Now that we've landed safely in Argentina we wanted to give an extensive update on our farewell tour through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California!
First thing is first, we almost didn't make it. 100% not kidding.
Alysha painfully discovered a Hiatial Hernia Labor Day weekend and had to rush through several doctor appointments and tests, swapped out medications 4-5 times and woke up every morning with intense nausea. After several days of consistent pain, an endoscopy and significant diet changes (goodbye coffee, hello camomile tea) the pain subsided and we will continue to monitor the situation for any flare ups.
Hans chipped a tooth in late August as well and almost needed a root canal, but instead was given a temporary crown that gave him intense migraines for about 2 weeks. Thankfully the dentist was able to order a replacement crown in time. He had the procedure done the day before we left and immediately felt better, as it turns out the temporary crown was put on wrong and that's why it was causing pain.
Finally, before we dig into our impressions of each state we want to give a huge thank you to our families for hosting us, feeding us and being flexible with us! We greatly appreciate your help in kicking off our journey. Please come visit whenever you can, we'd love to return the hospitality!
Shoutout to Grandpa Tom for hosting us for a super short stay, it gave us a fantastic head start to the journey! While we were very excited to leave Texas, we weren't excited to be leaving our friends and family behind. Saying goodbye to folks wasn't easy and thanks to medical appointments and issues we had to cancel plans with several friends and missed our goodbyes. To all the friends we didn't get to say a proper goodbye to, we love you and miss you!
Wow, wow and wow! New Mexico DELIVERED. Alysha was still experiencing regular pain at this point in the trip so we may not have been able to do as much as we would have liked and sure the hot air balloon festival at the White Sands National Park got cancelled unexpectedly, but we didn't care. From sunrise to sunset, not a moment of our stay was disappointing. If you're curious, we stayed here.
We stopped in New Mexico so we could go to White Sands National Park and good gravy if you ever get the chance, do it. New fav national park by far! Granted we haven't seen Zion or a few others that would probably rank a bit higher on the list, but it felt like driving onto Mars or some other foreign planet, such a cool experience.
Another state where we were expecting very little (read: flat dessert land) and man oh man were we surprised! It even rained several days we were there which was very unexpected. Don't sleep on Arizona folks, it's beautiful. On our way over we realized we were going to pass right next to Saguaro National Park and WOW - We've never seen cacti this big and this park was completely unexpected on the route, but so glad we stopped to check it out, absolutely stunning!
We stayed with Alysha's aunt, uncle and cousin in a gorgeous house in Phoenix with a hot tub and giant backyard, Arya and Hans' favorite things. 🤓 HUGE thank you to Tonya and Mike for hosting us, we love and appreciate you!
Finally, we made it to California! As we made our way across Cali from the east we wanted to give ourselves a bit of a break in the middle and found Joshua Tree National Park was right in between Phoenix and Cambria and we had heard so many people talking about it we decided to add a stay there with very little research.
Joshua tree's a super cool looking, like straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, but... We hypothesize this was a great area at one point and it got so overrun by influencers from L.A. that they just ruined it. The surrounding areas seemed to have two options: 1. you pay an intense amount of money for simple food and boring stays or 2. you pay reasonable prices for terrible food and worse stays. Here's the thing, we're a bit bougie and have no problem dropping money on good food and luxury, but it was NOWHERE to be found. The "glamping" tent we attempted to stay in was ripped, overrun with other people (very close proximity) and DISGUSTING inside and out. Long story short, we canceled the reservation and stayed in a nearby converted motel 8 for far too much money. Joshua Tree is worth a visit, but don't stay there, it is NOT worth it.
That being said, the rest of our drive and stay in California was fantastic!! All of these states have a beauty I can't seem to full capture on camera, but the incredibly diverse landscapes of California was crazy to witness. Dessert for miles turned into forests turned into lush mountain tops and on and on it went. HUGE shoutout to Sam and Brett for hosting us and to Robbin and Nick for all the help with the car and driving to the airport, we love and appreciate you all!!
Here's some highlights:
Follow @arya.west.of.westeros and @thetakeaway.blog on instagram for more pictures! Stay tuned for a Youtube video or two by Hans as well. We'll keep you posted on that here. 🙂
Next post we'll talk about first impressions of Buenos Aires, Argentina and some tips and tricks for visiting. Bye for now! 👋