United States

the fun never stops by Kayci Detweiler

Ok all. I know everyone has a million questions, and so that I don't have to answer them to everyone individually, I decided to do an "all questions answered" post. Hopefully this will cover everything you've ever wanted to know about taking a crazy trip across the country! Here goes...

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Weeks gone: exactly 10 full weeks on the road
Miles traveled: approximately 14,633
States visited: 42
Countries visited: 3
Northern most point: Glacier National Park
Southern most point: San Antonio, Texas
Highest elevation: Pikes Peak, Co {14,114 ft}
Longest driving day: New Orleans, LA to St Augustine, FL {8.5 hrs}
Longest location stay: Harrisonburg, VA {4.5 days due to car trouble}

Favorite natural location?
How do you pick one best place out of all the diversity and natural beauty in this country?! I think my favorite National Park was Zion, and my favorite "nature" experience was Fern Canyon in California. Both were magical.

Favorite city stay?
As an overall experience, Austin, TX and New York City were my two favorites...we had great days in both places. I also really enjoyed both of the Portlands! 

Favorite experience?
Looooooved our beach times in SoCal, especially paddleboarding in La Jolla. Also, checking off the bucket list with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Amazing.

Best doughnut? {I know you're dying to know}
Hard to choose, but I think my two faves were the Lemon Poppyseed from Blue Star in Portland, and a Key Lime filled from a bakery in Toronto. Yum.

Easiest part about this trip?
Having fun with Kelby, of course! Couldn't have asked for a better travel buddy.

Hardest part about this trip?
Staying in a new place each night, and accepting hospitality from strangers. I learned so much about both giving and receiving hospitality! Also being mobile and unstable for 2 months was a bit rough for me...but I made it.

Is there a place that stands out as the next step?
NO. I am extremely confused, but happy to be in one place for a little while as I figure it out. I have also discovered that, personally, as much as I enjoy visiting the city, I don't think it's a great option for me as a living place. I need a little breathing room. 

Do you have a next step?
NO. See above. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them. Also prayers are welcome. I'm looking forward to a bit of discernment time, but also don't want to sit around for too long. Must keep busy!

Do you have any regrets?
Not a one. My only regret is that we went so fast and didn't have time to properly explore each location. If I would do it again, I would have less area to cover and more time in each place. Would I do it again? Not exactly the same...living out of a suitcase for 2 months got to me a bit :)

What a wild ride! I'm so thankful for this experience, and I will have many stories to tell for the rest of my life. 

Canada, eh? by Kayci Detweiler

It is with a semi-heavy heart that I write this, the last post cataloging our journey! We are back in Wakarusa and "done" with the trip. At least for now. What a wild ride it has been, worth all the hours and miles. But more on that later...now on to our last few stops! 

From Maine we headed over to Vermont, to get a little bit of fresh air and ice cream! And of course more lovely views of leaves. 

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We headed to Stowe, VT first, where we ran into a school Halloween parade...all the costumes were quite cute. What a small town thing to do, gotta love it. The things you see in Vermont.

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Of course, we had to stop by the Ben & Jerry's Factory and take the tour {aka sample ice cream.} What a delicious place to visit! Don't worry, I let Kelby out of the stocks eventually...

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On to Canada! To complete the trip we felt that it was only fitting to stop in the third possible country, so we headed over to Toronto. In our short time there we tasted Tim Hortons, stayed with a wonderful host, took a walking tour of the city, and got a feel for the flavor of Canada. 

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Great architecture downtown...at this point all the great facts that I learned on this trip are running together, so I won't bore you with too many incorrect mutterings. I will say that Toronto has a lot to offer and is a cool city to check out!

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...and then my phone died, so no more pictures! A great end to a FABULOUS trip. 

I know a lot of questions are probably dying to be answered, and I will do that! I promise! Tomorrow is a new day, with more time. Stay tuned for a follow up post on the best and worst parts of the trip...hopefully. 

a wicked ahsome time by Kayci Detweiler

I am loving the Northeast. I don't know if it's the coastal vibes or the crisp, fall air... but they're onto something out here I must say! We've seen so many quaint little towns.

