Our Road Trip from CA to TX!

Hey all! How is everyone?

So we are FINALLY at our road trip post from CA to TX!

Early in the morning of July 1st, we ate some oatmeal in disposable bowls, wiped down our counters one last time, dropped our keys off and then headed out first thing. One spot we never hit while living in CA was the charming little beach town of Capitola, so we made sure to factor it into our road trip.

As soon as we pulled into the city limits we started seeing brightly colored homes with characteristic beach signs on front doors or in windows reading phrases like, “All you need is Love and a Beach” and “This Mermaid swims on Coffee”.

The city itself is surprisingly quite tiny! I always imagined it much larger in my mind- but the polly pocket size of the city added to its charm. We found a parking spot and roamed around the immediate area. We couldn’t go too far from DJ’s truck since we had a bunch of suit cases in the back. **PS. Take note of the cooler sticking out of the back- it’s important for a story later on**

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Have you ever seen more zen seals?

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Although it was a cloudy day, the colors of the beach homes popped against the somber skies.

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After enjoying Capitola and watching a swarm of lifeguards being trained in the water (I can’t imagine how chilly that water was!), we hopped back on the road.

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Next up: Palm Desert. We passed by an army of windmills on our way. It reminded me of Courtney’s road trip out– she mentioned how large and alarming they can be- and I totally agree! It’s a weird feeling being under such looming and massive structures that are moving nonetheless. Funnily enough, all I could see were antibodies when I looked at them- Smalls was causing my brain to compare everything to something patho related, lol. Here’s a link to antibodies so you can see what I’m talking about.

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We finally arrived to our hotel for the evening! Somehow I got it for an insane deal — compared to everything else around it was one of the more affordable options. When we arrived it turned out it was “villas”, but really was more of a hotel room- it was confusing, but made sense once we actually got in our room. Anyways, the views of the mountains all around were just spectacular. It was HOT though- the idea of what the “desert” feels like was 100% as scorching as it sounds.

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We spent a good chunk of time lugging in all our suitcases from the bed of the truck to the room. Once we dropped everything off we headed out to explore the grounds (but we had to be sure to be back in time for Bachelorette, of course 😉 ).

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The grounds were so pretty & relaxing! Once we returned from our exploration we decided to just order some room service. I ordered a salad with added avocado (and I had a bunch of hummus to add too that I packed in our Freezer lunch bags for our roadtrip) and DJ opted for their chicken sandwich with the truffle fries that I kept stealing, naturally.

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We watched The Bachelorette and enjoyed our food. I love travel nights like this. It reminded me of time we were in NYC and made sure to be back to the hotel in time for Bach. Now, if I was in NYC these days I don’t think I could sacrifice a second of exploring the city for any show (yes, even Bach!), but since we were there wasn’t too much going on around us that evening we didn’t feel like we were missing out.

That evening was rough when it came to sleep- there was this LOUD whirring noise that even kept DJ up (who can sleep through anything)… we ended up calling maintenance at around 12:30 am when we resolved we probably wouldn’t be able to sleep. They came by and basically said there was nothing they could do at the time- it was in the pipes above us. I put on my noise-cancelling headphones to try to sleep. DJ finally fell asleep, but I tossed and turned the whole night and had a gnawing pain in the side of my head the next day from where they dug into my head. Then, our toilet stopped flushing unless we pressed the flush with the strength of Samson or did the lift the lid and pull the chain method. It suddenly all made sense why our room was immensely discounted, haha. Minus the nocturnal hours, the stay was so nice!

When it was finally the morning of July 2nd I decided to shake off the cobwebs with a morning run and a ton of coffee. Really- what would we do without coffee? I was a new person after some endorphins & caffeine.

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We ate oatmeal and granola bars we had on us for breakfast and hit the road. Back to spending time with Smalls.

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While passing through Phoenix we hopped off the highway- I needed more coffee desperately.

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But while on our quest for coffee we were greeted by an awesome surprise. Culver’s! We squealed out of nostalgic joy (DJ would probably argue he did not squeal, but I definitely did). We loved our Culver’s when we lived in Indiana. 

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DJ ordered a brownie mixer, and I stole a couple bites. Also, if you go to Culver’s you must order their cheese curds too- that’s probably my favorite thing on their menu… my stomach was not feeling 100% otherwise I totally would have loaded up.

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Okay okay, still on our coffee quest. Luckily there was a Starbuck’s right across the parking lot!

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I ordered my go-to almond milk Misto and grabbed a Siggi’s yogurt for some protein to tie me over that hopefully wouldn’t aggravate my over-tired queasiness.  Goodness this yogurt is good! I have seen it sold all over the place, but haven’t tried it- it’s really dang good! I felt better instantly after eating it.

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Back to the highway.

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New Mexico has a special place in our heart after our experience in Albuquerque on our way to CA from IN.

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While driving through New Mexico we saw a road runner statue on the side of the road. It tripped me out, because it looked so realistic at first, but was impossibly gargantuan.

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The views driving through at dusk were breathtaking. I had to put Smalls on pause to soak them all up.

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And we finally made it to Texas! wooohoooo!

