TR - 5369 miles later! - Coast to Coast with a little Disney Magic
Here's a little background ..
Andona ( The Navigator) -
DH - (The Driver) -
DS - (The Teenager) -
Where are we going??? Why are we going???
On our previous trips we've seen a lot of America - NYC, Washington DC, New England, The Southwest , Florida, The Rockies, the High Plains, and California but it's a big country and there's still an awful lot to see! My bucket list includes a plan to visit all 50 states eventually.
This trip is our "Deep South" adventure, with some Texas and more of the Southwest thrown in for good measure.
And, once the concept occurred to him ,The Driver couldn't resist the idea of a coast-to-coast trip!
I think the recurrring theme of this trip will be FOOD! We're excited about digging into some Southern specialities - Lump Crab Cakes, Catfish, Shrimp & Grits, Gumbo, Jambalaya, and some Texas B-B-Q and some Tex-Mex thrown in for spoce. Yummm! ( My apologies to everyone on the "Get fit for your Trip" thread, I think I'll be spending more time over there after this trip but more as a "Lose the weight you gained on your trip" participator... )
We can't wait to sample that wonderful Southern cooking, listen to some Blues and some Jazz and just enjoy some of that southern hospitality. So here's the plan....
-> We're flying to LAX with Air NZ. Weve never flown with them before - looking forward to trying something new. The flight arrives mid-afternoon so we'll stop over in L.A. , to rest our weary heads in a LAX hotel (the Marriott) and wake up fresh for our cross country flight the next day. We're pretty lucky in that we don't usually get jetlagged when we fly to L.A.
-> Fly across the Country ( Virgin America) to Fort Lauderdale and Spend the night in Hollywood....the Florida one!
-> Really looking forward to one of the classic American scenic drives, heading down through Miami and the Overseas Highway to Key West. We're booked into the Pier House Resort right on the gulf.. Cocktails and key Lime pie anyone???
-> We'll have to back-track up through the keys to the Everglades National Park and on up to the Gulf coast. Nothing booked here but planning to stop in Naples or Fort Myers or Tampa. We're aiming to stop at "Gator Park" en route and do one of those classic airboat rides through the sea of grass along the way.
-> WDW !!!! - hopefully arriving by lunch time. I could only negotiate 2 nights in the world but I'm making the best of them.
-> Heading up to Georgia next, we'll drive via Daytona beach and St Augustine to lovely Savannah. A carriage ride past the fountains and green squares in what is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the USA - can't wait!
-> Atlanta! DS's priority is The World of Coca Cola, mine is Stone Mountain and The Margaret Mitchell House ( Gone with The Wind was a favourite of mine..) and DH will try to drive a detour via Augusta ( the Home of the US Masters Golf) if I let him...
-> Crossing "Sweet Home Alabama" and spending the night somewhere along the road towards Memphis. Maybe Tupelo, to see the birthplace of "The King" ??
-> We're in Memphis! "Thank you very much" ( with apologies to Elvis) - Graceland (of course!) , Beale Street for some blues, and the National Civil Rights Museum ( it's located in the hotel that Martin Luther King was assassinated in) We're staying at the gracious, Memphis hotel "The Peabody" - this place has an interesting history and it's all to do with ducks...
-> Next we'll cruise down the Blues Highway , stopping to visit the Delta Blues Museum and having lunch or a snack at Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club ( I had a dream that the wonderful actor just happened to drop in while we were there.. I wish!) Also plan to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park - you really can't visit the Deep South without absorbing some Civil War history I think?
-> We'll also be living out a fantasy of mine and spending a night in a Plantation Home in the gracious old Mississippee river town of Natchez, MS. Give me a Mint Julep to sip on the wide verandah and I'll be happy little Scarlett O'Hara wannabe...
-> New Orleans!! So much to see in the French Quarter here, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, Jackson Sqaure, The Natchez Steamboat, Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina exhibits. Coffee and beignet at Cafe Du Monde, a little shopping at the French Market, some Gumbo for lunch and a dinner at Bubba Gumps are the plan. New Orleans is also home to the Unites States World War 2 museum so that is a must visit for DS and DH.
-> On to Texas! Houston is our first base - we'll be visiting the Nasa Johnson Space Center, The Kemah Boardwalk and maybe do a little drive down to Galveston..
-> "Remember the Alamo!"- we're heading to San Antonio next. Can't wait to wander along the beautiful Riverwalk and let DH live out his John Wayne fantasies at The Alamo.
-> Heading down to the Rio Grande to visit Big Bend National park. The stars at night are big and bright...deep in the heart of Texas!!
-> On towards New Mexico with some Western Fort's to visit along the way and Carlsbad Caverns National Park in our sights. We have tentatively booked a night in the little town of Pecos ( there's a lot of miles between towns in West Texas and i don't want to be stuck without a bed) but we might make it all the way to Carlsbad instead.
-> Our caving experience behind us we're heading up over the scenic mountains of southern New Mexico . I've always been a Sci Fi fan so I hope we have time to detour via Roswell - I want to find me some aliens!!
-> Stopping to visit the otherworld landscape of White Sands National Monument , they say these stark,white sparkling sand dunes have to be seen to be believed. You can even hire sleds at the Visitor centre to go for a ride down the dunes. Then into southern Arizona with a visit to Tombstone. We have to be there by 2.30pm because they re-enact the "Gunfight at the OK Corral" every day. Only in America!
