Tag Archives: Open road

weekend in carmel

11 Feb

A few weekends ago Brian and I road tripped up to Carmel for a few days to celebrate a friend’s wedding. I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid so I loved exploring it for what felt like the first time. We rented a house with some friends through airbnb which was so much better than staying in a hotel. It was in a great neighborhood and walking distance from the main drag of town. I knew Carmel was going to be visually beautiful with the sea as its backdrop but I was surprised to learn it also has some great restaurants and shops. Granted the whole place shuts down around 9pm- definitely not a place to go if you’re looking for a night on the town. But at 6 1/2 months pregnant I’m usually in bed by 9pm so it worked for me! We had such a fun three days. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

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inspiration photos / spring road trip

11 Nov

After our mini road trip to Ojai this past weekend planning our spring road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle is front and center on my mind. I love being on the open road with Brian. We are both at our happiest when exploring- Brian equipped with his camera and me my journal. There is also nothing I love more than planning road trips! I get such a high researching every little detail. Although, I imagine planning this road trip will be far less time consuming than when I drove across the country with One Part Gypsy.

At the moment the itinerary is…Los Angeles, Big Sur, Carmel, San Francisco, Tomales Bay, Ashland, Eugene, Portland, Olympia & Seattle. Thoughts? Has anyone ever done this route? Are there other places you think that we should make a point to stop?

Brian and I have only ever made it as far as Tomales Bay so any tips (hotels, restaurants, things to do/see) are welcome in any of the cities.

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“Once the travel bug bites you there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life.”

Michael Palin

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6 Jul

Happy Friday everyone!

We are in Palm Springs to celebrate my 30th birthday! Yipee!! Over the next few days I will be posting letters that my close friends and family wrote to me for my birthday! I’m having Brian post them for me so I will be reading them for the first time along with all of you guys- hopefully they only share very good things about me. HA.

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

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18: Dear drive across the country

20 Jun

(photo by)

Dear Drive across the country,

You, I love. You speak to the free-spirited, adventurous and untamed side of me. The wanderer. The nomad. The girl who hates order, rules and schedules. The woman whose soul feels most alive when dipping her toes into the unknown. You speak to the part of me I happen to love the most- the very essence of me. The thing that makes me tick. The part of me that I fight to keep alive despite needing and wanting to plant roots.

When I first decided I wanted to accomplish you, I was the tender age of 20. Nothing sounded more exciting or more intoxicating than being on the open road for an extended period of time- getting lost, getting found, exploring, hearing stranger’s stories and seeing the different landscapes of the USA.

You have been a dream that I have been desperate to make a reality for the last 10 years.

When at 20, I decided I wanted to accomplish you, you seemed like an easy goal to tackle before 30. I had 10 years to find the time to take a month off from my life and hit the open road! But then, a funny thing happened. The years started to slip away and it never seemed like the right time to make you a reality. Life got in the way. Responsibilities got in the way and I started to feel as if you were a selfish, silly and impossible goal to accomplish. But the truth is, I never stopped thinking about you…I always pined for you.

Cut to a few days before my 29th birthday- the day I was writing my crazy 365 til 3o goal list. I felt alive with excitement and full of possibility and I, of course, wrote you on my list. I knew that somehow, someway I would find a way to make you a reality this year. Come hell or high water, I was driving across this great country of ours.

I’m not going to lie…you were a hard one to figure out! There is still no perfect time to leave your life for a month and drop off the radar. Well, I guess I wasn’t necessarily off the radar considering I could be found at all times via my twitter, instagram, facebook and blog, but you know what I mean…I was away from my everyday life. My schedule. My worries. My fears.

I was a girl on the open road without a care in the world. 

You didn’t teach me anything about myself that I didn’t already know, instead you strengthened my belief in myself. You reminded me why this is still my favorite qoute- ““Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

You also reminded me that there is never a perfect time to make our dreams a reality. The time is now.

The world is such a big and beautiful place and I don’t want to stop exploring it…ever. Even if that means having to drag around a few kids and lots of extra baggage one day.

It’s all about balance in life, right?

Love ya

Kate

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

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Day 14, Part 2: Drive to Georgia

17 May

ROAD TRIP

After visiting the F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum, we hit the road for St. Mary’s, Georgia- a place that both Rachel and I had been dying to see. We plugged the new hotel address into our GPS and set off into the unknown! I live for that feeling…the feeling of heading into the unknown. It gets me all abuzz with excitement! I was loving life at this moment.

Life got even better when GPS decided to take us through the prettiest area in Alabama on our drive- a windy back road lined with big, beautiful houses on huge plots of land…land as far as the eye could see. This was the Alabama I wanted to see! We curved around the roads with all the windows down, the music blaring….I could feel the warm sun on my skin through the sunroof and a breeze whipped through the car. It was a perfect moment and one that is one of my favorite little memories from the trip.

