Day 16 started in Gaithersburg Maryland. We had spent the night over at Todd’s and Robyn’s. When everyone was up we headed to brunch. Turned out Ian’s other friends with their son were in town! They live in NY so was completely random they were around at the same time. We all had brunch together. It was super great to see everyone and at once! This helped confirm that the east coast was the right move for us.
We all ate in a nice place that was in some outdoor shopping area. It reminded us of the Irvine Spectrum Mall in Cali, but this had a lake with peddle boating.
I ordered oatmeal with scrambled eggs… Sounds weird but was good the eggs were on the side and the oatmeal had carmalized brown sugar on top and topped with berries. Gobo was happy because he loves oatmeal mixed with blueberries.
Ian ordered some breakfast plate that came with a yummy scone with cream and jam – I stole a bite :).
We also shared some sweet potato fries and dipped them in honey mustard. Not really breakfast food but they were on the menu and sounded tasty.
After brunch his friends had to leave so we walked around with Todd and Robyn.
We walked by the lake and showed the baby some ducks and peddle boats. These were the coolest boats I’ve ever seen. They were all different shapes. Some were dragons, some swans, and even some flamingos.
After our walk we got some frozen yogurt. We went to a place called 16 handles. I think it’s a cute name for a yogurt place. It’s a yogurt place where you pour your own frozen yogurt into a cup and put on your own toppings. A trend that was in Cali when we moved there but now is almost everywhere.
After we left we headed back to load up the car.
Next stop NJ!
BUT still not to Hoboken. We drove to my parents house in Marlboro. They have an Airedale terrier named Abby. Introductions were a little stressful, but have been going ok.
Day 15! Getting closer to NJ, but we had stops still planned so NJ wont happen yet.
We left Charlottsville and drove an hour north to Culpeper and visited Sophie’s breeder. We were so excited for Sophie to be able to visit. It was fun watching Sophie’s reaction walking up to the house. I think she kinda knew it was familiar.
We let Sophie into the yard to stretch out her legs after being in the car so much. However, Sophie said she was just fine, thank you, and that she’d rather hang out next to us.
We went out into the town for lunch. We stopped at this cute deli place with outside seating. The weather was beautiful as well.
Afterwards we went back to the house and got to meet some 3 day old cairn puppies!! They were so so so cute! Their mommy was nice and let Gobo pet her babies.
After we said goodbyes we were back on the road. Our next stop was Gaithersburg Maryland. We ran into some serious traffic by DC. Everyone talks about how bad Los Angeles traffic is, but this was a million times worse!
Unfortunately our gps app started freaking out and kept changing the destination address back to the origin… So it kept wanting us to exit and make a uturn! That’s a major flaw. Looks like we need get a real gps. Luckily trips almost over so that can wait.
In Gaithersburg we got to the hotel and checked in… And then checked out.. It was a welfare hotel and we did not feel safe leaving our stuff in the room! When we were loading the car back up some guy ran out asking why we were leaving.. I was like see! They totally were watching us!
Luckily Ian’s good friends Todd and Robyn offered to put us up. That was really nice because we have a ton of baggage and a baby and a dog!
It was really fun being able to see them on our drive.
Day 14 was spent in Charlottesville Virginia. We had a late start after the crazy hotel switching on day 13.
We woke up and grabbed lunch in the pedestrian mall that was right next to the hotel. The pedestrian mall is pretty much a street they closed off to traffic and filled in with tables and benches. Very similar to Washington street, if Washington street had no cars…
Since we were finally in the eastern time zone we felt comfortable getting some pizza slices. I can’t remember the last time we had pizza. It could have been over a year. California isn’t known for good pizza.
Ian had a chicken parm slice and I got plain. It was pretty good, but was no falippos.
We then went to the car and drove to our next spot for the day… Brenheim vineyards! For those that know us, know how much we love the Dave Matthews Band.. And wine. Brenheim is Dave’s winery, so how could we not visit?!?
Brenheim is a very cool place. Dave designed the building ( which fives off a lodge type vibe) and we learned his family used to live in the house on the land. He even got married there.
They have these two huge doors to go into the tasting area. The center of the room has a glass floor and you could see the wine barrels. The back wall is high with windows overlooking the vineyard.
Our pourer was very nice and we all had good conversation.
We did a tasting which included 6 wines.
After the tasting we got some crackers and red pepper hummus and sat outside on the patio with them.
we hung out there for a while.
When we got back to the hotel we walked sophie around the pedestrian mall. We saw lots of people carrying canon bags and wearing tags, so we asked what was going on. Turns out we were in the middle of the Look3 event. It’s an annual event for photographers filled with lots of seminars and other fun things. It was fun walking around won everyone else win their cameras, we fit right in.
