Cross Country Road Trip Highlights
Starting from Durham, North Carolina
We embarked on our cross country trip to deliver Austin to Portland, Oregon for a few months for work. I'm dreading the months without him, but we have done long distance before (for years actually!), but it's not going to be easy. I'm really grateful I could take the time to drive with him and make memories together doing this together and getting him settled.
First Stop - Nashville, Tennessee
We drove 8 hours on Thursday after work to Nashville to stay with Austin's brother and sister in law and meet our new niece, Avonlea Mae. She was less than two weeks old when we got to love on her and we loved every second snuggling our little angel. We stayed for an extra day to spend time with family and explore Nashville. We stopped by Barista Parlor for coffee, The Peach Truck at the Nashville Farmer's Market, and ate lunch at Mitchell's Deli, which was delicious.
Second Stop - Kansas City, Kansas
Next, we drove to Kansas City to visit with my study abroad roommate Molly and her fiancee Joe! We can't wait to celebrate them at their wedding next month! They showed us around the Power and Light District which is basically a two story mall of bars! It was actually so impressive and such a great idea to have a ton of options in one place so people aren't running around town after a few drinks. There was a dance club, a country bar with a bull riding feature, a tiki/beach bar, a sports bar with life size games and tons of TVs, outdoor lounges, etc.- you name it, they had it! The next morning we had breakfast at The Big Biscuit and it was delicious and the perfect send off for the drive ahead of us!
Third Stop - Denver, Colorado
We made it to Denver just in time for a leisurely Denver and to explore a little bit while it was still daylight. We had the best meal of the trip at Linger, which was recommended by my brother-and- sister-in-laws. The menu was broken up by continent so we had a little from the Caribbean, India, and Thailand. The menu was so impressive and I'm dying to go back. The restaurant also had a cool rooftop bar with a Bar-V (RV that served drinks) on top! It's right next to Little Man Ice Cream which is pretty famous in Denver and had a line around the block. Tip: There are two lines actually- one has fewer options but just as delicious and much shorter wait. The next morning we stopped for coffee at Lula Rose General Store before embarking on the next leg of our trip.
Fourth Stop - Boise, Idaho
We covered a lot of ground from Denver to Boise driving through Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. The landscape changed about every half hour and it would go from prairie plains to rocky red mountains, plateaus, and buttes. It reminded us a lot of the HBO show Westworld! We drove into the night on this trip so we didn't see much of Boise. We stopped for dinner in Twin Falls, Idaho which actually had an unexpectedly beautiful river canyon and we ate free dinner at Chili's because we had a gift card. Score!
Final Stop- Portland, Oregon
Our final leg of the trip was really scenic. Driving through Oregon we followed along side Hood River for a long time and it felt like were finally in the Pacific Northwest! We moved into Austin's apartment in the Pearl District of Portland, which is pretty industrial and is full of outdoor sporting goods stores and restaurants. We ate dinner at Cha! Cha! Cha! and downed some tacos (our favorite, of course) and explore the famous Powell's Books. Portland is known as the City of Roses and I've been super impressed by the garden in the area, my favorite being Peninsula Park. I'm such a flower nerd that I was in heaven walking through every row to check out all the different varieties. Since being in Portland, we've checked out some different neighborhoods and taken some day trips!
Day Trip- Cannon Beach, Oregon
We took a day trip to Cannon Beach, about an hour away from Portland. It was such a lovely little beach town! Little gray shingle buildings lined the streets and the beach was expansive, relaxed, breezy, and calm. The waves crashed onto the rocks and the water was frigid, but the beach was both lively and quiet. It wasn't very warm when we went, especially considering it was August but Austin and I decided we definitely wanted to come back and spend the night at some point. We were on the beach around sunset and different groups of people and resorts were setting up bonfires outside on the beach which has always been a bucket list activity of mine!
Day Trip - Willamette Wineries
We knew going out to Portland that we wanted to hit up some wineries in the area and do a little tasting excursion. We visited Archery Summit and Domaine Serene and they were both great! In our opinion the wine at Archery Summit was better, but more expensive and Domaine Serene had a better atmosphere and snacks! It was a win-win! I don't have a very discerning palette, but I could definitely tell a difference in the wine at Archery Summit. It was probably the most expensive wine we've ever tasted- one bottle was $125! That's a lot to us! We actually loved one Pinot Noir that was a special edition so much that we bought it (it was $90 but we got a good discount since we came to a tasting.) We decided we would save it and only open it to celebrate something big! :)
As you can see, we had a fun and action packed trip in 10 days! It was just what we needed to kick off this long distance marriage! I miss Austin so much already, but we made so many memories that I'll treasure long after this short chapter of our relationship is over!