Yooooo I’m back from my second Great American Road Trip and I’m coming at you from the Yo AKA Youngstown, Ohio where I now live with my parents and work in the basement. But you know what? I’m rocking it. I thought I was going to be filled with unbearable regret the moment I saw rain, but I don’t feel bad about my decision at all. In fact, I feel quite good about it.
So, anyways, I just drove from Los Angeles to Ohio. As you may or may not know, I had undertaken another Great American Road Trip a little over two years ago with my mom, and you can read about it here, here, and here. My mom and I drove to California via the “south route”, following old Route 66. For this trip, my dad flew out and we drove along the “north route”. I had two reasons for this. 1) I wanted to see my friends in Boulder and Chicago and 2) I wanted the trip to feel like a new adventure, and not a retreat.
On Friday, I picked up my dad from LAX and we drove straight to Huntington Beach to visit my aunt and uncle. My car was so densely packed that my dad had to ride down the 405 with his knees on the dashboard. He suggested that we take the PCH for the second half of the trip, but lo and behold the marine layer was so thick, we couldn’t even see the ocean.
Whatever. We went to 25 Degrees for lunch and I had this MIND-ALTERING truffle burger. It was definitely one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, hands down.
Despite the cloudy weather, we packed up a wagon with beach chairs and a cooler and headed down to the ocean. I wrapped up in a few towels and took a nice, long nap because I was hungover AF. I’ll miss you, hangover beach naps! Now I’ll just have to take my hangover naps on the couch with my dog like a peasant.
I saw this enormous hibiscus tree on the way back and it was too gorgeous not to share. WOULD YA LOOK AT THAT THING?
Dear baby Lou was all up in my grill, and I loved every moment of it.
The next morning we had breakfast at Sugar Shack, then hit the road. Our plan was to reach Vegas by late afternoon, have dinner and a look around, and then drive to St. George, Utah to sleep.
Let me tell you, I was NOT INTO VEGAS. We drove down the Strip, and I was absolutely shook by enormity of the casinos. As my dad said, “They don’t build them with the money people win.” He probably knows, since his ex-business partner owned PPH sportsbook. I personally just don’t understand gambling. Like, I guess it was cool, but it’s just not my scene.
We parked near Fremont Street and got out to look around. It was so trashy, I couldn’t even. Although, we did see this amazing mural of my personal hero, Hunter S. Thompson. HST didn’t like Vegas much, though, so it’s funny that they’ve immortalized on a wall.
So anyways, we grabbed a slice of pizza and then skedaddled.
Also, side note, we drove right past that music festival where the shooting was. I don’t like to get political on this blog, but I CANNOT BELIEVE that the government isn’t going to do ANYTHING about gun control. But if the Sandy Hook massacre didn’t convince politicians and voters that responsible gun control and better mental healthcare is needed in this country, I suppose nothing will. Guess I’ll just try not to get shot.
ANYWAYS LET’S TALK ABOUT UTAH! Damnnnnnnnnnnnn. Utah is so nice. This was the view from our room at the Holiday Inn in St. George. In the distance, you can see a Mormon temple. The air was so fresh and clean, but sadly the mountain foliage gave me allergies.
We started the day driving through these beautiful valleys filled with farms and grazing pastures.
Every time we drove around a bend there was a new, gorgeous view to behold. Also, sorry about my iPhone in this shot. I just noticed. What can you do?
Around 11:45 we saw a sign that said “No services next 108 miles” so we pulled off to eat. As we ate, we conjectured what could possibly be up ahead. How could there be no services at all?!
…And here’s what was next. Just a beautiful, desolate desert canyon called Castle Valley in the Moab Desert. Virtually no one lives there, and you can see why. Sure looks pretty though.
Here’s a few more shots of Utah JUST BECAUSE!
When we reached Colorado, it began to rain. As we climbed elevation, the rain started to turn into a wintry mix. Then it started snowing, hard. I tell ya, if my dad hadn’t been with me, I’d be living in Vail right now. There’s no way I could have driven through that blizzard in the Rockies. He handled it like a pro, and was actually wearing shorts and boat shoes. Badass.
We drove through Nebraska. That’s all I have to say about that.
My dad, Cleveland Indians fan that he is, suggested that we go see the Bob Feller Hometown Museum in Van Meter, Iowa. I had no idea who Bob Feller was, but Dad gave me the scoop. Apparently he was the best Cleveland Indians pitcher ever. He was drafted into the big leagues while he was still in high school, played a season with the Indians, and then went back for his senior year. Later, he left baseball to serve in WWII. When the war was over, he went back to playing baseball. He also helped end segregation in baseball by incorporating players from the Negro League to play in exhibition games with MLB players. He seems like he was a pretty cool dude.
This museum was so funny though because it was literally just the conference room in the town hall. Nobody even acknowledged that we were there. We just turned on the lights, looked around, and turned off the lights when we left.
Obviously I had to get out my Indians hat and take a picture.
Other than the blizzard, the drive went very smoothly. It was another successful Great American Road Trip, and I’m glad to be back in Ohio! I’ll be rooting for an Indians win tonight. Hopefully they can get to the next round of the playoffs…it’s what Bob Feller would want.
Also, be a pal and pin this image below!