-> Tucson is our next base. Lots to see here including the beautiful Mission San Xavier del Bac, The Titan Missile Museum , The Pima Air and Space Museum ( this includes the Official US Aircraft Graveyard, everything from stealth bombers to JFK's and Nixon's "Air Force One" jets! ) Finally a drive through Saguaro National Park.
-> On to Flagstaff via Montezuma Castle National Monument and the beautiful scenery around Sedona. We really love the Southwest, we just can't get enough of those spectacular skies and red desert scenery.
-> Next We're getting our kicks on Route 66...or at least a short part of it! Dropping in to see the Meteor Crater - a mile across and 550 feet deep. If anyone is getting on my nerves by this stage of the trip they might get dropped in! More quirky Route 66 sights, the Road Kill cafe at Seligman for a snack and some souvenir shopping at Williams, a drive across the amazing new bridge at Hoover dam, before we make tracks for ...
-> Las Vegas!!, our final stop on the trip. We're booked into a Bella Suite at The Venetian and have tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show - LOVE , showing at the Mirage. We all love Beatles music so this will be a great way to spend the last night.
-> On our last day we're on the road to Los Angeles, we have all day to get there as our flght doesn't leave till 10.30pm. Hopefully time en route for a little outlet shopping at Primm and Barstow and a visit to Santa Monica Pier and a walk on the beach - then I can truly say I've driven all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific!!
Well that's it! I already have both an AT&T sim and a T-Mobile Sim in my possession and with free wifi in all our hotels I'm hoping to take time out from navigating to pop back into the DIS and turn this PTR into a TR as we cross the miles.
Oh Andona, thanks so much for posting and it looks like a fantastic trip you have planned. When do you go? I hope you like Air NZ - we are pretty proud of our little airline.
I will really enjoy sitting back and enjoying this ride on your PTR/TR popcorn::
Wow, what a trip! How long are you going for?
I went to both Stone Mountain and World of Coca Cola when I was little. I don't remember much about Stone Mountain (other then the gondola ride) but I loved World of Coca Cola - my favourite part was the free samples room, I don't know if it's the same now, but the beverage used to shoot acoss the sky into your cup. :cloud9:
ETA - I'm actually watching Gone With The Wind on fox classic right now
Will be a great trip-as also fans of long road trips look forward to riding along-across the States from coast to coast is on our wish list (along with far too much else) - will just have to decide if we tackle the southern route (most likely) or the northern first.
Looks like an awesome time you have planned
Road tripping is fun, you see so much!
That's one heck of a roaddie. I'm definitely hopping on for the ride.
Sounds like a fantastic trip! I would love to do USA road trip one day.
Wow, sounds like an awesome trip. I will definitely be reading along :thumbsup2
How long is the trip going to take?
sounds like a amazing trip
I'm hitching a ride too. Sounds fabulous.
OMG Andona, this trip sounds amazing!!! i wish i drove so that i could plan out an old school road trip like this... you are going to have such an amazing experience. cannot wait to follow along with your updates and to read your TR.
so jealous... memphis, graceland, beale st etc are all on my bucket list, as is roswell and new orleans. cannot even imagine the fun you will be having on this trip :)
Wow wow wow
What an absolutely incredible trip. I adored your PTR, excellent stuff. I also really appreciated the pictorial since I'm such a visual person lol.
Where do I start, you had me at "lump crab cake". All of the food you listed is stuff I would adore to eat, mmm mmm good.
The Pier House Resort looks gorgeous.
Savannah - a dream of mine to go there.
Gone with the wind - such an old favourite, please take lots of pics here.
Graceland - Elvis has long been one of my all time favourite singers and Graceland is definitely on my bucket list.
New Orleans is going to be awesome. The food, the music, the buildings, the atmosphere, I can't wait to hear all about it.
Roswell - OMG, aliens are too cool. I would love to visit here.
Tombstone - seriously it's like you got inside my head to plan this trip, this would be a wonderful place to visit.
The Venetian - we stayed here in 2009 and loved it, the inside canal and roof that looks like the sky is astonishing. You will really enjoy it.
Your trip sounds magnificent, fingers crossed you can update on the road. Take pictures of every single detail, pretty please.
Thanks everyone! This trip has been a a lot of fun to plan :goodvibes
We fly out on September 14, not long now :cool1:
We'll be away for just over 3 1/2 weeks. It would have been nice to go for a bit longer but work commitments stopped that. Several places we'll have 2 or three nights but the rest are one night stops. I've tried to restrict most days to 4-5 hours driving - we're early starters so on our driving days we should get to the next stop by early afternoon.
Thanks PrincessInOz, Caroline NZ, AussieJess and Minniemum - I'm really hoping I can update this report as we go along. One of the reasons I wanted an iPad sim was so I could update along the road :)
Wow! Huge trip, we are heading to New Orleans for part of our trip so can't wait to hear about your experiences/advice there. I take my hat off to you being in the car that long, 2 hrs sends me crazy :rotfl2:
Wow! What a great itinerary. This trip is very very close to the road trip that we're planning in Dec 2013 so I'm paying close attention. Very very keen to read along and learn more about the various stops. We have about 3.5 weeks after WDW and our cruise for our driving segment. We're tossing up between doing the south western states in more detail, or including Texas, or driving all the way across to the west coast. We also share the dream of one day visiting all 50 states!
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