Two weeks after I returned to the States, my mom and I drove all the way from Atlanta to Seattle. Essentially, it was a repeat of my first road trip from Hotlanta to Tacoma in 2005. Bally Boo and I basically drove straight west and then straight north. We made the following stops:
-Little Rock...Ice cream with my aunt and uncle.
-Santa Fe...Adobe ALL OVER THE PLACE. It's city law that the buildings have to look traditionally Southwestern. Even the Shell stations and McDonald's look like little pueblos.
-Petrified National Forest (AZ)...Really cool dinosaur-age trees that had become rocks over time thanks to the silica from volcanic eruptions. Those were some scared trees.
-Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)...It's breathtaking, especially at sunset.
-Red Rocks State Park (AZ)...It's what I imagine the Australian Outback to look like. Really beautiful.
-Las Vegas!...We stayed at Paris Las Vegas (with fake storefronts and cobble-stoned streets inside), saw Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio, won thirty dollars at Blackjack, lost ten dollars at slots, and went to a strip show (and by "strip show," I mean we drove up and down the Las Vegas Strip at night). I've now been to two of the most sinful places in the world--Las Vegas and Amsterdam's Red Light District--with my teetotaling, Southern Baptist mother. I have a feeling that I didn't quite get the WHOLE experience in Vegas or Amsterdam. Oh well. We still had fun.
-Death Valley National Park (CA)...HOT. Got up to 103 degrees.
-Yosemite National Park (CA)...Stunning. Half Dome is one of the most amazing mountains in the world. It got down to the 50s...a 50-degree drop from our morning in Death Valley. Crazy. It's my favorite national park.
-San Francisco...Wonderful. My mom's co-worker's brother gave us a fantastic tour of the city, and we had dinner with Amanda, my friend from the Krista Foundation. Fantastic.
-Crater Lake National Park (OR)...Really, really beautiful. It was the bluest water I had ever seen. (Supposedly, it's the cleanest water in the U.S.) It was my mom's favorite national park.
We had a lot of good food, but the best may have been at In-N-Out in California and Burgerville in Oregon.