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We stayed at the Doubletree in El Paso. When we checked in, we got these complimentary delicious cookies! So fun & a great little touch 🙂

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We were so hungry by this point. We ate through all our snacks we had packed in the car and were ready for some real food! We just went to The Fire Restaurant in the hotel since it was pretty late (around 9:30 pm). While waiting for our food we were feeling reflective and talked all about our time in CA and what we were looking forward to in Texas. Special convos <3

DJ ordered one of the greatest pastas we’ve ever tried. It was blackened shrimp penne with mushroom, green chile, sundried tomato and red chile cream. Who would have thought- just out of a hotel restaurant?! We have talked about this dish several times since.. I mean, wow– we were mind blown. I think it was mainly that red chile cream sauce- whatever the heck is in that… I neeeed that recipe.

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Even though I ate DJ’s pasta as though it was my own (good thing it was a pretty generous portion), I also ordered the Fire FIT Vegan bowl with hominy cake, cabbage, tomato, onion, green chile, pickled radish, Guajillo broth, and cilantro. This was a phenomenal vegan meal! It had such a unique, wonderful flavor and it didn’t take long to eat every single bite.

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After dinner we scurried out to catch the bottom of the 9th of the El Paso Chihuahuas (we just watched through the fence). It was fun to see a different minor league stadium & how they run a show!

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I think our little El Paso stint was our favorite part of the road trip. So fun! In the morning of July 3rd we hit the road super early (around 6 am). We stopped in a gas station, and I grabbed some coffee. This was such stinking good gas station coffee- it even had a beautiful layer of crema- like …WHAT?! (the picture below is straight black coffee- not a latte or anything- that is just the quality of the crema!). First a hotel restaurant (not even Italian restaurant) serving the best pasta ever and now a gas station serving insanely good coffee… I am having an existential foodie crisis.

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Back to the road… More studying with Smalls & more driving for DJ.

I offered tons of times to drive, but DJ insisted on driving so I could study. He’s the best <3 I made such a dent and felt good about the ground I had covered (mentally, and I guess literally with our move, hehe).

Sooo we did have a little mishap on the highway. Remember how our cooler was just barely sticking out of the bed of our truck? Well, it went FLYING out of the bed when we were on a wide open windy area in Texas.. I mean flying… we were actually warned at the gas station from the cashier that the wind was brutal and to be careful. We didn’t realize it was going to actually pick up our cooler! We only lost a couple items that were of any value (our Ninja bottles were the big thing and just some cheap dishes, along with the cooler itself). Luckily the cooler tumbled off to the side of the road, but we are just just so thankful nobody was behind us on the highway… that could have been real bad. The thought makes me shudder. There was nowhere to turn around to retrieve it, but I’m hoping it wouldn’t cause any issues being off the shoulder.

About 10 minutes before arriving we started seeing gray clouds, ominous harbingers. We crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t start to rain because we had all that luggage in the bed of the truck. But sure enough, while stuck in our first experience of Austin traffic, the rain came down in full force- buckets upon buckets. We were so close…. yet so far..

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I will say despite knowing everything was getting soaked in the back I was still excited to see a thunderstorm. We hadn’t seen one in years, and I loveeeee a thunderstorm (at least the mild ones- not the actually dangerous ones, which I hear we may experience often here).

Finally we arrived, got our keys, checked in, and unloaded our sopping wet suitcases. It’s all good though- they aired out pretty well, and it wasn’t an issue. We had never seen our apartment in person (my mom helped scope them out for us when she was in town for business a few months ago). We were immediately excited upon walking in! This is perfect for the stage we’re in right now- annnd everyone was so friendly we interacted with while unloading our truck. I think that was the first thing we noticed here- everyone is so friendly!

After dropping our stuff off, we popped into Trader Joe’s for our first ever Texas grocery trip! It has a parking garage system where you get your ticket comped if you are under an hour- forces me to grocery shop real quick- and y’all know I treat TJ’s like a leisure stroll in the park, so this can be a challenge, hah. Also, you take an elevator to bring your groceries down in the cart. All these little things seemed so confusing at first, but are second nature now!

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Alrighty this is quite long so I’ll continue the rest in another post. All in all it was a wonderful, memorable road trip, even with the minor little glitches. Rest in peace, ol’ Igloo Cooler- thanks for helping preserve all our San Francisco leftovers over the years… you were real cool 😉 

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever lost anything valuable on a road trip/traveling?
  • Are you team room service or eat out on the town? Both?

xo <3

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**There is an affiliate link in this post, but all opinions and ideas are my own**

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98 thoughts on “Our Road Trip from CA to TX!

  1. That is one hell of a roadtrip to Texas! That villa room sounds horrible! It reminds me of the time I stayed in a hostel and they put us in the room above their bar. It was loud and music playing until 2am. We complained to the staff downstairs and surprisingly, they decided to upgrade us to a private room over on the other side of the building! I love scoring good deals but now I’m sceptical about certain prices, lol.

    And that cooler story of yours – RIP cooler! It’s such a blessing nobody was behind you and you didn’t lose anything of tremendous value.

    1. Hi Claire!! Oh my gosh that hostel situation sounds like the worstttt but thank goodness they were accommodating! I was kinda shocked the staff seemed like they couldn’t care less.. it was a wonderfully rated hotel so you’d think they’d care about a potential bad review ?! Oh well!

      Truly a blessing that nothing too serious happened or was lost! Thanks for reading, I appreciate you stopping in and leaving a comment 🙂

    1. Hi, Kathy!! Thanks for reading 🙂 can never go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie- and when they are free- even better 😍

  2. What a great adventure, I loved following along! Beautiful pictures and fun memories.

    One time I left an old sentimental sweater in a hotel room and didn’t realize till too late. Had a panic attack in the car, in tears, and the hotel mailed it home to me!