Day 13 back on the road. We went to bed at a normal time on day 12 so actually managed to wake up at a normal time. We have gotten really efficient at loading the car. The valet people could not believe the amount of stuff we were putting in the car. Where there is a space, something is put there. We even have to open the diaper boxes and scatter the bundles around the trunk and car. We even have diapers and wipes under the front seats. Don’t want to run out of those.
After we left the hotel we headed over to Nashville’s biscuit house for breakfast. Ian found it on yelp. We haven’t seen this one on a food show, but it totally should be. It was right next to a pawn store, so you know it’s good stuff 😉
They advertised a drive thru so we were excited. When we got there it was like a window with cardboard and the space where a person would stand looked like was being used for storage. They had a hand written on a ripped piece of paper ” ring bell for service”. Ummm. Or not. We decided to park and Ian would order the food to go. The place was pretty busy so that was a good sign.
It was a real greasy spoon place. We had scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, grits, and of course a biscuit.
We also got some large coffees for the road. It was a real southern style breakfast.
Ian walked Sophie in the parking lot and one of the workers ran out to say hi and play with her. I hoped she washed her hands when she went back inside.
After breakfast it was driving. We drove across tennessee and had the time zone switch on us. I had no clue that Tennessee had 2 time zones. It was odd being back in ET.
I was back in the same time as most friends and family.
We saw the land change from relatively flat by Nashville to beautiful hills in eastern Tennessee as we got into Virginia and the blue ridge mountains. Very beautiful scenery. It was nice seeing eastern mountains. Much greener than the ones we saw in the west.
The drive went pretty smooth and we didn’t have more than 10 minutes of crying, so when we got to the hotel in virginia we thought we were good. After loading everything into the hotel room we realized we made a mistake with hotels. Lamp shades ripped and dented. Holes and stains in sheets. Golf ball under a chair. ( really). We were trying to brave the night and switch hotels the next day so I gave the baby a bath ( in his tub which we brought, putting babies in the actual hotel tub grosses me out)
After I got him all dressed for bed we were talking about how much better it would be if we just left tonight and got 2 nights at the new hotel. So we did!
We checked out and complained, loaded everything back into the car in record time, and checked into the new hotel. The new hotel was right in the middle of town, not the boondocks like the other one. At this point it was 3 am. There were still people walking around and the town looked fun. Hello Charlottesville 🙂
Day 12 was Nashville day. After the crazy amount of driving on day 11, we saved day 12 for staying in Nashville. We didn’t get to bed until around 4am, so we slept in a little.
Woke up and read a text from Ali (Ian’s sister) that she read an article on hoboken411 (a popular hoboken website) about us! Very exciting, we love that website!
We met Ian’s friend Ron for lunch at Arnold’s Country kitchen.
Arnold’s was another Triple D find. It was everything we hoped for and more! As soon as we got there we knew it would be fun. Once you open the door you see a long line of people cafeteria style. The waiter/ bus boy/ just mayor of the place helped us out by saving a table for us and joking with the baby. Very friendly guy, a real personality. They had a bunch of southern style food. I had chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, and pecan pie. Super unhealthy, but I don’t think that’s the point at Arnold’s. Ian chose the meat loaf, corn pudding and mashes potatoes. He got the chocolate pudding pie for dessert. Basically it was like elementary school with trays and little plates of foods, with them scooping the main dishes onto a bigger plate. We had some lemonade and sweet tea to drink. The sweet tea was my favorite and was awesome. I could easily get addicted to that drink.
After lunch we said our goodbyes to Ron and headed back to the hotel to rescue Sophie.
We passed the new convention center being built. This thing is gigantic.
We all took a walk around the downtown. Luckily our hotel was downtown too so it made everything very easy. The whole area was turning into a party. Turns out the CMA’s were coming up and they have all these events around it. (shows how much we follow country music). Tents were going up everywhere, and they had some walk of fame awards going on in front of the hotel. We stopped off at a street concert 2 blocks away and listened to some group play. They were a group made up of cousins and some were pretty young, 10 I’m guessing. They were pretty good. The baby enjoyed the music and was kicking his feet to it. We walked around after 3 songs, picking up some coffees and walking on a pedestrian bridge over the river.
After we got tired we went back to the room, dropped off Sophie and let the baby crawl around on the bed.
Later we decided it was time to listen to some Honky Tonk… It was Nashville 🙂
We went to some bar called Robert’s Western World. The lady at the door said that babies could go in, so we did, selecting a table away from the speakers. They had some band playing and it was a lot of fun and a really good crowd. We also ordered dinner there. Veggie burger for me, and fried baloney sandwich for Ian. Lol!
We also shared some fried pickles, they were surprisingly good and came with a ranch dressing dipping sauce.
