First off, thank you all so much for the birthday emails and comments. I'm so grateful by all the love I receive from you guys!
Any who, last month I embarked on an incredible adventure out West for another road trip with my brother...and a hitchhiker! I flew out to Arizona and spent four days there, helping my brother move out of his place. He got a sick offer from his job, where he works for a few months out of the year, travels during the off season, and than he returns to AZ for the following busy season. Last year he traveled throughout South America for seven months and this year he's tackling Hawaii and Thailand. He's kind of a badass. CHECK OUT HIS BLOG here
Oh, and his last roommate Rick was gay! They met through improv classes and Rick happened to have a fully furnished spare bedroom and the most adorable cat ever named Caesar. Needless to say, it was a no brainer for him to bunk up there.
The next day we decided to hike Camelback Mountain in Phoenix with a girl he had met a few days prior at a dj pool party. This chick is RIPPED. She's an avid rock climber/hiker and it shows. I felt so out of shape on this mountain. I'm not by any means out of shape, but I was strugglin. It musta been from all the Darrell Lea strawberry liquorice I ate before the hike. Lol Luckily there were a few cute dudes we encountered on the mountain, which put some pep in my step.
The hike took us about 40 minutes to get to the top...plus getting stung in the face by a bee, half way up the mountain didn't help. An effing bee! Wtf. I had an allergic reaction, passed out and was air lifted by a helicopter to the hospital. Jk ha
Luckily Tiffany happens to be a nurse and she pulled the stinger out of my face almost immediately after it happened. It swelled up a bit but it could have been way worse...
So when my brother started talking about our traveling plans to Zion, Bryce and Arches National Park, Tiffany jokingly asked if there was room in the car for her to come, since she was unemployed and wasn't relocating to a hospital in LA for a few weeks. I was all for it and told her to come! I mean, she did just pull a stinger out of my face. I was instantly a fan of her. haha
And sure enough, she came with us!
After we picked her up, our little blue Mazda was PACKED to the brim. But that's what I absolutely LOVE about road trips, they're so full of surprises and unexpected turns.
The three of us bonded pretty quickly haha
After pulling off at Indian jewelry stands and beautiful rock formations on the side of the road, we made it to our first destination...
Zion National Park!
We set up our tent at a campground outside the East entrance of the park, where we stayed for two nights. By the time we finished setting up camp, it was about 9 PM and we were starving, so we grabbed dinner at the Thunderbird Diner and met other travelers from Colorado sitting next to us, who happened to be looking for a campground. Lo and behold, they ended up setting up camp right next to us which was pretty cool. The following morning we drove into the park and grabbed a hearty breakfast and lunches to go at the Café Soleil and headed for the Angel's Landing trail head!
This hike was fucking rad. Especially the last 0.5 miles to the very peak. It's so steep in areas, that there's metal chains to grip onto, so you don't plunge to your death. The view from the top made it all worth it!! It was so gorgeous, everyone at the top was smiling, laughing, taking pictures and eating/sharing with the resident chipmunks. And Angels were playing harps for us in the sky.
Since the trail was almost entirely uphill, we decided to jog down Angel's Landing and all I couldn't help but giggle the entire way down. Once we made it back to the beginning of the trail, we hiked to the Emerald Pools, where we stopped and ate our lunches. Lastly, we hiked a little trail which led to a waterfall, before returning to the visitor center. Tiffany and I got our Namaste on and did some much needed post-hike stretching in a big open field while the cottonwood pollen showered us like snow.
We drove into the town and grabbed dinner and than made an executive decision to use the horribly overpriced public showers, since we smelled like death and b.o. $5 for 5 minutes...and we later realized the camp ground we were staying at offered free showers. Oh well. Once we rinsed off, we went to the local grocery store and returned to the campsite, where we made magic mac and cheese on a tiny portable stove in the freezing cold weather and than passed out.
The next morning we made our way to Bryce National Park about two hours away, which was my absolute favorite park!
The Hoodoo rock formations made it feel like we were walking on a city that was once underwater. It was beautiful and all so surreal.
About an hour into our hike, we met two really cool chicks from Colorado on the trail and hiked the rest of the day together. We stopped for a break in a shaded area of the trail and one of the girls casually pulls out her bowl. lol
That entire hike was just amazing.
Next stop, Arches National Park!
Arches just absolutely blew our minds and way exceeded our expectations. The park is so massive that it took us nearly a half hour to get to the Devil's Gardens, where we hiked to all the big arches. That was by far, the most grueling day of any of the hikes. We ate the magic mac and cheese that we had cooked in Zion. I WAS BAAAAAKED on this hike. It was a body high which made me sluggish for the first half of the hike and the sunscreen started burning my eyes. Bad combo! But once I started coming down from the high and my eyes began to soothe, the sun was beginning to set and the scenery felt so magical. Like I was on Mars and fairies were about to appear from the grass.
After six hours of hiking, we made it back to the parking lot and did a quick hike up a little hill overlooking Delicate arch and meditated in the sunset. I felt such peace and love in that moment. Being surrounded in nature like that really opens up your heart in a different way. It's hard to explain. This was our view. Ugh, the picture just doesn't do justice.