    1. Aw thank you so much for reading and your kind comment!!

      How AWESOME the hotel mailed your sweater to you!!! I’m so glad you got it back 🙂 now that’s some good customer service !

  3. Sounds like a great roadtrip – though I am surprised you managed to pack your whole life from CA in the back of a truck (mine would probably need 3 or 4 car loads!)

    I do like that road sign as you pull in Texas – ‘drive friendly- the Texas way’ – Do drivers in Texas actually drive friendlier?

    xoxo
    Natalie

    http://nataliesdailylife.wordpress.com/

    1. Hi, Natalie!!! Hehe full disclosure- that was only what we needed for the first few weeks (mostly our clothes and kitchen stuff) but we had a moving company bring the rest.

      People actually are pretty great drivers here!! Not everyone is friendly, but overall I would say they are at least kinder with letting you over and stuff like that! Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  4. HAHA how adorable are the beach homes! They are so colourful its so cute!!! Omg THEY REALLY DO LOOK LIKE ANTIBODIES OH GOSH I’LL NEVER GET IT OUT OF MY MIND NOW! Wow, your accommodation is so lovely and such a steal! Oh no turns out it came with a few caveats! ): Omg is it me or is that brownie mixer HUGE? How nice you can even see the grains of vanilla in it! Man, that roadrunner statue is SO COOL and kinda tripy to see! That is honestly a pasta combo I have never heard of before but now im so intrigued to know THE RECIPE! I freaking love pasta gosh!!! Even your vegan dish sounds better than most meat dishes gosssh I’m drooling and really REALLY hungry now. HAHAH ALL THESE GEMS YOU KEEP FINDING IN UNEXPECTED PLACES! Oh my god, thank god the cooler didn’t hit anyone that would have been so terrible! Phew! Okay, can’t wait to read the next one!

    No I haven’t yet…gosh I hope I don’t jinx it since I’m going off tomorrow! Eat out on the town for sure!

    1. Hey, Cordelia!! I so love your comments. ❤️

      LOL- isn’t that so funny about the windmills?! 🤣 glad you found that as entertaining as I did!

      Haha it was one large brownie mixer- totally justified why I had to help him out by stealing a few sips 😉

      Ahhh I have dreamt about that pasta since 🤤 if I ever get the recipe I will totally pass it along!

      Yes such a close call- thank goodness nothing serious happened or was lost!

      Yesss ! So many gems to find in a city! Have a great rest of the week, love 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing your road trip, Mackenzie! I legit had to stare at the roadrunner picture for a few seconds because it’s crazy how real it looks! I love having those special conversations to look back on. What a sweet transitioning moment for you all. Cannot wait to see all the memories you’ll make in Texas! ♡

    1. Hi, beautiful! Doesn’t the road runner mess with your brain?! I was so startled !

      Thanks so much for reading & can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to this past month. Hope you are doing so well <3 xo

      1. It’s definitely an awesome statue! Can’t wait to catch up with everything. It’s a gorgeous weekend here in Tennessee, hope Texas is treating you and DJ well so far! 💙

      2. Aw yay!!! I’m glad to hear. It’s been busy, but we are loving it. Just trying to establish new normals 🙂

  6. sounds like your travel went almost smoothly. Glad you were able to get to your new location with lots of fun memories on the way. Richard loves Siggi yogurt. It think his favorite is strawberry rhubarb. I’ve got an answer to your trader joe’s issue…. shop more often. then you can be leisurely but just not be needing to shop as much each time.

    1. Ohhhh strawberry rhubarb Siggi sounds like a dream! I don’t think I’ve seen that flavor, but need to hunt it down- yummmm.

      Hehe- I used to grocery shop every other day it felt like, but the traffic here makes that a bit tough. *sigh*. Oh well- forces me to be more organized I guess, haha. Hope you are having a nice weekend!

  7. I love those colorful building in Capitola. Such great beach vibes. Palm Desert looks like it would be nice to visit (minus the heat. lol.) That stinks about the sounds and toilet issues, but I’m glad that overall it was a decent stay. I had heard about Culver’s many times and they recently got one in Naples, so while I was down visiting family we went there. I did not have a milkshake, but I did get the cheese curds. Oh my…yum!! Isn’t Siggi’s such a good yogurt? I first saw it during my layover in Iceland, but didn’t try it until I was back in the States. When my daughter was about 5, we accidentally left her “blankie” in a hotel room. Luckily, they were wise enough to know this might be important and when I called, they still had it. We did have a DS left on the train by one of our boys when he was younger. It, of course, was not found upon cleaning the train even though we were at its final destination. We don’t do room service very often, but we will go down at eat at the hotel restaurant if we don’t feel like going out.

    1. I know you would just love Capitola! It’s such a pretty and relaxing beach town. I’m glad you were able to try Culver’s in Naples, but next time definitely snag some of those cheese curds 😉

      YES!!! Siggi’s is sooo insanely good- I need to find it around here somewhere other than just Starbucks!

      Awww that’s awesome you were able to get her baby blanket back- that’s such a special and sentimental item. Frustrating about the DS though!

      I have a new found fondness for hotel restaurants after this experience! It’s convenient but still gives the feel of “going out”. Thanks for reading, Amy 🙂 I hope you are well.<3

  8. Ohmygosh!!!! That very first photo of the mountain range. Can you tell me approximately where and on what freeway you have to be on to see that moutain range? That is a-mazing!!!!

    I’m not typically a truck fan, but that shiny black truck is REALLY COOL!!!