As we passed the fence in the above pic I said …”Stop the car!” I happened to think the fence was dreamy and I wanted  a photo sitting on it…I needed a photo sitting on it! So we stopped the car and took turns snapping pictures of each other for a bit.

After another hour Rachel and I ended up back on a main highway where I decided to relieve her of her driving duties, hopped in the driver’s seat and took off! Not 3 minutes later (3 minutes!), as Rachel sat quietly next to me eating a peach, I saw lights in my rearview window.

Seriously?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!

I meekly said, “Rachel I think I’m getting pulled over again.” She turned around in shock and sadly confirmed my suspision….yes I was getting pulled over again.

I said…”this isn’t even funny this time…I actually think I am going to cry.” and then in an inspired moment (I’ve seen this work in countless movies) I decided to fix my hair and put on lipstick and told Rachel to try to eat her peach in the sexiest most suggestive way possible.

I wanted out of this ticket.

The officer walked up to the window, glanced at Rachel and me (as we batted our eyelashes and smiled ridiculously big smiles) and asked with the sweetest southern accent if….I knew why he pulled me over. I said no (I really didn’t, honest) and he informed me that I was going 75 in a 55 (shit) and asked me for my license and registration. In that moment I knew that he wasn’t biting and that I was going to get a ticket, despite our sexy hair and peach eating charade.

After gathering my info, he walked away and Rachel and I slumped back down in our seats…quietly.

When he came back to the car 10 minutes later he told me he was going to do me a favor ( I perked back up) and only write that I was going 69 miles an hour instead of 75 (I guess I should have said thanks?) and handed me my ticket. He then, with a smile,  said “I’ve never met anybody from LA before.”

Ummmm, great officer whatever your name is but I don’t really care. You just ruined my perfect afternoon.

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Cumberland Island up next…

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See Rachel’s blog here!

365til30: instagram  @kate365, twitterfacebook

Day 12, Part 2: Arriving in Montgomery, Alabama

14 May

ROAD TRIP

Day 12, Part 2

Alabama the beautiful, the world of B & B’s and black hole beds

After spending the morning at Graceland we hit the road to drive to our next destination…Alabama!

On our drive from Memphis to Montgomery we had two goals- eat lunch at The Whistle Stop Cafe (restaurant from one of my favorite movies Fried Green Tomatoes) and stop for peaches at Durbin farms, where there are supposed to be amazing peaches.

Sadly, one of these goals did not happen.

We spent hours, (yes hours) driving around Birmingham, Alabama in search of The Whistle Stop Cafe. It was maddening. My only explanation for this is that our iPhone’s have a funny sense of humor because the GPS systems took us on quite a wild goose chase. If I were to try to find the silver lining in the situation I would say at least I got to see Birmingham, but in the moment I was starving, irritated and hot. It’s just so frustrating to be lost in a foreign city!

When we finally found it…it was closed. Hysterical, right?

 After the disappointment of The Whistle Stop Cafe, we decided to just skip lunch and continue on our way to the famous peach stand where Rachel proceeded to get peaches and I got peanut butter ice cream (did I mention that I am eating my way across America?? I can’t seem to be stopped).

This was not the most nutritious meal, but both were lovely and helped turn around our moods. After the peach stand stop, we proceeded to The Smith Byrd House, our adorable new home for the night. When I was researching places to stay in Montgomery, I came across this B&B and knew it was where I wanted to stay. There was something so very sweet about the look of it and its innkeepers, Beth and David. After reaching out to them about possibly staying with them I received a welcoming note back saying they would love to have us and I felt like I already had friends in Montgomery!

I have to be honest about something though- I have never actually stayed at B&B before and I was worried I wasn’t going to like it. The scene from the movie, “Flirting With Disaster”, where Ben Stiller’s character goes on and on about why he hates B&B’s, kept replaying in my head.

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– Oh I hate B & B’s.

– Why do you hate B&B’s?

– Well, first of all, there’s no privacy and you have to make chitchat…with the boring old lady who runs the place.

– That’s kind of the fun, isn’t it?

– and there’s always the little cat…you have to pretend like you like the cat.

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This scene always made me laugh and now it was making me a little worried.

When we  arrived at The Smith Bryd House, it was after dark and we were both in need of a bed. As we got out of the car, Dave, the innkeeper, greeted us warmly with a big smile and offered to help us with our bags…and he seemed totally normal! PHEW. He brought us into the house and the first thing I noticed was it smelled like chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon and spice. I love when a house smells like a bakery. It makes me feel all cozy and warm. He showed us to our room and it was perfect- a big cushy bed, a clawfoot tub and clean towels.  After 11 nights in hotel beds it was so nice to be in a home. I felt cozy and taken care of- like I was staying with family.

After saying our hello’s and chatting for a bit Rachel and I excused ourselves to get some sleep. The bed at the Smith Bryd house was the best bed of the trip… hands down. It was like sleeping in a cloud. A cloud that caused me to over-sleep and almost miss the amazing breakfast they made for us. We were greeted by a gorgeous table (with enviable china on it) and a big breakfast of fruit, eggs and bacon and oh, homemade scones accompanied by lemon curd and clotted cream (Beth’s Specialty).

