Tyler & I are officially moved out of Nashville! We managed to fit most of our Earthy belongings into a 300 cubic feet moving container (after donating/selling/passing off many, many, many items), & everything else we own is with us in our car. We are technically in the process of moving to Denver, but for the next 5-ish weeks we will be taking a road trip through the western United States. Just us, the two pugs, & our Prius. We have a rough plan of where we will be stopping along the way, & I am excited to see many of these places for the first time, + re-visit some spots that I definitely didn't appreciate enough the first time I saw them (the last trip out West was when I was 8). As we will be on the road with spotty connections for the next month, this spot on the internet is going to be pretty quiet, but make sure you are following along on Instagram & Snapchat (jesshereandnow) for all the up to the second action!
Below are 10 of the cities we will be visiting this Summer. We already have lodging planned out (a mix of camping, staying with friends/family, & splurging for hotels), but if you have any restaurant, adventure, or must-do suggestions in the cities below, please let us know in the comments!
1. Hot Springs, AR :: This is my hometown & I am pumped to kick off our road trip with some time on the lake with family. Also on the itinerary - a day trip to Fayetteville (in Northwest Arkansas), eating BBQ (McClard's is one of our favorite local joints) & seeing my parents, sisters, aunt, nieces, & grandparents.
2. Houston, TX :: My best friend is giving birth to her first child, & we will be rushing down from Arkansas to Houston to meet the little guy! We will be staying down by Galveston (on Tiki Island), & driving into the city for a couple of days. While we plan to spend most of our time visiting with the new parents, I am hoping to squeeze in some Torchy's Tacos & seafood too!
3. Austin, TX :: I haven't been to Austin since my bachelorette party 2 years ago, & am certainly looking forward to exploring more of this funky city with Tyler! We will be staying at an AirBnB on South Congress & am planning on checking out the bat bridge at sunset, Barton Springs, Rainey Street for food & drinks, & taking the pugs to the dog park on the riverfront.
4. Marfa, TX :: The first new spot we are traveling to is Marfa. I mostly planned our itinerary based around the super chill girls trip that Bri from DesignLoveFest took last Winter (this post). We do have our own adorable trailer at El Cosmico reserved, & a picture in front of Prada Marfa is totes happening (thanks Instagram husband!)
5. Phoenix, AZ :: From Marfa we will be continuing across West Texas, hoping to camp somewhere around El Paso (Las Cruces maybe) before heading on to Phoenix. Tyler has family in Phoenix that I've never met, & we are thinking a day trip to Sedona/Flagstaff might be in order too! After leaving Phoenix, we are driving up to Las Vegas & planning to camp around Lake Havasu.
6. Joshua Tree :: From the famous cactus plants to the pristine star gazing, Joshua Tree has long been on my bucket list, & I am excited that we have 2 nights of camping scheduled here. I am a little worried about the water situation with the pugs in the desert, but day trips to Indio Valley & Salvation Mountain are on the agenda, & I plan to do lots of free spirited running through the desert sands. After camping for two days in the desert, we are treating ourselves to a night at the Saguaro in Palm Springs. I was pleasantly surprised by how dog friendly the Saguaro is & am dying to get myself to that colorful pool!
7. Los Angelos, CA :: While my family has vacationed in Disneyworld more times than I can count (seriously, we went every year growing up), but I have never been to Disneyland, & my West coast husband can't wait to treat me to how the other half of the US lives. We are driving from Palm Springs to LA just to spend the day at Disneyland, & are hoping that the Disneyland kennels are as nice as they sound for the pugs to enjoy!
8. San Francisco :: From L.A. we are driving straight up the California coast along Highway 101/1, planning to stop somewhere around San Luis Obispo to camp, before ending up in San Francisco for a few days. Two of our friends from grad school got married out in San Francisco a few years back, & now they just had their first child who we have yet to meet! We are going to hang with them in San Francisco (getting a burrito in the Mission is high on my list), before continuing on up the California coast to the Redwood National Forest where we will be camping on the beach & totally driving Petey the Prius through some giant trees.
9. Portland, OR :: Tyler's parents live south of Portland, with many of his friends currently residing in the city. We should be here around 4th of July weekend, and plan to grill out everyday, + squeeze in a camping/fishing trip too!
10. Yellowstone :: After Portland, we haven't planned the rest of the trip as we can't decide if we will want to continue on, or be ready to just get to Denver after 5 weeks of being in the car with 2 humans, 2 dogs & lots of stuff! However, I would really really really like to at least stop at Yellowstone on the way between Portland & Denver. Besides seeing the natural wonders that the park has to offer, I am also really excited about all of the wildlife!
So that is our Summer travels plans! I am so thankful for Tyler & his willingness to engage my wild & crazy ideas! I can't wait to experience these things with him & truly unwind as we transition from our life in Nashville to our life in Denver.
Any road trip veterans with tips for us? Any thing we have to know about traveling with dogs!? We are totally winging this, & while that is slightly exhilarating, the over-planner in me is starting to have some doubts!