    Oooo I’ve never been to Capitola either and didn’t know they have those colorful beach houses! I want a purple one.

    Yah, I don’t even want to TRY to imagine a world without coffee. What a mean, scary world it would be.

    What!!!! Culvers!!!! In Phoenix???? When I lived in Phoenix there were no Culvers. I just looked at a map and see there are now a bunch of them and one is near my old apartment complex. Man oh man!!!! And I was born in Indiana but have never been to a Culvers.

    Are you still doing the pictures with a city / state name in the background to someday make a map? That is a cool idea!!!

    I never had anything valuable sucked out of the car but once I had a little cup of coffee in one of those cheap plastic cup holders that clips on your window…this was in the olden days of windows you rolled down yourself…and the wind sucked that cup of coffee right out of the holder!!! The holder remained. But no coffee. It was too funny and unexpected to be mad about it. We looked at each other and laughed.

    Road trips…something always happens, be it good, bad, sad, or funny.

    1. Hi, Jinjer!! I know I’ve said this before, but I will again- I just adore your comments!

      I actually have no idea about where we were.. I want to say we were driving through Arizona entering into Texas, but I’ll have to ask DJ to see if he knows what highway! He may be able to remember !

      Hehe- DJ does love that truck! It’s been so helpful with all our moving.

      I’m with ya!! It’d be a dream to own one of those colorful beach houses one day!

      Such a scary world, indeed!! I just had my third cup of the day (shhhh I usually try to limit myself to two but it’s the weekend, so I justify three, lol).

      Ahhhh you have to get to a Culver’s next time you are around one ! It’s such a great little restaurant- all the food is so yummy & the shakes are the real deal!!

      So we haven’t officially made the map yet, but are definitely making sure to get pics in each state 🙂 Thanks for reminding us about that though! I nearly forgot we were doing that!

      Ohh man!!! I just pictured that whole coffee scenario play out and am giggling! You are so right- always have to leave a little room for the unexpected on roadtrips for sure! Thanks again for reading- hope you are having a great weekend!

  9. What a trip and you were still able to hold it together to read Smalls … what a first night of travel though in that hotel room – they should have discounted it all the way to free! You had some beautiful sky pictures that you took with your phone – amazing blue and even the pictures with the raindrops as well. Glad you made it safely, just one bump in the trip with the cooler. Safe and sound and now a new life, new church, and lots of changes for you.

    1. I was hoping for a discount too- but they did give us free parking so I’ll take that at least!

      Thanks for the kind words about the photos- I’m glad you enjoyed them 🙂

      Thanks Linda!!! I appreciate that – lots and lots of new changes, but so far so good ! Hope you are having a great weekend, my friend!

  10. I meant to add (just as we had a massive massive thunder roll – wow !!!) … anyway, when I traveled a lot, I kinda liked room service on occasion – a chance to just relax after being on the go (most times it was a tour) … we usually had a sit-down dinner, but occasionally we had a free night so we were on our own. I love the colors of the beach hoses – it did light up the beach with the gloomy sky. And I loved the Zen seals too.

    1. It sounds like we are going to have a thunderstorm tonight too! I actually missed thunderstorms a ton since we never had them in CA, but I’m sure you’re sick of them by this point! Hopefully the weather has been nice- I never got that blogging time I was hoping for this break sadly and start up again Monday, but I do hope the weather isn’t too bad for ya right now & you are able to get your miles in!

      Ah I love that & I totally agree! A nice balance of room service and exploring the town is so nice.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      1. I hope you’ll get enough quality time apart from studies to keep up your exercise regimen and for exploring the area with DJ on weekends. It’s tough when there are never enough hours in a day … you are torn apart between that which must be done and that which you want to do. One last day before it all begins again.

      2. Thank you!! We are definitely trying to make the most of it. It’s about to get crazy again- but we’ll see if we can sneak away to explore the city from time to time! Fingers crossed 🙂

      3. I hope so – at least you have “study time together” … since DJ is in grad school I imagine he is not in class as much as you’d be in undergrad school.

      4. So true!!! He’s actually soo much busier than undergrad- it’s basically 8 am to 10 pm for him right now, but they do say this is the craziest semester, and it’ll get better!

      5. Oh my goodness – he barely sees the light of day. Good luck to DJ mastering the first semester and you both need a break on the weekends for sure – “date night” is a must.

      6. Aw thank you!! We had to skip our date night this past week, but we did get take out after church and called it a treat 🤣 hopefully we’ll be able to sneak one in once I’m back from my on campus intensives ! How is your week going ? I have a feeling it’ll be a while before I make it back to blogging world but I miss reading your posts! 😭

      7. You have a rigorous schedule, as does DJ and one day you will look back and say “whew … how did we do all that in 2019 … it was amazing what we accomplished!” You’ll both have your jobs and lots of free time … you won’t know how to act. I am quite behind here and I’m not on your schedule! I had hoped to make a dent in Reader last night but was anxious about severe weather that was expected late in the evening, and so I kept bopping back and forth to look at radar, and also my favorite meteorologist’s Tweets on the impending weather and was a Nervous Nellie (tornadic conditions were predicted but fizzled out in the middle of the night) so I am still three days behind. If I write a post, it is a guarantee I’ll be behind for a while as well as I catch up on comments. I am glad you are getting a chance to keep us posted so we know you are are not sleeping beneath a pile of books and empty take-out coffee cups when you have a 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. study schedule. 🙂 PS – I saw a Tweet this morning that Starbucks is selling their own creamers. Try them after that Himalayan Salt Carmel Creamer from Coffee Mate for those stay-at-home mornings.