That evening, we drove into Moab and grabbed dinner at an awesome restaurant and than set up camp at this extremely distant campground that we had to drive twenty minutes down a steep cliff to find. We met a group of rock climbers (Tiffany was in Heaven) and set up our tent there.
The next day we went back to Arches and tackled yet another hike (this one being much shorter) and hiked to the infamous arch that's seen on all the Utah license plates, Delicate Arch.
We had our fill of Utah and made our way into Colorado! We drove to Leadville, CO and woke up at 5AM the following morning, met up with two more friends and attempted to hike a 14,000 foot mountain. It was insane! And sooooo cold!
That was our final hike of the trip. We all grabbed a victory lunch, before leaving good ole' Leadville and off to Denver we went! The second we got to the hotel, we all took turns showering and did our stanky laundry.
This night was simply outrageous!! IT was one of the most memorable night of my life, hands down! We were all so ready to go out and let loose! We got dressed up, went downtown for dinner and met up with Jaylynn and another friend of Ross'. After our bellies were full, we went to a super fun upstairs, outdoor patio club and shook our booties.
From there, we took a cab to a dive bar and met up with one of the guys who had camped next to us in Zion. That place was so fucking weird. We watched a girl, who was so drunk/high, pour her beer all over some dudes head, as the guy danced in her beverage shower. It was awesome to watch but that was our cue to leave haha
Than we ran across the street to an Irish Pub right before last call.
This is where the night got hella fun!!!
Tiffany started dancing with a rowdy group of guys, while my brother and his buddy were bonding, so I went outside to explore. I walked back to the Pub and Tiffany is standing with the guys she had been dancing with, getting ready to jump in a cab and head back to their place. All of a sudden she starts begging me to come with her and I went COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, got in the cab and off we went...
Best decision ever!! These guys were sooooo much fun and it happened to be the guys 28th birthday that they were out celebrating for! The second we walked into their apartment, the aroma of pot pleasantly tickled my nostrils. These dudes were Professional Stoners. I had never seen anything like it before. They had bowls, bongs, pipes, huge zip lock bags filled with pot.
We blasted music, inhaled their delicious food, played a round of darts...and than the real fun began. The dude pulls out watermelon gummy edibles.
He said each gummy is the equivalent to smoking a bowl to yourself, so we each ate one and anxiously awaited the high to kick in! The dude grabbed sharpies, high lighters and computer paper and we all started doing art together. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. It's crazy how a total stranger can leave such a positive impact on you. I will never forget that night.
Tiffany and I walked almost 3 miles back to our hotel at 4 in the morning, high as kites. We were petting trees, talking to the pedestrian symbol on the cross walks and other things that I unfortunately can't remember. haha
We got back to the hotel trying to act all stealth, thinking that Ross was going to freak out, since we were getting home so late...and for leaving the Irish Pub without telling him. Yeah, um, we got there and he was no where to be found. He came stumbling into the hotel at around 10 the next morning, hung over with stories of his own. hahaha It was a fun night for everyone.
The following day Tiffany went out rock climbing all day, while Ross slept and I worked on a commission. That evening we went to the most delicious vegan restaurant called WaterCourse Foods (highly recommend it) and than walked around Downtown Denver and listened to people playing the public pianos.
The following morning we said our good-byes to Tiffany as we continued our journey into Kansas and she flew back to AZ. :(
Not too far into Kansas, I got pulled over. I was FREAKING out. I had never been pulled over before, but luckily the cop was young, really chill, cute and let me off with a warning going 83 in a 75. And than I started fantasizing him spanking me with that warning. Hahaha jk, kind of.
We rolled into Kansas City Monday night and nothing was happening. It was a total ghost town so we went to one of the only bars open and met one of the most amazingly, raunchy bartenders ever. Emily. She had enough personality for ten people and than some. She is one of those people who is way to comfortable around anyone and needs her own reality show. She made our night to say the least, which ended with us all taking free shots together at the bar. lol
The following day, we drove to St. Louis and met up with another one of my brother's friends. We grabbed dinner at a place that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and watched an outdoor volleyball tournament. It just so happened that a Cardinals game had just ended, so the Landing was hoppin! I thought I was back in college, there were so many fratty looking people. Overall fantastic night with awesome people. I even got a girls number that night, who wanted to get brunch the next day haha
From St. Louis we drove to Chattanooga, TN and spent the afternoon riding bikes around the city and than barreled into Hotlanta to spend the night at a friends place. After his wife went to bed, the three of us got so high on his back porch and than laughed our asses off watching Da Ali G Show. Halfway through the show, I get a text from Michelle
"I am so high right now and I just watched my cat eat all my ice cream cake" hahaha
And the trip ended with a brutal 11 hour drive from Atlanta back to South Florida.
It was by far the best road trip of the three we've done so far!! Hands down. The hikes were incredible, the different cities all brought there own level of fun and the people we met were amazing. I will forever cherish these road trips. Not to mention, I stayed almost completely true to my diet and barely touched alcohol. I'm proud of myself!
So after reading that novel of a post, do you guys have any fun plans set for summer?