We had some beers and enjoyed the music for a while. The lead band member told us he was Gobo’s age when he went to his first Honky Tonk bar. People were getting the baby to clap hands to the music and he had a great time. I think it’s cool how kid friendly they are, no cover charges, no cigarette smoke, surprising lack of drunks for a bar area. But it was 6 pm so they had time I guess 🙂
Wow, Day 11 was the longest day ever. We drove from Tulsa Oklahoma to Nashville Tennessee.
We started driving at noon (got back really late from Charles house- so slept in) and arrived around 2am in Nashville. 15 hours on the road. Baby and dog were not amused.
Just packing up the car in Tulsa was a process. We had 3 nights in Tulsa, so all our stuff was scattered everywhere in the room.
Before we left we checked the weather app and saw we might be on some trouble, more red spots on the map along our route.
Luckily, Ian stopped off at a nearby target the night before and got some more water, and ritz crackers and Milano cookies( hey they are good for car trip munches). So we decided to skip breakfast/lunch or whatever meal it would be and get driving already and eat those.
Baby slept in too, so we got his morning nap in the car. We were able to get 3 1/2 hrs in non stop before he woke and started to fuss. Very exciting for us, he normally doesn’t sleep that long. We got some gas and stopped at a nearby Cracker barrel to use their facilities, and pick up some candy for the drive. Sophie also used their facilities outside.
The clouds were starting to look nasty and the app still showed rain.
We ran into the storm right before our 1st destination of the day.
First real stop along the ride was Little Rock, Arkansas. Ian wanted to see the Clinton library. He just made it. We arrived at 4:53pm…. And they closed at 5!
The security guard was nice and let him go in anyways, told him to just go to the 3rd floor oval office replica, and then leave. (I stayed in the car with the baby).
We drive through Little Rock to a yelp find for dinner. Whole Hog Cafe. Name pretty much explains it, tasty barbecue.
I had the shredded chicken sandwich with slaw and potato salad side. Very good and BBQ dipping sauce was amazing. Ian ordered the whole hog plate. Ribs, brisket and pulled pork with slaw, beans, potato salad and a roll. The meal was a car dining experience. Sophie and gobo let us eat, which was nice of them.
After our meal and everyone walked and changed we were back on the road.
Driving through Arkansas I kept asking Ian when we were getting off rt 18(in NJ) and why we were in freehold. Seriously. Why does Arkansas look like freehold?!
Next stop along our drive was Memphis Tennessee. I had “walking in Memphis” playing while we crossed the bridge. We parked on Beal street next to an Elvis sign and took everyone out to walk by B.B. Kings. The cops had blocked off that part of the road so you could only walk there.
They had horse carriages parked along the road and Sophie said she won’t walk past them, so Ian had to carry her.
Memphis was… Interesting…
I’m glad I saw it, but I never want to go back 🙂
We passed lots of Elvis signs and the Gibson guitar factory( that was cool).
It was already around 10p in Memphis, and we still had a drive to Nashville ahead of us.
We ran into some more storms. It was pitch black and empty roads, very freaky. The lightning would light everything up so we could kinda see what was around.
Around 2 am we pulled into Nashville! We drove by some Honky Tonk bars, with people still dancing inside. Nashville is going to be fun!
Still in Tulsa for day 10. We used the morning to do laundry. Doesn’t sound very exciting, but after 10 days on the road being able to do laundry is a real treat! We had purposely booked our hotel for the laundry facilities. It did take longer than I hoped, only had 3 machines, 1 was broken, and 1 was in use, and I had 3 loads to do.
After all that we met up with Charles and Donna again. They picked us up and gave us a real Tulsa tour. We saw the Oral Roberts campus and the giant bronze hands. We googled him while looking at his hands and found out he died in Newport Beach, in the same hospital we had the baby in… How random is that?!
We also went to the river, which was pretty dry. Charles told us about how there I some dam upstream and sometimes people try walking across the river and get caught when they release the water. The fire depart then has to rescue everyone.
We went into downtown Tulsa. They had some nice big buildings and we heard about some if the oil people who used to trade deals in the 20’s and 30’s there.
One of the corners had some girl posing for pics. It was funny because it took us a while to realize there were people on the other side of the street photographing her, from our perspective she was just randomly striking some poses.
There downtown had a lot of art deco architecture. There was even a beautiful church all art deco style.
At that point the baby was getting hungry so we headed back. After he ate we took Sophie with us and went back to their house for dinner. Donna made us veggie lasagna with salad and garlic bread, yum!! Me and Ian had 2 plates, we were so happy to get some home cooked food!
Towards the end of the night the thunder and lightning was picking up. We went back to the hotel and got in just in time. It was crazy outside, lots of wind and rain. I was freaked out and hoping for no tornadoes. Sophie was barking at the thunder and hid by us, using us as human shields. I don’t like storms 😦
Day 9 was Tulsa day. We got to meet up for lunch with welsh terrier Carson and her family, Paula and Ty. I ‘met’ Paula through a welsh terrier email list about 4 1/2 years ago and it was so exciting to finally meet in person!