      8. Aw I LOVE that perspective . Thanks for sharing that! Hopefully no tornadoes ?! And thank you for telling me about Starbucks creamer!! I have been staying at home many days to save some money from going to coffee shops all the time, so this is perfect 🤗

      9. Glad you liked it Mackenzie. No tornadoes and they predicted tornadic activity on all weather stations and it didn’t happen – I swear that sometimes people act like they are disappointed all hype and nothing happens (Really??!!) If we had one severe weather outlook/prediction per Summer, that was it. It is over and over again – makes me nervous. The weather has been good all week and this upcoming week we get a few storms and some rain … oh well, as long as they are not severe. Yes, the nice coffee at home, maybe roasted beans and Starbucks creamer and you can stay home and save the money for a special dinner or outing.

      10. Oh man, they really are getting everyone riled up , huh?! My grandma was saying yesterday how horrible MI weather has been lately .. but I’m glad nothing too detrimental is going on.

        I love your thinking of saving up for a special dinner or outing! Now that’d be some good motivation 🤗

      11. Yes, we had some really horrid weather this week, not by me but in the Saginaw/Midland area which is not near your grandma, but the severe weather was predicted for most of the state. Five rotations on radar, but nothing touched down. Same last night – rotations and gusty wind – 50,000 with no power. We have severe weather tomorrow as well. There seems to be no end to it this year.

        Yes, saving for a special dinner would be memorable and maybe for DJ’s birthday which is on the weekend, so no school (unless online tests).

      12. Oh man, well since I’m late to this comment hopefully it’s all cleared up now!!

        We are trying to find a date to celebrate his bday, but it’s quite tough this semester haha- hopefully something will open up 🤞🏻

      13. It’s been a little crazy with the weather and I am glad to leave Summer behind, but we had a very hot and humid weekend and next weekend will be the same … I am ready for Fall, just to move into cooler, less-volatile weather. I hope you can come up with a window to have a small celebration. Maybe the long weekend for Columbus Day even though it is a week later and assuming there is no on-site school that day?

      14. I am with you!!! I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited for fall!! I actually think we both have class that’s day unfortunately- but I’m sure something will open up! 🙂

  11. Oh Mack, I am so happy for you and DJ––it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I appreciate how the two of you talk about what your hopes and dreams are in this next phase of your life. I say, go for what inspires you!

    And, finding a gas station with good coffee is a significant feat. 🙂

    So many blessings to you both and to your new apartment, each new adventure (Trader Joe’s rocks), and the many runs you’ll take in Austin!

    Be well, and email me anytime Mack even for a simple pick me up if you need one.

    Love,
    Debbie

      1. Aw I was so thankful she was able to– she had business here so it all worked out perfectly. I trust her judgement 1000% & she saved us a ton of travel- I’m very grateful for her willingness to help us out !

    1. Hi, Debbie!! Thanks so much 🙂 And never have I been so pleasantly surprised from a gas station before- definitely challenging their reputation!

      Thank you for your sweet words- I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them <3 This brightened my day! Have a great rest of your weekend!

  12. Girlfriend, you two made the most of such a fun journey!! Emotional, nostalgic, uncertain, exciting, all the feelings.

    I cannot stand to hear of things happening to you – like the noise at the hotel – but you have a gift of writing! I couldn’t help but chuckle at the sheer ridiculous nature of it, but you have such a wonderful way of looking on the bright side of things.

    My stomach can get very wonky on little sleep or road trips, so I’m right there with you! Sensitive stomachs unite.

    That quaint city looks precious! I actually love that the sky was cloudy as the homes really did pop with all of their glorious color.

    I’m so so sorry to hear about the Igloo! Kudos to you all for keeping your “cool” throughtout the ordeal. 😉 May it rest in peace and know it served you well. Thank goodness no one was around!

    Congratulations on your move, adorable new digs, success in school, and I wish you well, Mack! <3

    1. Hi, Kori!!! Ahh your comments are SO heart warming.

      I’m glad you found the humor in the series of unfortunate events too! Sometimes alll you can do is laugh- I always say at least these things make for a good story!

      Yesss! You get itttt.. Little sleep especially is the kicker for me.

      Heheh! It definitely served us well- but there is an igloo sized hole in our home now. <3 Probably a good thing since our apartment is pretty itty bitty, and I have no clue where we'd put it haha.

      Thank you SO so much. I am feeling a bit nervous entering into this semester because it's gonna be a doozy- but we as people are so adaptable, I just have to remind myself it'll be ok! Hope you are doing amazing + having the best weekend ever!

  13. Oh I must go to Capitola, looks super cool down there! I love how colorful the houses are!
    Omg we got a huge patch of windmills here too heading towards Idaho, and funnily enough, the landscape looks almost the same. Just driving past a bunch of hills and mountains left and right. Of course we also have a river here.
    The ground at the villa/hotel looks super awesome.
    Oh man the pipes keeping you up at night sounds so bad! I would have hated that too.
    Very cool that you stopped in Phoenix, never heard of Culvers before but what you guys got sounds pretty good
    Omg the road runner statue!! So cuteee!!! I would love to see that.
    The dishes you guys got at that restaurant look so yummy especially the pasta! Lol
    I’m not a coffee person but even I cant deny that that coffee from the gas station looks amazing!
    Haha I had a feeling the cooler was gonna fly out of the bed. But that’s good that no one was behind you because I agree, it could have been real bad!
    Super cool you got to shop at trader Joe’s first time there and that everyone was friendly. I believe several places we have here also have that parking thing, maybe it’s just parking for it I dont remember ever getting a ticket but maybe it’s just downtown where they do that lol.
    Anyway I’m so excited for you and it’s good that the road trip went well! Cant wait to see what this new beginning brings you both!