Our time in this part of the country is short and sweet, totalling in at less than one week. Sad but true, folks, our time is coming to an end. :( Bittersweet feels. 

The NE tour, as we'll call it, started in Boston (pronounced bah-stan), full of history, pastries, and stereotypical accents. I loved it.

We took a walking tour of part of the Freedom Trail, which gave us the story of Paul Revere and the American Revolution... Including the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to warn the colonists that the British were traveling by sea {I sadly don't remember the rest of the story.} Can you imagine sitting in those boxes for a church service? Fascinating. 

Mike's Pastry shop was a necessary stop because of this:

Holy Cannolli!

We also had dinner at the oldest operating tavern in the country, the Bell in Hand. Yum!

Also, a slight detour took us to the original Dunkin Donuts location. So New England of us. As far as donuts go, this one was a classic, so obviously it's high on the list.

We drove past Harvard on our way out of town, because why not!

After Boston, we headed off to a stop in Portsmouth, NH. Maybe the cutest little town ever. It was a little rainy, which was unfortunate, but it didn't deter us from walking around the shops in Market Square. Beautiful. 

From there we drove to Portland, ME {also known as, the other Portland.} I actually really enjoyed this Portland as well! A cute little sea-town full of brick buildings and lighthouses and lobsters. Love it. City but not too city....which is my kind of city :)

Tomorrow night is actually the last night of the trip, which means last blog post? I can't take it! 

welcome to new york by Kayci Detweiler

Yes, I am titling this post after a Taylor Swift song. Deal with it. :) 

I could also title it, New York: a photo essay, because that's what most of it will be. But oh, what a time we had. There isn't anywhere like NYC, and I couldn't help but love it!  

A few of the things we accomplished with our time include: visits with friends, a walk in Central Park, the Today Show {including shaking Al Roker's hand}, a visit to Mood {project runway fans?}, a walk on the High Line, the Chelsea Market, the Doughnut Plant, a taping of Late Night with Seth Myers {!!!!}, and a free Pitbull concert. 

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Whew. What a day. We walked around 29,000 steps in one day and didn't see near everything but it was WORTH IT.

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I'll be back, New York!

retreats in pennsylvania by Kayci Detweiler

Fall is officially a part of our lives now...not just a fleeting moment but a lifestyle. Filled with fires and mums and falling leaves. Pennsylvania was a great time for us to just "get away" from some of the hustle and bustle that we're used to as of late.  

Activities included tearoom visits, witnessing the mum mountain at Ott's, shopping in New Hope, and Peddlers Village. And of course priceless visits with friends! 

In PA, we take our coffee in teacups. 

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We even crossed the bridge into New Jersey for an hour or so! 

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Pretty sure I spent the whole weekend like this...love the wood stove! 

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Magic. A great intro to the northeast! 

in with the old {cities} by Kayci Detweiler

Every time I hear someone say “St Augustine” I think of the song St Augustine by Band of Horses…{feel free to listen below while you read this post}

I didn’t know anything about the city before visiting, but I’m ready to go back already! There’s so much history and cool things going on in this area. Did you know it’s the oldest city in the US? Because I didn’t!

But, the best part about being in St Augustine was that we got to meet up with this lovely lady! Thanks for coming all the way from Sarasota, Laur…it was so much fun!! 

Tuesday was even Laura’s birthday, so we got to celebrate a little bit with a mini vacation.

We had our final beach day of the trip {gasp!}, took a tour of the St Augustine Distillery, checked out the Spanish fort, and sampled a few different restaurants in the area. A great couple days well spent.

After reluctantly saying goodbye to Laura {and StAugustine} we headed north to Savannah! 

Talk about history, Savannah is another area that is just filled with those beautiful historic parts of town. It’s also filled with live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. SO amazing. We got to see a few drives that were lined with the trees and it creates an effect that can’t really be conveyed in photos. At least not mine. 