We spent the morning chatting with them about life, Montgomery and scone recipes while eating our  breakfast. If this is what the world of B&B’s is like than I may be a B&B kinda girl after all…

Thank you Beth and David for making our night in Montgomery so special!!

(bottom three pictures by One Part Gypsy)

Our day in Montgomery up next!!

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Day 11, Part 3: Memphis, Tennessee

10 May

ROAD TRIP

Memphis really comes alive in the dark- the city has an energy like nothing I have ever experienced before.

We decided to head to the famous Beale Street for the evening. Beale Street was a significant location in the city’s history, as well as in the history of blues music. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis ArmstrongMuddy WatersAlbert KingMemphis MinnieB. B. KingRufus ThomasRosco Gordon played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. B.B. King was even billed as “the Beale Street Blues Boy”!

We hadn’t even arrived at Beale Street and I already made my first new friend for the evening, our cab driver, Russell. He told us all about his life, family and Memphis, which was quite an accomplishment considering it was a 5 minute car ride. He was born and raised in Memphis and was very intrigued by our road trip. He used to be a truck driver and had been lucky enough to see America from behind the wheel. I was sad when our time together ended because I would have enjoyed chatting with him some more.

When we got out of the cab I was surprised to see a police blockade just before the entrance to Beale Street. Oh no, did something bad happen? We were stopped by the cops, carded  (to make sure we were over 21) and searched for weapons. Interesting start to the night. My second new friend of the evening was a very friendly police officer named Bill and he informed me that 1. he could tell I wasn’t from Memphis. 2. He used to live in New Orleans 3. He’s single/available (good to know) and 4. they have to do this on Beale street on the weekends because people were getting too rowdy, very drunk and oh, yeah SHOT.

Shot?! Well, that sounds very bad.

After making it through security we were officially on the main drag of Beale street and it was filled with people, flashing lights, commotion, restaurants, music, bars and blues clubs- my kinda place. I was most definitely drinking the Memphis kool-aid at this point and I was high on it. Our first stop for the evening was Blue’s City Cafe– their tagline reads “Put some south in your mouth”. HA. Don’t mind if I do. In my everyday life (when I am not traveling the country with my best girlfriend) I don’t usually order ribs for dinner but you can’t go to Memphis (the land of delicious BBQ) and not eat ribs, right? At least that’s what I told myself when I ordered a huge rack with baked beans and coleslaw. Did I mention I am eating my way across America?

I am embarrassed to share how many I ate but I will say that they really were scrumptious!

After dinner we strolled Beale Street where I continued my public speaking tour and stopped to chat with everybody and anybody. So many nice people in Memphis! This may have been when Rachel started to become a tad annoyed with me for wanting to chat with everybody.

As we passed the venue Blues Hall amazing blues music poured out so we ducked in to hear some more (I’m sure Rachel also thought this would keep me quiet for a bit. Wrong!).

Enter in THE MOST amazing man I have ever met- Dr. Feelgood Potts. I mean his name says it all doesn’t it? Not only was he wearing harmonicas strapped to his chest as if they were bullets, he had an incredible voice and a stage presence that did not disappoint.

While perusing the internet for a video of Dr. Feelgood Potts for you, I came across this gem. Not only do you get the pleasure of hearing his music you also get to watch a man in a white baseball cap dance to his music. You’re welcome.

In between sets I chatted with my third and fourth new friends for the evening, a father and son team next to me at the bar. They happened to be traveling across the country as well! Although they were doing it in a huge RV and were very confused how we were doing it in a Jetta.

At this point I did not think Memphis could get any better. I was full with ribs, good music and joy and I didn’t want the night to end. But we had to get some sleep so we would be ready for the amazingness that is Graceland the next day.

We hailed a cab and we were picked up by my fifth new friend for the evening, a cab driver named William. He must have been near seventy and he was wearing a camel colored suit with a little silk hanky tucked in his pocket. Memphis just got better. William asked what we were doing in Memphis. I told him about the road trip and he smiled. He shared that he too traveled the country when he was a young man. He was born and raised in Memphis and he had to get out because it was too hard to be living there as a black man at the time. So he packed his car and set off to explore in search of better things. He ended up back in Memphis and now has a huge family and one great-grandchild (whom he was very proud of). I found his tales heartwarming.

When William dropped us off at The River Inn he wished us luck on our journey and it meant so much.

I merrily climbed into my big, plush and cozy bed at The River Inn (a far cry from the Motel 6 the night before) and went to sleep feeling deliriously happy.

Eat. Drink. Boogie. Repeat

“We’re going to Graceland!!” up next….

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To see Rachel’s blog click here!

365til30: instagram  @kate365, twitterfacebook

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