    1. Capitola is near Santa Cruz so I would recommend trying to do them both in a day or two! CL would LOVEE the Santa Cruz boardwalk & capitola has some great little restaurants + a chill vibe!

      As scary as the windmills are I feel like they would be gorgeous along a river like that!!

      That pasta was something of my dreams- toooo dang goood!!!

      Haha we should have probably made sure the cooler was more secure, but we made it almost the entire trip with no issues. Ohhh well!

      The TJ’s ticket deal is definitely only in the downtown one! I have never seen that before either. I’m used to it now but was so confused at first!

      Thanks, girl 🙂 xox

      1. I think he would too! I dont think I’ve ever been to a boardwalk so that would be cool and exciting
        Over here they’re only up on the mountains but you can see both lol

  14. What an eventful trip! I’m sorry about your cooler (RIP!!) and the hotel blues 🙁 I really enjoyed your pictures though along the way!! Gorgeous views!!! I think I need to take a trip to Arizona 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Shan!!! <3 I have never spent a significant chunk of time in Arizona, but after just driving through it I definitely would love to! I hear great things about the Phoenix area especially. Hope you are having a nice weekend :)

  15. I have been sooooooo excited for your moving post! Ha, ha. 🙂 I saw it go up a day or two ago, but I’ve saved it for this morning (since my mom has the kids and I fully intend to be lazy for two hours). I start teaching piano soon, so I figured I was due for some quiet, mommy time before summer ends. 😉 Anyway, this blog post didn’t disappoint and was SO much fun to read while sitting here with my iced coffee!
    Hmmm, I’m trying to think if I’ve ever lost anything while traveling. Brady threw his shoes out of the car window WHILE we were driving once… HA! But thankfully we were able to turn around and salvage them from the middle of the highway, so nothing was lost. That’s so crazy about your cooler that it took off like that. I’d never expect that to happen either! I’m sure your first (or second thought) was, “Well, at least this will make for good blogging!” HA!!!
    So I definitely do both when it comes to either eating out OR enjoying room service. Ha, ha. I love trying new places and soaking in the environment. And these days, now that we’ve got rambunctious kiddos, eating out doesn’t happen often; so we usually try to eat AT the restaurant if we can. That being said, Nate and I still definitely take advantage of eating in the hotel (whether it be room service or food that we picked up from a nearby restaurant). I love lounging in the hotel room, turning on the TV, and munching. Ha, ha. It feels so relaxing and pampering! So we definitely take advantage of both options when we get the opportunity to travel. 🙂
    The pasta dish DJ got from the hotel looks AMAZING!!! I remember that when Nate and I went to Vegas, we ordered food from the hotel restaurant, because we were so tired. And we were shocked by how good our pasta dishes were! I love when that happens!!
    Oh and fun fact… I’ve never had a Misto from Starbucks, but it’s my mom’s signature drink! She gets it with soy milk though, but both sound great. I think I need to add the Misto to my Starbucks ‘must try’ list. 🙂
    Also Nate and I stayed at a Doubletree on our honeymoon the night before our cruise, because it was affordable and we had an early flight. So we just needed a place to crash for a few hours before we headed to the airport. And I remember them giving us a warm chocolate chip cookie, and I was SO hungry at that point. Ha, ha. We’d danced the night away, and I didn’t eat all that much at our wedding. So it was basically the BEST chocolate chip cookie I’d ever tasted, because I was in major need of some foodage by this point. So seeing your pic brought back warm fuzzy feelings as I remembered my chocolate chip cookie from almost 11 years ago. Ha, ha.
    LOVED this post, my friend!! I can’t wait to see pics of your apartment and more travel adventures as you scope out your new home! 🙂

    1. Awww, it means so much that you were anticipating this post! I’m really glad you enjoyed it and I hope you soaked up every single minute of those lazy two hours! <3 How often do you teach piano? I remember you mentioning one time that you do, but I forget what that looks like for you! And this is too fun because I am sipping on an iced coffee too- it’s almost like we are having coffee together <3

      LOL- okay you seriously have the greatest Mom stories. Your kids are so full of personality and spunk- I just adore it. I’m glad you were able to get back that shoe!

      HAHA- You get it!!! Whenever anything crazy happens inevitably I’m like, “At least this will be interesting blog material” hahah.

      I loveee your balance of room service/eating out. It’s definitely fun to explore locally, but sometimes nothing beats that relaxing in the room with no distractions you’d traditionally have at home. I love your idea of getting food from a restaurant and taking it back to the room- we’ll have to try that sometime! Genius!

      I definitely have a new fondness for hotel restaurants!! It’s kinda fun because it just teaches ya that you never know when epic food is right around the corner, and to not just go by Yelp reviews (like I usually do haha).

      Ohhhh yes a soy misto is great too! It’s kinda a reverse latte in a sense- so it’s that foamy milk without it being too much milk or espresso (since it’s just coffee). I hope you enjoy one sometime!