With our very limited time in town we decided not to take the city tour {which is why I don’t know any cool facts, unfortunately} and instead took our own tour which mostly consisted of interesting shops on Broughton street, and walking through many of the “squares” that Savannah is built around.

I tried to sit on the same bench as Forest Gump, but wasn’t sure which one it was.

We also drove down the most beautiful street in North America {according to Southern Living}, which really was quite beautiful, but I don’t know if it was the best one I’ve ever been down.

If only we had more time… 

Coming soon: Asheville, North Carolina!

soooooo cal by Kayci Detweiler

Ahhh, SoCal. I've been loooooooving it. Sunny, hot weather. The beach. I just can't get enough. This is something I've been waiting for the whole trip! 

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Do I want to live here? TBD. 

We started our journey south in Monterey {after returning from the wilderness.} The first day was all coast....driving down the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur, etc. Mmmmmm. We had a beautiful day for it, the sky was blue, the water was blue..everything else was mostly brown, but that's ok. To complete our experience of soaking it in, we decided to stop for a couple hours at one of the beaches we passed. Perfect decision, if you ask me. It was worth the later arrival time. 

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Santa Barbara was our destination for the night, and it was a good one. Our lovely hostess made us feel right at home, and she has a perfect porch for coffee drinking in the morning! I actually really enjoyed the town a lot, it's a bit more manageable than somewhere like LA. We visited the Saturday Farmer's Market, where you could find any sort of produce imaginable all in one place, and did some shopping downtown. And of course went to another beach before heading down to LA. 

LA was a lovely time to visit with family and friends, I enjoyed it a lot! 

We did the tourist thing at the Griffith Observatory, walked the pier in Santa Monica, and hung out in Venice for a bit before calling it a day. It takes a surprisingly long time to drive anywhere in that city, so although it doesn't sound like a lot...that took us all day. 

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Although I desperately tried to get Ellen tickets...both by requesting them several months ago and by calling 60 {yes, 60} times on the morning of the show for standby seats. Neither were successful, but we did drive by the building where she films just for the heck of it. Next time I will go!!!!!!

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On our way further down the coast we hit up Laguna Beach, and then on to San Diego. 

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Last night we indulged ourselves and had a night in with pizza and tv....sounds silly, but that's the first time we've actually sat down and just chilled in front of the tv in a couple weeks. Sometimes that is necessary. 

We took a day and adventured into Mexico. Let's just say, I was a little nervous about it. But Kelby kept a great attitude and handled the driving so I have to say, I'm glad we did it. We ended up at a little cafe that was maybe a little nicer than we were originally expecting to go, but we had some delicious tacos and the waitress put up with us not speaking spanish, so it was all good! 

And then we came back and went to the beach, of course. 

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Since it was Taco Tuesday we found a restaurant with awesome happy hour and got some more tacos and mojitos just because. Mmmmm. 

I feel like San Diego is an amazing city that we only scratched the surface of. As with most of the places we've visited, it would be completely different if you have an entire week to explore all the different areas. But. We have to pick and choose what we want to do, and most of what we want to do in Cali involves the beach! :) I'll have to come back someday and get the full tour. 

Time to head inland again! Sad. Goodbye beach, hello desert.

jelly & wine by Kayci Detweiler

As our journey down the coast continued, we had two things on our list before we got to San Fran: the Jelly Belly factory, and Napa Valley wine tasting. Both very classy experiences, if you ask me. Here are our chronicles:

First stop, Jelly Belly Beans. We took the tour of the factory where we got to see the different stages of making the candy, the history of the company, etc. It was actually pretty cool! Then, of course, you get to browse the gift shop and load up on all your favorite flavors. We took advantage.

After loading up with plenty of sugarz, we headed over to Napa to do a little wine tasting. I was excited to have the experience of going to a winery in the valley. It was so fun! The first one we went to was a smaller family winery / farm that's been in business since the 30s. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day, but fortunately it wasn't that crowded, so I guess there's give and take. We told them about our road trip and they told us we should move to Napa, so there's a thought! Ha.

We went to a second place, just to have a little different experience, before heading on to San Fransisco. Two thumbs up for Napa, it was a great day!