Mega Trip ’13

A few months ago my good friend and Sorority sister Jessie called me up and suggested driving cross country to San Diego, then she said “and how’d you like to do it for basically free!?”.  Naturally I responded with an enthusiastic “YES!!” But wait, how were we supposed to do this for “basically” free?  Well Jessie’s friend moved and needed someone to drive her car across country, she said she’d pay for gas which is one of the biggest costs!  Then Jessie said that her Dad offered some of his hotel points and we could cut that cost as well! This trip was sounding better and better.  So about two weeks ago we set out on our mega road trip.  We flew into Atlanta to pick up the car and started on our trip.

First we drove down to New Orleans and go into town for dinner and walked to get some local food.  Jessie was brave enough to try the New Orleans sampler which had Gumbo and other local foods.  I had what I thought was a Philly cheese-stake which ended up having a local flare and while still good, not exactly what I expected.  
After New Orleans we woke up early to head to Houston where we went to the Nasa Space Center.  I LOVED this part of the trip, I was geeking out the entire time and could go on for hours about each detail of the trip.  We took the audio tour where you checked into different stations and astronauts explained each exhibit.  In the museum we saw a few videos about the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, The mission to Mars and the future of NASA.  We also go to see and touch Moon rocks, the return ship from an Apollo Mission and the Saturn V space ship.  We took the tour of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center where we saw the historical mission control and the Space Vehicle Mock Up Facility.  The Mock Up Facility is two football fields long and 7 stories high and is where all of the astronauts are trained before missions to space.   After NASA we got dinner with some friends that live/work in Houston and I stayed with my friend Katie in her grown up house.  
The next day we stopped in Austin for lunch, and headed on our way through Texas.  We made it through Texas, drove through New Mexico and after two days of driving made it to Arizona.  On Thursday morning we woke up and decided to call the Rafting Tour to see if they had any openings for us to join (the night before they were all booked up).  When we heard they had a few spots open we rushed up through the desert of Arizona to catch our ride (literally).  We spent the day on a Pontoon boat riding down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  We got to jump in the Colorado River which was a whopping 40 degrees Fahrenheit (SO COLD brrr) and saw some petroglyphs.  
The following morning we woke up leisurely and started our drive to California!  We had already been driving through the desert but when we saw the temperature gage on the car reading 119 degrees Fahrenheit we knew this was the desert.  We finally made it to California and drove down the Coastal Highway so I could see the Pacific Ocean!  We stopped to take a dip in the Pacific Ocean and see the sunset at the beach.  
While in San Diego we went to Little Italy to the farmers market, coronado island and saw the resort, went to sunset cliffs for the sunset and then on Pacific Beach on Sunday for the day before we caught our red eyes to head home!  I loved California, it was sunny the entire time, and the beach was beautiful.  Everyone warned me that the Pacific Ocean was going to be cold compared to the Atlantic but I have to say, I didn’t think it was so bad!  Though, I have to admit, compared to the Colorado River, everything is warm!  
I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Jessie’s Dad for helping us with the hotel accommodations and last minute route changes.  Also thanks to Katie and Dan for taking us to dinner in Houston and letting me crash at their place.  And of course thanks to Ashley for hosting us through San Diego and trusting us with her car!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the highlights of the trip!  Enjoy!

The engines for the rocket ships were incredible!!  They were gigantic!

Just a stop we saw on the way through Texas!  While we stopped here we made sandwiches and ate dinner!

A windfarm we saw literally went on for miles, there were thousands!!!

Below is a real tumble weed caught in a fence by the desert!  We stopped in New Mexico to get pictures of the mountains in the distance.  No pictures I took could capture how the size of the landscapes.

A cactus! 

While in New Mexico we pulled off the road to see this Indian Art Center!  It was closed but we still got great pictures of the beautiful paintings!

Finally in Arizona and the scenery just gets prettier and prettier. 

Pictures from the Rafting Trip!

Landscapes in Arizona are beautiful!

Finally made it to California!

Getting to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean!!

Farmers Market in Little Italy!

Sunset Cliffs! 

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