      Ahhh I LOVE this story about the Doubletree & you enjoying that cookie ! That makes me soo happy. What a fun memory! Thanks for sharing with me <3

      Your comments always bring me such joy- I can’t even say!!! Thanks for reading & I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful weekend 🙂

  16. Culver’s is the SPOT. I Tweeted at them to go ahead and open up in Virginia and they put the ball in my court to open up a franchise haha.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one to freak out a little about those wind turbine farms. They are freaky at night too. It’s like some alternate universe type stuff that reminds me of A Wrinkle in Time.

    1. It really is SO good! What are your favorite items there? I fully expect to see a Culver’s the next time we are driving through VA. No pressure.

      YES- I totally agree-a Wrinkle in Time is a great comparison. So disconcerting!

  17. There’s a Culver’s on William Cannon (down south), just FYI. Beautiful road trip pictures!

    I’m definitely an eat-in-the-town person, I love walking around new places, talking to the servers, and trying any local cuisines. However, I really appreciate the convenience of room service sometimes, like when you come home with a big sunburn or if I’m on a business trip. Each has a time and a place 🙂

    Congrats on making it here in one piece and with your sunny attitude intact! That storm and the luggage story are crazy, I’m so glad you and DJ made it here safely. Your optimistic attitude about everything always impresses me!

    1. Ahhhhh FOR REAL?! I had no idea!!! I don’t know why I didn’t think they’d have them here. I know there are Andy’s though.. which is some dang good custard. Either way I’m excited to know I can get some cheese curds when I’m craving them haha. Thanks for telling me!

      I am 100% with you about room service! Absolutely has its time and place… sometimes nothing will beat it in those moments of exhaustion or after a long day.

      Thank you tons!! 🙂 We are extremely happy to be here and love it more than we even anticipated. I can’t imagine being anywhere else right now! I can’t tell ya how much I appreciate all your recs too- I am actually at Bennu as I type this! Can’t wait to share where we’ve been in the upcoming posts. Have a great rest of the weekend, Taylor!

      1. Ah I rotate the coffee shops I go to, and I’ve had Bennu on my list for about a month now, I hope to be there soon! Hope your weekend winds down well, too!

      2. My next spot is going to be Cafe Medici. Since we start our semester this week I am hoping to sneak away there to get some studying in- we shall see!!

  18. Ahhh I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on some blogs and what a wonderful post to come back to 🙂 Your road trip sounds like you made the most of it! All of your photos are wonderful! I am both laughing and cringing at the cooler story! It’s funny because it is crazy how strong the wind was to pick it up and throw it out of the truck, but cringing because I would’ve been so mad to lose my cooler and ninja cups!

    On a trip like yours, I would’ve totally been team room service because I would’ve been too tired to explore new restaurants. Unless I saw something that really caught my eye or we were somewhere that had a specific food I just NEEDED to try.

    I can’t wait to hear all about your Texas adventures now!!

    1. Hi, Em!! Oh so good to hear from you! I hope life settles down so I can catch up on ALL THINGS WEDDING soo soon!

      It was such a bummer to lose those ninja cups. I couldn’t make my avocado smoothie for a couple weeks until I hunted down the right size- but Amazon Prime came in the clutch!

      Yes exactly!! That’s how we felt. There wasn’t anything in the area calling our name and room service sounded so perfect. Still dreaming about those truffle fries DJ got haha.

      Thank you so much! Have a great rest of your weekend, girlfriend!

      1. I am so excited to share everything about the wedding!!!

        We have a Ninja and love the cups it came with! I need to check out Amazon or any other site to get some extras of the cups. We both use them daily so we need a few extra in the rotation.

        We ordered room service a couple times while on our honeymoon and it was perfect! Sometimes you just don’t want to leave the room haha.

        I hope you have a great week!!!

      2. Hi, Em!!

        Oh yes! Check Amazon! They have all sizes 🙂

        Room service is perfect for honeymoons!!! I hope you had the best one and are having a great start to the school year ! Thank you for stopping in ! 💕

  19. Have you ever seen a truck carrying one of the blades for the windmills? They are so ridiculously long. It makes you realize how large they really are! Minus the cooler incident, it seems like you had a really great road trip! I went to TJ’s today and it really does feel like a leisurely stroll in the park. Even though I was on a time crunch, I still took a speedy stroll through it haha. Have a great weekend!!

    1. YES!!!! I thought it was a piece of an airplane or something the first time I saw one- so wild!

      It was so much fun, and overall, went very smoothly!

      Hehe- I totally hear ya! It’s such a fun spot. Any new finds?! Thanks for stopping in Maureen– hope you are having a great weekend!

  20. I’m excited for your future endeavors dear! How did I not know Capitola existed? I wrote my first post today in while. I just got a notification I’m 4 on WP yay hahaha! Happy weekend! <3

    1. KRISTIN!!! Do my eyes deceive me?! Hehehe. I am so happy to see your icon pop up! How are you?! I am so excited you are writing again- wooohooo! Happy 4 year blogiversary!

  21. Omg all of the travelling you do is so amazing and admirable! Texas looks so cool, USA is defo on my travel bucket list. Also that vegan bowl looks SO freaking delish! xx

    1. Aw thank you, love! <3 When you do visit the US, you have to let me know so I can meet you and we can get coffee together. Have a great rest of your weekend, beautiful! XOX

  22. This reminds me of our road trip from Oklahoma to CA! I am so glad you had a good and productive road trip and that there were some good eats on the way!! I’m also pumped for your Austin posts 🙂

    1. Aw I bet it was much of the same type of landscape and everything 🙂 Thanks so much, Jess!!! We tried Snooze!!! It was amazing- so thank you for that rec 🙂

  23. The little Capitola town is so cute! The first hotel sounds terrible. I’m so sorry about the noise that kept you up but at least the rest of the stay was nice. ♡

    Seriously, coffee & caffeine are saviors. I feel like a whole new person after having a cup, too. & OMG, Culvers!! I used to love that place when I lived in MN as a teen but boyfriend never really liked it so I haven’t been in FORever. The cheese curds really are everything!!