We all had lunch at a cute brunch spot called Queenie’s plus. It was located in a shopping area called Utica square. Potterybarn, restoration hardware, anthropology… My kind of shopping, I was very happy.
We all got tasty sandwiches for lunch. Ian selected the California grilled cheese (how appropriate)- it had Avacado in it, and I got the Santa fe grilled cheese ( green chile peppers- yum!)
Ian and I split the flourless chocolate cake for desert. It was very very good, I think one of the best we’ve ever had.
Carson and Sophie were both very well behaved and got along real well. We got a lot of attention, not many people had seen welshies before. One girl asked if they were lakelands, which was actually pretty impressive because those are pretty rare too and many have never heard of those.
It was a beautiful day and there were a lot of people out with their dogs.
Carson was such a cutie and didn’t seem to mind when Sophie stole her kong.
After lunch we stayed to walk around in the stores. We were lucky that the restaurant was right next door to a bath and body works because Ian forgot to put deodorant on before we left the hotel room. After smelling all of their men’s scents he selected one. I was running low on shower gel and had just been talking about the day earlier how I wish we would be near a place to pick some up. They had a great sale( buy 3 get 3) so I stocked up. Hopefully they don’t explode in the trunk!
Later that day we met up with Ian’s friend Charles, and his girlfriend Donna. They came to our hotel and met Sophie, and then we all went out to dinner( wo poor Sophie who was left in her crate and stuck watching CBS. )
They drove us to an interesting place called Molly’s landing. It was an experience. Think if American pickers decorated a restaurant.
Just getting in was an adventure, they redid a bridge on the road next to it.., and just moved the top of the bridge over the restaurant entrance, pretty clever. There was a murder mystery going on in of the other dinning rooms so throughout the meal you would hear random screaming.
The food was very tasty, pretty surprising based on the looks of the place. appetizer was some battered mushrooms with a chipotle sauce. Ian selected the spicy 1872 ribeye. It was delicious. I don’t eat red meat but sampled a bite anyways, it was that good. I got the grilled chicken, very tender with some spice, yum!
We went back to their place for a bit after. It was fun being able to visit somebody’s house in the middle of Oklahoma. If somebody told me 3 years ago when I was still living in Hoboken I’d be driving across the country with a baby and stop off for lunch with another welshie family and then visit at another friends house in Tulsa oklahoma I wouldn’t believe them.
Day 8 was all about driving. 15 hrs worth!! We drove from Santa fe new Mexico all the way to Tulsa Oklahoma.
In Santa fe we had breakfast burritos by a little place next to our hotel. They were delicious so we went back and got some veggie burritos for the car for lunch. We figured they would be much better than anything we would see at a road stop.
Our lovely gps decided that a nice remote road in the middle of new Mexico would be a great place for it to die! I did some quick research and downloaded a gps app onto Ian’s iphone. So far it is pretty good. Only complaint is that it doesn’t give directions when you are talking on the phone.
Things got interesting around Amarillo Texas. The sky got really dark and started to rain. It was real rain, the type we hadn’t seen in a long time. I looked on my weather channel app and saw severe weather warnings for our area with lighting and hail. The map showed a giant red spot exactly along 40 where we were headed. Great. We ran right into the hail and it was lightning all over. We pulled under some overpass along with a bunch of other cars to avoid some of the hail. The car was really getting pounded and we were worried about the windows breaking. We drove a bit and had to stop a few other times, one time in some motel with a car covering. We couldn’t stay there too long bc the workers told us to leave. Friendly folks.
Sophie was a good sport through the whole ordeal, and Gobo wanted out of his cat seat. We got into Tulsa around 1:30am. I never thought I’d be so happy to be in Tulsa. As soon as we got into our room I let the baby crawl around on the bed. He had a blast rolling around and needed the stretch.
Hopefully that weather won’t happen again, I don’t think I’d survive living in this part of the country. That hail made me miss the earthquakes of Cali!
Day 7 we took a day trip from Santa Fe and drove to the town of Taos. I think the drive to Taos was the most interesting part. The land is so interesting along the way. It really makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. We passed some amazing mountains and even the rio grande river and the rio grande gorge. The town of Taos was interesting, lots of art galleries again, just had too many transient people for my taste.
We tried having dinner at Orlando’s but they wanted us to tie Sophie up on the side of the building! No way we would do that! On our way out some old person said “good, they are leaving!”
Ugh! That got me mad and I told Sophie she should poo in the parking lot, but she said she didn’t have to.
We ate in sonic instead. I didn’t mind because I never been to one before. I don’t think I’ll back either, I don’t get the sonic hype.
We did get a car wash at the gas station, the car really needed it. People were starting to look.