
After a little bourbon, we crossed the state line over into Pennsylvania where we drove a few more hours and then stopped and spent the night in Harrisburg, PA. I wanted to go to the Hershey Factory before we sailed into NYC and Harrisburg was the perfect place to stop. We enjoyed some amazing thai food and Julia the MTU enjoyed some beer at a local brewery.
The next day we were off in search of chocolate at the Hershey Factory. Trust me folks, this is something that you do not want to miss. We got to make our own chocolate bars, and learned how to properly taste chocolate…so fun!
After we were stuffed with chocolate, we rolled ourselves into the car and headed for NYC. Due to traffic, we did not make it to NYC until sunset on Sept 5th, but we made it and it was one of the most fun road trips I have ever been on.
We ate a ton of great food on the road, but I was so excited to get the kitchen of our new place up and running so that I could make some home cooked food. The first thing that I whipped up was a Shirataki Noodle Stir-fry with a ton of veggies, I was feeling a little veggie deprived. Soooo good! Recipe coming soon!