    Nothing better than a free cookie, how generous. 😉 The pasta looks & sounds amazing– need to try this red cream sauce!!

    So scary about the cooler flying out but you’re right, the important thing is no one was behind you! I am happy the suitcases were easy to dry off & nothing was ruined from the rain. ♡ Can’t believe you are all the way in TX now. So glad you guys made it there safely!

    1. I was so glad we finally got to go!

      I wouldn’t survive without coffee- I really don’t know how non coffee drinkers do it 🤯 it’s love in a cup haha.

      Ahhh yesss I love that you share the same fondness for Culver’s – I could really go for those cheese curds right now 😋

      If I could get that stinking delicious pasta recipe I might eat it everyday- it was insaneeee 🤤

      So thankful everything wasn’t ruined too! Hope you are so well, Hunida. This semester is kicking my butt- sun up to down in the books, but this comment brightened my day 🙂 🤗❤️

  24. You both sure know how to do a Road Trip! What fun!
    That Roadrunner cracked me up – I had to look at it several times to figure out whether it was a for-real bird (even after I read your caption!)

    1. Hehe right ?! It was so realistic looking 😱 I’m so glad you enjoyed this post- thanks for sharing in our road trip with us!!

  25. Hi Mackenzie, it must have been emotional wiping down the counters one last time. How nice to see a new city on your way out of CA. Google maps helped me find this one , i see its south from Cupertino. I love the seals , the contrasting house colors are so pretty. That is an amazing amout of windmills! Your hotel was very nice , lovely view of the mountains. Im sorry that your night in the hotel was not relaxing, I am sure you could have done with the sleep. Aaah coffee.. what a solution for us ! Your telling Me you lived without culvers for those years in CA !! Aww I feel bad for you , we have it here and I love it. I am sure it was nice to arrive at your hotel in El Paso, mmm those cookies! I suppose it was a nice conversation reflecting on Ca and realizing you had actually left the state for a new adventure in Texas. Awww DJ is such a sweetie for doing all the driving ! Wow that must have been some wind to have the cooler blow away ! Oh my what an introduction to Austin, a downpour , glad everything aired out good. How awesome your Mom picked out your place for you! That must have been nice to find trader Joes! I like to eat in town during a road trip. Thanks for sharing, Terri xo.

    1. Hi hi my friend ! I’m glad you were able to map the trip with us! Capitola was wonderful and so quaint – I really think you’d love it! Culver’s is easily one the things we miss the most- but I found out there is one here! Woohoo! We have yet to go , but excited to when we have the chance! I have a fun fact about that convo I think I forgot to share- at that dinner we shared some wine that was from San Jose , CA as we reflected on CA. I’m a bit of a cheese ball at heart, but I loved that sentiment!

      1. Maybe someday I will get to Capitola ! High 5 for Culvers in Austin ! How approprite you had San Jose wine, It was meant to be ! You are a beautiful person at heart and it is a great sentiment , take care Mackenzie , Terri xo.

    2. Oops I sent too soon! That’s what I get for running on the treadmill and replying 🤣 (the only way I have time right now hehe). But anyways – thank you for your comment and brightening my day as always! 💕

  26. Loved this post!! I’m SO behind on reading, but I still loved catching up on your road trip! What beautiful photos, Mackenzie! Road trips are fun but also stressful lol. I totally remembered our conversation on my post about the windmills when I saw your photo of them! I love that you remembered that from my post! They are very alarming! O.O So glad we don’t have any around us.
    Overall it sounds like a great road trip. Though that night at the first hotel sounds awful with all the noise! I literally can’t sleep anywhere without a white noise machine. So, we brought it with us and turned it on every night at each hotel, lol.
    How disappointing that you lost your cooler! It makes sense that super strong wind could do that, though. Like you said, at least no one got hurt and there wasn’t anything *too* valuable in it. We didn’t necessarily lose anything on our trip, but we had to throw away some valuable things when we left because they just wouldn’t fit in the car. Kind of gutting when you know you’ll have to repurchase haha.
    I’m so glad you made it safe and sound — though I know it’s been a while since your move. 😉 We hit so much rain on our trip too! Glad it was just the one storm for you. <3
    Ooh and Culvers!! I miss Culvers! Never tried their cheese curds, but oh my gosh, their custard is so freaking good!
    Thanks for sharing!! I'm gonna try to catch up haha.

    1. Hi Courtney!!! Oh my gosh I’ve never been so MIA in blog world – but these comments you left just brightened my evening big time!!!

      Haha I think we’re both glad we don’t have those windmills around us 🤣 I am driving to Fort Worth tomorrow to see my mom and I have a feeling I might see some on the way – wish me luck 😆

      We are the sameeeee!!! Team white noise alll the way. I have a white noise app I play whenever we’re in a hotel and use a fan in our room too. It makes all the difference !!

      Ohh the joys of moving haha. You totally get it!

      Ah Culver’s is SO good- next time you go you have to try those cheese curds with some ranch 😋 hope you are doing so well, Courtney!!

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