Posts Tagged With: road trip

We’re Here!

We’ve been in Hollywood for three weeks!

I’ve definitely been slacking on keeping our blog updated ever since we arrived.  It’s literally been a whirlwind; so much has changed so fast and we accomplished so much, and we’re still working on settling in.  Here’s a quick recap of our last day on the road and our first few days in California….

Our last stop on the road trip was Las Vegas, which was absolutely incredible.  We were able to snag a room at the Bellagio hotel (the one with the famous fountains!) and from the moment we stepped foot in the lobby we knew it was going to be a spectacular time.  Our room was exquisite and the view of the fountains was a dream. We didn’t even have to leave the Bellagio grounds! We played roulette before dinner and ate on the balcony of Todd English’s Olives, overlooking what else but those fountains!

In the morning, we had coffee and breakfast in the cafe overlooking the pools and took way too many complimentary jelly preserves for the road. We milked our room for all it was worth and checked out right at 11:00 a.m. What an incredible and relaxing end to our journey.

It took under four hours to get to Los Angeles from Vegas. We were tired, yet so energized with the excitement of, “We made it!” And boy, did we need that excitement for our arrival.  As we were rolling into Hollywood at 5:30 p.m., our friends were getting ready for Halloween night, where they shut down Santa Monica Boulevard and tens of thousands of people pour into the streets to celebrate. We drove less than a mile up the street to the costume store on Hollywood Boulevard to find something last-minute and joined the festivities.  Needless to say, we will never forget the fact that we dove head-first into Hollywood from the moment we got here – and we haven’t stopped since!

We stayed with our amazing and gracious friends for about a week and a half until we found an apartment…on the same street as them! We are within walking distance to the grocery store, restaurants, shops, farmer’s markets, the library, Hollywood Boulevard and several parks. Our apartment building is pretty small with only three floors, but boasts a sweet rooftop with a heated jacuzzi.  All in all, we lucked out in many ways, and are very grateful for our experiences thus far.

Right now, Austin and I are both working to find full-time employment. We’ve had a few interviews and will hopefully be able to find one or multiple flexible jobs that allow us to do what we want to do and enjoy living in this area as much as we can.

As the holidays near, we miss our family and friends back home dearly and it’s very strange to not wake up to a snowfall or feel the chill in the heart of a New England autumn descending into winter. Although things are going to be very different this year, we feel blessed for everything we’ve been able to do and for all of the amazing people around as at the moment.

Peace & love.

A&K

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Categories: Road Trip | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Camp Night

Yesterday, we headed southwest from Virginia to North Carolina.  We had booked a $20 campsite at Lake Norman State Park, about 40 miles north of Charlotte, and after a solid seven hours of driving, we were ready to make camp.

DRIVING TO NORTH CAROLINA

We headed off I-40 into the long and lonely back roads of Troutman, NC in the direction of Lake Norman.  I thought it was pretty creepy but wanted to make the best of our camp night. We agreed that we we wanted an early night since we were hoping to be on the road by 6:00 a.m. to get an early start on the drive to Tennessee.

When I had booked the reservation last week, I was told that the campground entrance gate closed at 8:00 p.m., so all campers had to be in the park at that time in order to camp the night of their reservation. What they weren’t so clear about was that the entrance is also the exit, which means that at 8 o’clock on the dot, the park ranger literally locks the entrance gate until 8:00 a.m. the next day.  Needless to say, this stifled our morning driving plans. And if I had a heart attack, I’d likely have to wait it out until morning. Nevertheless, we got to our site, bought three bundles of firewood and settled in for the night.

By the time we found our site, it was completely dark, so Austin and I set up the tent with a headlamp and a flashlight.  Then we moved on to starting a camp fire, which turned into a thirty-minute ordeal of blowing on quick-dying embers and getting excited every time a small flame appeared.  We gave up after we realized the wood wasn’t completely dry and the air was so still that it was probably killing any chance of a fire.

Then the real fun started.

We crawled into the tent after combating hundreds of Daddy Long Leg spiders just waiting until our tent flap opened up so they could race inside and torture me.  I even had a minor panic attack after one got in, but thankfully Austin doesn’t have any irrational fears so that fun only lasted a few minutes.

Once we turned off the lantern, I could hear Austin start to breathe deeply, falling into a peaceful sleep.  On the other side, I lay with my eyes wide open, jumping at every sound I heard (which was EVERYTHING).  There was no breeze so the tiniest leaf or acorn falling from the trees landed on the ground with a loud CRACK.  So many things were falling, that it started to sound like footsteps all around the campsite.  At least a dozen times during the night, I was convinced that an axe murderer had crept into our camp and was circling our tent waiting to kill me.

Around 12:45 a.m., we heard loud police or fire sirens, probably a good distance from the park grounds but loud enough to sound like the forest was on fire.  Then the cracking noises of the leaves began to sound like fire, and I thought for sure we were all goners because the park ranger locked us in for the night.  Shortly after the sirens died away, Austin woke up and told me he couldn’t sleep either and then we both heard what we’re almost positive was a speedboat racing back and forth across the lake.

LEAVING CAMP ON TUESDAY MORNING

The restless sleep, coupled with some crazy-ass dreams, left me wide-awake at 7:00 a.m. ready to hit the road.  So we packed up and left the park at quarter after 8, happy to know that a hotel was in our future for tonight.

THE FIRE THAT NEVER WAS

We just arrived in Nashville, the City of Music, and are about to do some exploring and eating. Updates to follow.

Peace & Love.

A&K

Categories: Camping, Road Trip | Tags: , , | 3 Comments