Thursday, November 17, 2016

Highlights From Our Cross-Country Road Trip

Wow. What a whirlwind month it's been!

Driving cross-country | A Hoppy Medium

After taking 11 days to drive cross-country home to Boston, we quickly returned to our respective offices...and life has been non-stop ever since. As I write this, I am actually on a plane to Orlando for my company's customer conference. Talk about getting right back to reality!

Our trip home was nothing short of incredible, though. It was a lot of driving, but our trusty Subaru Outback stayed in great shape the whole way - we didn't even encounter so much as a flat tire. Here was our full itinerary:

Oregon ---> Redwood Forest ---> Reno, NV ---> Park City, UT ---> Denver, CO ---> Kansas City, MO ---> St. Louis, MO ---> Louisville, KY ---> Asheville, NC ---> Richmond, VA ---> Boston, MA

Along the way, we saw a ton of old and new friends, ate a lot of great food, sampled a ton of great beer, and saw #allthesights. It would take me days to recap our entire trip, so instead, here are some of the highlights from our 11-day journey across the country (in no particular order).

1.) The Redwood Forest

Redwood Forest | A Hoppy Medium

Redwood Forest | A Hoppy Medium

We hit the Redwoods on the tail-end of the typhoon that was hitting the Pacific Northwest, so a lot of the parks were closed. However, we stopped at one of the park ranger offices and got some fantastic recommendations for open parks - and frolicked through the massive trees in the rain. It was really a remarkable experience, and definitely a big highlight for both of us!

2.) Louisville, KY
We stopped in Louisville on a whim - it was a great way to cut our original ride from St. Louis to Asheville shorter - and I am so glad we did. Louisville really surprised us: the downtown was gorgeous and quaint, with Louisville Slugger baseball bats scattered throughout, recognizing famous baseball players who used them. (Z loved that part!). Against the Grain Brewery was also a fun stop for dinner and fresh beers, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to boot.

3.) Vegetarian Reuben from Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, NC

Vegetarian Reuben from Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, NC | A Hoppy Medium

Z actually ordered this, and I had major food envy. I good does this look? It was phenomenal, and definitely a food highlight from our travels.

4.) The roadside scenery

Salt Flats in Utah | A Hoppy Medium

On the side of the road, somewhere in California | A Hoppy Medium

Middle of nowhere | A Hoppy Medium

From the Salt Flats in Utah (first photo) to the snowy mountains in Wyoming to the gorgeous views of the Pacific in California (second photo), we saw some gorgeous, ever-changing sights along the way. 

5.) The beer...obviously.

Wicked Weed Funkatorium | A Hoppy Medium

Odell Brewing, Fort Collins, CO | A Hoppy Medium

Just like our last cross-country trip, we made a ton of stops at some breweries and beer bars we were eager to check out. Some of my favorites included: Wicked Weed (they have two locations in Asheville, but we both liked the Funkatorium the best); The Answer in Richmond - great hoppy beers and stouts; Side Project in St. Louis; and Sergio's World Beers in Louisville - very unassuming place with a brash yet super friendly owner behind the bar; who will be happy to show you his extensive beer collection, if you're nice to him. This place had some great beers on tap and for sale via the bottle; really impressive options here!

Our trip back to Boston was definitely exciting and too so much fun, but I am so excited to be home - and I promise, I'll get back in the kitchen again soon, too!

Your turn! What's new with you??