Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 13: San Simeon

8am - Woke up to pack up everything
9am - Went to our free breakfast buffet which was pretty good
10:30am - We check out and pack up our car.  Somehow, things fit less and less in the car.
11:30pm - We pass into California!  No welcome sign to be seen... :(

12:15pm - We stop in Barstow, CA to eat lunch.  We ate at Costa Azul - I got a chile relleno with a taco and pin got a huge burrito.

As my mom warned me, at some point, there was an agricultural inspection check point at Rt15.  I blatantly had a houseplant wedged between the 2 front seats and a cactus in the front cupholder.  We were stopped.  I was really worried he was going to make me throw out my plants, but he just looked at my houseplant - felt the leaves to make sure it was real, poked in the dirt to check for bugs, and asked questions as to where it had been prior to my car.  After asking us 2x if we had fruit - (we did, but we said no...I through the apples out later) and glancing at the back of my packed car, he let us through! 

During this drive, we were going through the Mojave Desert.  Needless to say, it was super sunny and hot, and a pretty uncomfortable drive all around.  I wouldn't really recommend it.

It didn't get better until we got past El Paso de Robles (Paso Robles), which began wine country.  We also passed to Wasco, which seems to be rose country - this weekend there will be the festival of roses there - we will miss it! 

As we neared closer to Cambria, we were driving up in the mountains (though only 1700ft elevation) and looking to the left and front, we actually saw that we were above the cloud line!  It was so beautiful because it looked like white water, and the mountain tops were islands. 

6pm - In Cambria, we were actually in the clouds, which was really cool and cold.  After filling up gas ($3.79/gallon!), we took a detour towards the coast and drove through a beautiful little neighborhood.  Turning down a side street, we found it was a dead end - right to the coast line!  There was an aptly marked sign saying "END" and we realized we had exactly made it to the Pacific Ocean!  A little bitterswe7et as it means we are very near the end of our journey...

6:30pm - We arrive at our hotel and check in.  We ended up getting a room that is more like 2 ajoined rooms each with a queen bed.  We walked down to the shore and it was so foggy!  It was kinda gross though because there were millions of these little sand colored jumping bugs in the washed up seaweed.  THere were lots of beautiful rocks though and I collected a bunch.  Pin went and hunted down some paper towels to wrap them up in.

7:45pm - It was finally getting pretty dark so we walked back up the hill to the Best Western's restaurant called Cavalier.  I saw they had butternut squash ravioli and immediately new what I wanted.  Pin ordered the fettucini alfredo which was really good.

9pm - Since we missed out on the pool at the MGM Grand, we wanted to go to the heated outdoor pool at our San Simeon hotel.  We run out in the freezing cold. Pin tries the water out and its warm at first until he puts his whole body in.  It doesn't look warm enough to me so I decide I don't want to go in.  Pin is not happy with this!  He has to jump out of the water and we run back to our room.  He pretty much ran straight into our hot shower.

10pm - We play a game of Elections - I win.

Distance Traveled: coming soon
Total Distance: coming soon
$ Spent: $146.08
Total $: coming soon

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 12: Vegas

coming soon...

Distance traveled: 0mi (lots of walking...)
Total Distance: 4009mi
$ Spent: $314.51
Total $ Spent: $1440.83

Day 11: Bryce Canyon/Vegas

6am - This day, we got up early to go to Bryce Point overlook to see the sunrise. When we get there, there are already a few hardcore photographers waiting (with super cameras and tripods ready).  We wait about an hour for the sun to really come up.  During this time, a tour bus of japanese tourists arrive and flood the overlook.  Pin was happy that he could take pics over their heads.  I was annoyed that they kept butting into my tripod space.  But I got some good pics of the sunrise with their silhouettes. 

8am - Overhearing one of the photographers recommend a better spot, we drove down to Inspiration Point to get somer more sunrise pics.  At this point, the view was really amazing. 

9am - We head back and pack up our campsite.  Then go to the Bryce Canyon Lodge store so I can buy a bucket hat and exchange some of the coasters I got to get a better match.  I end up also buying a necklace and a pair of earrings...

10am - We head to Sunrise point and take the Queens Garden trail then connected onto the Navajo Trail.  These took us down into the canyon to see the hoodoos up close.  At the very end of the Navajo, we came upon "Wall Street" which is a basically a narrow crevasse for everyone to walk through.  Then to walk up, the park had built basically a Lombard Street - we had to wind back and forth to get up the steep side.

11:30am - We head out of Bryce Canyon and towards Vegas!  Right before Arizona, we stop for lunch in St George.  We find a Thai restaurant that was pretty good.  I got pad thai and pin got drunken noodles.  Around here, there were some beautiful hillside houses - but you could see remnants of the geology that was there and it was sad to think they had torn it down.  It might be like them seeing us replace forest with developments or a strip mall? 

We pass through Arizona and then almost immediately into Nevada. 

We get to the MGM grand and its a beautiful hotel.  We get pretty confused trying to park, but finally get to the self parking lot.  Inside, it was like culture shock for us.  Going from being out in nature and camping for a few days, then entering a building that has more than one place to eat - marble floors and chandeliers was so weird.  The check-in counter had about 15employees with a full line at each.  It took forever to check in.  At least we found out the valet parking was free so we wouldn't have to take down the annoying roof rack bag (and clean it). 

The beds in the hotel room were amazing.  We both showered and then went to the buffet.  Our room package came with 2for1 buffet.  It was really good buffet.

Pin had gotten $25 for slot play by joining the players club so we spent that up and actually won $27.50!  Though tempted to continue gambling - we stopped while we were ahead.  Then we walked up and down the strip in search of gambling deals.

On the way we passed the Bellagio fountains and they started up.  The fountain show was amazing, and the music was perfect.  It was super dramatic and powerful to see.

12:30am - When we finally make it back to the MGM, I'm beat but pin stays down for more gambling (wins $10!).

Distance Traveled: 262mi
Total Distance: 4009mi
$ Spent: $112.70
Total $: $1126.32

Day 10: Bryce Canyon

coming soon...

Distance Traveled: 343mi
Total Distance Traveled: 3747mi
$ Spent: $73.49
Total $ Spent: $1013.62

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

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