Second Cross-Country Road Trip, USA
Updated: Apr 11
We are back at it! Yes, folks, we hit the road for our second USA cross-country tour. Instead of taking the Southern route this time around, we opted for a central tour. Click here to read the start of our first trip across America.
This time around our stops included 3 nights in St. George, UT. We decided to pass through Las Vegas, NV to show Vincent & Vallen The Strip. It was during the day and we didn’t stop, but they did enjoy the magnitude of the casinos and their cool themes.
St. George was amazing. While we did feel like chocolate chip cookies being baked in the oven, it didn’t matter because it was so beautiful and we had so much fun we didn’t get hung up on the weather. It reminded me of the same magic that lives in Sedona, AZ.
Our Airbnb there was amazing and the community was filled with activities. Not to mention, our trip to Zion National Park. Three days went by too fast.
Everyone was looking forward to Colorado. We always wanted to go and never had a real reason before.
Our first stop was an overnighter in Grand Junction. It just so happened we arrived on Thursday evening. Turns out, on Thursday nights there is a huge farmer’s market in downtown Grand Junction during the summer months. Vallen got to dig for worms at a worm vendor booth and learn how beneficial they are to home gardens.
The city had a booth with games like big Jenga, hula hoops, corn hole, and free Otter Pops. A Christian group handed out free cold bottles of water to the thirsty crowds, and we enjoyed wood-fired pizza at Pablo’s Pizza.
The streets were completely blocked off. It was a really nice and relaxed crowd attending. Even the two police officers that were walking around stopped for shaved ice and were enjoying the festivities.
Bonus: our hotel gave us each a complimentary drink pass to their bar.
Limin’ In Limon
The second stayover was on the East side of Colorado in a farming town called Limon (pronounced lime-in), population: 1,105. While there wasn’t a whole lot going on there, we ate some pretty good Mexican food at a family-owned restaurant on Main Street. Anthony got the chimichanga he had been dying to eat since our last trip to Flagstaff, AZ.
Corn Fields of America
After leaving Colorado we stopped for an overnighter in Leavenworth, Kansas, then breezed our way through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. After about a 9-hour car ride, including stops for breaks, meals, bathroom runs, and gas we made it to our stopover in Owensboro, Kentucky.
It is completely insane how much corn is produced in our country. I never realized each and every one of those states has cornfields for miles.
Return to Tennessee
We enjoyed our time in Nashville last year and we're excited to be heading for a brief stay in Knoxville. It was our goal to see some new areas of the state. The University of Tennessee and surrounding areas are filled with art and a chill vibe.
Now that Vincent is college-bound in a couple more years we make an effort to check out all the colleges we see in our travels.
Topping it all off, was a visit to Pigeon Forge, which is amazing in its own right. It is a family vacation mecca and home to Dollywood. Yes, it caters to tourists, but we enjoyed the beauty of the Smoky Mountains and all that Pigeon Forge has to offer.
Cool as a Cucumber in the Carolinas
The last planned portion of our cross-country journey was to explore North Carolina. We spent 5 months in South Carolina last year, and a month in Beech Mountain, NC, but we wanted to see more of the state.
We spent about a week in the Raleigh suburbs and 2 weeks in the Charlotte suburbs. Though we enjoyed our time exploring, we needed to find another place quickly. Unfortunately, places are more expensive and harder to come by than during the past 1 ½ years with COVID scaring away travelers.
I was a little nervous because we had about 1 week to find our next destination. Thankfully, we found a place in The Villages, FL. Sure, it is a senior community, but we found a loophole where anyone with children under 19 can stay for up to 30 days. So we rented a cute place with a golf cart for the month.
Vincent got loads of practice driving what I called the go-cart, by schlepping us around to the store, recreation centers, or just joyriding. When you pass loads of golf carts it feels like you are on a Disneyland ride.
Security approached Vallen and his accomplice (mom) for getting too rowdy on the dance floor at one of the community outdoor concerts. My incredible dance partner and performer Vallen was so engrossed in the music. The guitar player came down and let him strum his guitar during his performance. The crowd was cheering Vallen on and clapping. But in the end, security was afraid we may hurt a senior that was dancing nearby. That was quickly followed up by a mature man handing me an airplane size bottle of raspberry Vodka saying, “you might need this.” It was pretty funny.
The kids loved all the fun things to do including swimming pools, shuffleboard, tennis & pickleball courts, bocci ball, horseshoe pits, etc. I can even report Vallen loved attending concerts and we did not get arrested!
Every morning Vallen and I took our long walks through the neighborhood. We got to know a lot of people in our community who were super nice and fun to visit with. Vincent joined us some evenings for after-dinner strolls.
Our favorite pastime was meeting new dogs, so of course, we have got to know lots of folks and their furry companions. Vallen, being the dog lover and "conver-sensation" he is, loved this part of living here for the month.
He is going to miss some of his favorite canine companions including, Jedi, Charlie, Luna, Bailey, Pandy, Oscar, Tucker, Zoe, Sassy, and Mercy. We even ran into some new human friends we made at the pickleball court. Special shout-out to David & Gina who started reading the blog. Vincent had a great time playing a tennis match with their grandson Aiden. Days later we ran into Gina at the grocery store. Thinking of ya’ll in Texas.
And a heartfelt goodbye to Dennis T. See ya around like a donut! (Our inside joke, wish you knew the “hole” thing).
Carolinas are Calling
We are headed back to the Carolinas for our next adventure. School may be underway, but summer isn’t over yet. We are going to enjoy some time by the beach, low and slow.