All posts filed under: Gypsy Trip

The Gypsy Trip is a mammoth – yet whirlwind – cross country road trip undertaking in 2010. We took 12 days to get from Northern Kentucky to California and back again. Even though we never had enough time to spend in one place, we still covered 7,000 miles in our tiny rental car and made enough memories to last a lifetime.

And they said Sacramento wasn’t cool

Today we made the haul from SoCal to Sacramento to visit my aunt and uncle. But before I get to everything we did, I want to share the story about how I met them. Almost 10 years ago, I met my Uncle Russ, Aunt Charisse and their daughters Charisse Ann and Carole for the first time. Uncle Russ, or Ken as he’s know by everyone else in the world, is my Grandpa’s son from a previous marriage. After Russ’s mother left my Grandpa, she took Russ to California and he didn’t know that he had even lived in Cincinnati, or even what his real name was, until he was a teenager. Russ’s mom sent pictures to Grandpa over the years, so my mom and her sisters grew up knowing they had a brother somewhere in California. Beginning when they were teenagers, they tried to find him. All during this time, Russ never knew about his family in Ohio. As Russ got older and began learning more about his early childhood, he started looking for his …

At World’s End

Finally, we made it to Manhattan Beach. The town was adorable at night, and positively stunning in the daylight. We had to make a pit stop at a McDonald’s on the way; we’ve had a bad habit of not stopping to eat on this trip. By 11 p.m. the most any of us had to eat was some peanut butter crackers and chocolate donuts. I tell you that was the best quarter pounder in the history of my life. We stayed at the Sea View Inn on Highland Avenue. It consisted of a cluster of three or four buildings surrounding a small, bean-shaped pool. We climbed a couple of steep flights of stairs to get to our room. Our front wall was solid windows, giving us a view of the pool and a glimpse of the ocean. Amanda and I were in the room long enough to change and then we headed to the beach. Now, when I think about Southern California beaches, I think of sun and the associated heat. We spent from about …

Whirlwind tour

We got the first good night of sleep of probably our entire trip in Vegas. The beds were amazing, and it probably helped that we were all worn out anyway. I woke up after a good eight hours of sleep feeling like a new woman. It was a good thing too, because we had two National Parks to hit up before visiting LA and then stopping at Manhattan Beach for the night. We briefly considered cutting out the parks to be able to sleep longer and see more of LA and the beach. But, as much as I want to be able to stay on the beach forever, I don’t want to look back on the trip and regret missing something. I’m already planning a trip for next summer to come back to spend more time in the Southwestern Colorado/Utah area. Death Valley was the first park we saw. We paused only at Zebriskie Point to reenact a scene from the 70’s film of the same name. I sincerely doubt you’ve seen this movie; I’ve …

Sam’s Town

I have managed to get two blogs up in the last 24 hours and they’re both from a couple of days ago. I’m waaay behind on everything, and I still can’t get my Monument Valley blog to post. I think the last topic I blogged about was our journey to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which was the last entry before we made it to Vegas. It would look like I got lost in Vegas and spent the last two days at a Blackjack table riding a lucky streak. Sadly, that’s not the case. We’re all too poor to gamble too much, so we held on to our money in Vegas for the most part. Even if you don’t gamble or gamble much, Vegas is entertaining. I was amazed by the casinos and hotels. We stayed in the Paris hotel on the strip, and, to someone who hasn’t ever been to Paris, it looked like a street in France. I remember enough French to know that the name of streets and restaurants were …

Monument Valley

(Writer’s note: I wrote this blog on the afternoon of Aug. 10, immediately after going through Monument Valley. Unfortunately, the failures of my wireless network kept me from sharing this with you until now. I’ve also been having some issues posting with pictures, so I may have to add more later.) First off, I would like to say that if you have anything less than a full-sized car, driving through Monument Valley is a bad idea. They offer guided tours; take one of those. Trust me. I’m bruised head to toe and I’m pretty sure we might have to buy our rental car. With that out of the way, I’m going to let some pictures do the talking for me. Monument Valley was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Words fail me. It is situated on Arizona’s border with Utah and is part of Navajo Nation. The sad thing is that I could have seen this years ago on vacation with my parents. But the thing is, vacations with my parents were …

Serendipity

If you haven’t realized from my previous blogs, I’m a planner. Everything I do is premeditated, with backup plans for my backup plans. Well today that all went right out the window. Our diversion occurred first thing in the morning when I directed Cory to go the wrong way on 89A out of Flagstaff. And then I passed out. (These early mornings and long days are beginning to wear on us all.) We intended to go to the South Rim. I woke up about an hour later, just before we passed a sign directing us to the North Rim. I immediately panicked. Cory and I have been to the South Rim a couple of times before, and it is mind-bogglingly beautiful. My mind has a difficult time processing the depth of the canyon, the distance it spans and just the sheer magnitude of the entire canyon. I knew what to expect at the South Rim, and I knew Amanda wouldn’t be disappointed there. But by misdirecting us to the North Rim and then falling asleep …

Where’s my network now?

  (Writer’s note: This blog was written on the morning of Aug. 11, after I had been out of internet service for almost 24 hours. I posted it once I was back within the confines of the Verizon Wireless network.) You remember the Verizon commercials with the guy in the black jacket going all over the country saying, “Can you hear me now?” Well, Verizon really needs to get their internet coverage up to the size of their calling network. I lost my internet not far out of Santa Fe yesterday morning and haven’t regained it. Amanda has Sprint, and has had coverage most of the time we’ve been out here, allowing her to keep up on her blog a little more. I think this just goes along with my general technology challenges while I’ve been on this trip. After Monument Valley, we cruised on over to Sedona, taking in some amazing red rock scenery along the way. We camped in Flagstaff, taking full advantage of the 24-hour laundry facility. Let me tell you, doing …

Back on the grid!

I’ve been off the grid for almost 24 hours now. My Blackberry went dead yesterday and, in a continuance of my electronic problems this trip, my car charger has gone missing. But I have backup! My regular wall charger works in the car when I plug an a/c converter into the power port. 🙂 We just can’t put the car in park until I unplug my contraption. After Amanda and I posted our first vlog entry yesterday morning, we departed Colorado for New Mexico. I really thought I would be more broken up to leave so quickly, but I’m so excited to see new things on this trip that I was over it before we hit he state line. Someday I’ll buy my mountain and build my glass house so I can see the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains 24/7/365. Of course, I’ll have piped in oxygen so Amanda won’t have to deal with altitude sickness. Our first stop in New Mexico was Capulin Volcano. Can you say you’ve walked into the mouth of …

This would be happening right now

The fugitives who escaped would have to be on the run and hitting up several places that we’re planning visit. Here’s a few links to stories about them. CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/07/arizona.prison.escape.arrest/index.html Yellowstone Insider: http://www.yellowstoneinsider.com/20100808666/news/articles/arizona-fugitives-may-be-hiding-in-yellowstone-area.php Let’s hope we don’t encounter them!