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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Road Trip to California !

Road Trip!  

Thatcher Olive and I are taking a break from Utah and heading west.  All the way west!  August of last year, we drove from Connecticut to Utah.  This last little "stint" is going to finish off our cross country drive.  I am so excited to see an ocean and I need a little break from Utah and being in the city (Our apartments been broken and we haven't had hot water in a week- yep I am sick of apartment life!)

So why driving?  Driving to California is a cheaper way to see the state, and allows us to bring Olive.  So because I am a grad student on a budget, I am road tripping to California and staying in cheap hotels outside of my target destinations (That's the secret folks...)

Sunday, we spent some time cleaning out the car.  Everything out, everything cleaned (outside and in) and everything back in.  Once in a while you have to clean all the dog slobber off your windows.  Tuesday, the car is going in for an oil change and we are going to check on our  AAA status.

 SO, here is a little "Pre Trip Checklist" for you for your next road trip!

Pre-Trip Checklist
  1. Plan your route - you get get a FREE Trip Tik with your AAA membership- this is a nice little book with step by step directions including areas of traffic and construction (you can also build your trip tik online without a membership)
  2. Check your AAA membership.  In case you need road side assistance, make sure your membership is up to date!  It is cheap for the year and provides perks like Trip Tiks and hotel discounts 
  3. Clean out the car.  It always good to start the road trip on a clean organized note.  Clean the outside, vacuum out the inside, remove any trash or unneeded items.  
  4. Oil change and fluids-  Bring your car in for an oil change, make sure they also check your tire pressure, fluids, etc.  They may even vacuum your car out for you!
  5. Pack the car up!  I like to do this the night before so I can make sure I have everything I need and I am not rushed.  This also includes snack prep, downloading audio books, etc. Don't forget cash for tolls, or make sure you EZ Pass has an updated CC. 
                   Check out this post for all my tips on what you need for a road trip! 
(or click the picture!)

Okay, so this itinerary is ambitious.  

Having class Monday and Wednesdays, I can only travel from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday.  So I planned this ambitious in itinerary as a California Sampler, to spend a little bit of time in some of California's iconic places.

Salt Lake City to Lake Tahoe, to San Francisco, down the coast to Big Sur, and then back to to Napa Valley before heading back home. 

  • Wednesday: Leave Salt Lake City head to Lake Tahoe 1-9pm 
  • Thursday:  Morning in Lake Tahoe - King Beach/Coon Street Beach
    • Leave at noon - head to San Francisco 
    • Come through the North-  Head through Sausalito, over the Golden Gate Bridge. 
    • Stop at Golden Gate Park 
    • Embarcadero
    • Pier 39 
    • Greenwich Steps to Coit Tower
    • Tiled Steps 

  • Friday:  San Francisco to Big Sur (Noon)
    • Pacifica
    • Half Moon Bay 
    • Santa Cruz
    • Monterey Bay
    • Carmel
    • Big Sur
    • McWay Falls 
  • Saturday:  Monterey to Napa (noon) 
    • Honig (10-4:30pm)never disappoints, whether you are with or without dog. Youthful, laid back and stylish, Honig's tasting lounge is in the middle of a vineyard and comfortably set up for you and your furry friend. 
    • St. Supery (10-5pm) is directly off highway 29 but set back far enough to give you and your pup plenty of space to roam around before taking their self-guided tour. The tasting room has a few breakables, so I recommend buying your favorite bottle after a quick tasting and sitting at one of their comfortable tables outside in the shade with your dog and your friends.
    • Hall (10-5:30) is dog-friendly and keeps most of their breakables out of paw’s reach. Right off the 29 and basically next door to pet-friendly Gotts-   Hall has a shaded outdoor area where you can taste their renowned and wide array of wines while admiring their sculptures, vineyards and well-designed grounds.
    • Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylors and featured in 7x7’s  100 Things to Eat+Drink Before You Die),
    • head to Sacramento

  • Sunday:  Sacramento to Salt Lake City 


  1. Holy wow, that's super ambitious for that short amount of time but all of these places sound incredible, Big Sur is so awesome.

    x - Naomi in Wonderland

    1. So much driving! I just couldn't sacrifice- so many places I wanted to see!

  2. Woah, I love your super ambitious goals! I am about midway through my US road trip right now, and I do wish I could go back and spend more time in smaller sections. This sounds like a killer trip! Kudos to you for working around grad school class schedules. Can't wait to hear about it!

    1. So ambitious- there were some cranky drivers at many points :) Hope you are enjoying your trip!

  3. amazing tips!!! have so much fun, i'm only sad we can't meet up!!


    1. Yes, poor timing! Loving your pictures in Europe! Hope you are having fun


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