I finished my awesome wanderlust summer with a drive from Texas to the LA area. At the beginning of the summer I did a road trip from SoCal to Texas with my friend Jordan so she could have her car for the summer and I got to drive with her back. I flew out of Anchorage at 11:30 pm and landed in DFW around 12:30 the next day, I got about 30 minutes of sleep, didn’t get to eat anything the whole time and experenced three different time zone. My body was not happy, to say the least and I definitely threw up once, and was strangely starving at the same time. It was a strange experience! When it comes to long hard travel you just have to keep pushing on it’s worth it! I ran outside of the airport and Jordan picked me up, starting our Adventure west!
As I said, I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was so hungry. Chicken express is one of Jordan and my favorite bad for you fast food restaurants. There are only a few states that have it, California is sadly not one of them, so Jordan got her last batch of corn nuggets and I enjoyed having a Texas thing!
This trip was a lot of firsts for me. The first first was Cadillac Ranch! I’ve been wanting to go and spray paint those cars since middle school! I’ve driven by it may time in my life, but it just never happened. I finally got to check that off my bucket list! As we were walking up a man holding about 15 parrots was leaving, we were a little sad we missed whatever he was doing out there!
We pushed hard the first day so we would have more time to enjoy the rest of the trip. We made it all the way from Dallas, Tx to Santa Fe, MN! It’s a Nine and a half hour drive which ended up being over ten because our hotel was on the Indian reservation on the other side of Santa Fe. It was totally worth it though, because we got to spend a good amount of time in santa Fe the next day. Both Jordan and I could totally see ourselves living in Santa Fe! It is so hip it hurts!!!
Our first stop of the day was at Holy Spirit Espresso, a tiny coffee shop downtown that is super popular and for good reason! the coffee is amazing and the storage closet size space it is in is crammed full with post cards, pictures of the Beatles, maps and just all kinds of cool junk.
At Holy Spirit Espresso we had a adorable local suggest an incredible French restaurant for breakfast, he said it was the best food in town and I believe him! So good!! On the walk back we came across a record/coffee/book shop, three of my favorite things in one!!!!!
On the square a lot of locals set up shop and sell jewelry. I only had ten dollars cash on me, which was probably a good thing, I could have spent A LOT of money there! I ended up buying an ear cuff. We found a spot on the square to sit and just relaxed for a while and we listened to a girl panhandle with a violin!
After we walked around downtown shops we went looking for the famous chapel with the staircase. Jordan had been once before but didn’t quite remember where it was. We found a Catholic church right off the square that we thought could be it, but it ended up not being. It was so beautiful on the inside though, I’m glad we stopped in!!
It didn’t take long to find the Loretto Chapel. It is a breathtaking space! And the story is just out of this world! Around 135 years ago the Nuns of the chapel/girls home needed a way into the choir loft. During this time most chapels weren’t built with staircases, they usually just a had a ladder. The Nuns prayed that God would proved them a way to the chior loft. Not to long after a man showed up, and using only a hammer, saw, square, and hot water to bend the wood built this masterpiece that engineers still marvel at. He finished without telling his name and with no payment! I’m calling it an Angel!
Around lunch time we had to hit the road again. Next stop Flagstaff AZ! Jordan being the wonderful friend she is let me stop at an Indian souvenir store! They were my favorite as a kid! We did a lot of road trips out to New Mexico and Oregon when I was growing up and stopping at these places was almost like a tradition. I mean, is it really driving through New Mexico without begging for a dream catcher? I ended up finding a Baja shirt for under twenty dollars!! I’ve been wanting one for years, so that was score!! When we crossed the border we found gas at a state park that had super old pumps!! So that was fun.
The Grand Canyon
We made it to Flagstaff pretty late, woke up early, had breakfast at a adorable train themed café attached to the motel and then we headed out towards the Grand Canyon! I thought up through high school that I had been to the Grand Canyon, but it turns out it was just a little canyon in Texas. That was a sad realization! But that’s ok because I finally made it to the real Grand Canyon! Pictures just cannot do this monument justice!!!! Its just ridiculously vast!!! I could have stayed there for weeks!!! Sadly we only had time for a few hours, and then we had to hit the road!
We made it to Rancho and ended our day with dinner with her wonderful Dad! It was a perfect way to end the day!!
The next day we slept in, which was so marvelous, we relaxed and Jordan took care of school stuff. In the evening we drove over to her school and met up with two of her friends. We all headed over to Anaheim and did dinner at the Anaheim Packing House. I had Poutine for the first time. Its french fries with gravy and cheese curds! Where has this been all my life!?!? Sooooooo crazy good!!!
I had a sort list of things I wanted to see while I was there, of course all three things where pretty spread out but Jordan’s literally the best person in the world and took me to all three!!! She’s my favorite!!!!! We started my last day in the Golden State off right at Crepes De Paris! We have eaten there every time I’ve been out to Cali with her, so I associate it with Jordan, which means I love it!!!
Southern California has my favorite coffee shop, The Gypsy Den. It’s perfect! There are no other words for it. They have three locations, we hit up the one in Anaheim, which was cool because I hadn’t been to that one yet. I got a london fog, Jordan got a latte and we chilled and read. I love chilling and I love having people in my life that are on that same page!!!!
The next stop was all the way down in Watts! The Watts Towers have been high up on my list for a few years now. It was such an awesome moment driving up and seeing them for the first time!! They are huge! Even better than I thought!!
Our last stop was Pasadena. One of my favorites musical groups of all, Gungor, did a concert at Maranatha High School. They blew our socks away! They are incredible live, and their hearts are just so beautiful!! It was the perfect way to end the trip!
I had a early flight out, so I said my goodbyes to Jordan, working hard not to cry and embarked on my last flights of the summer! After almost a month of running from state to state i was finally home!!