What it’s really like to drive cross country from Florida to California

Wow! I can’t even believe it… Sean and I have been San Diegans for a whopping 13 days. We are FINALLY settled in, and our place is fabulous! More to come on our perfectly located condo in Cortez Hill, but if I can just say one thing, our view is on fire! Not only do we obsess over it on the reg, but the Tuck man is also in love. He has fully mastered the concept of city-living, people watching, and basking in the endless amounts of sunny yet perfectly breezy days.

Our road trip…oh the memories…it was LONG, fun, and full of Taylor Swift…Shake it off…Shake it off…only 36 more hours of driving to go! OH God. We enjoyed it.

I honestly cannot continue without giving the BIGGEST and BEST of props to my chauffeur of an amazing fiance, Sean. He drove 33 out of our 36-hour drive. Not only is he a keeper, but he is an angel sent from God to make our drive full of cabin fever or should I say “car fever” less daunting. But HEY, I offered to drive at least 3x each day. My gentlemanly fiance only let me drive when he mentally and physically needed a break. Somehow, he couldn’t seem to close his eyes and relax when I was driving…I dont understand? I am a GREAT driver! lol.

We segmented our drive over 4 days and 3 nights.

DAY ONE: West Palm Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana

We started off our drive bright and early leaving West Palm Beach at 5:30am. We made it a point to only stop for potty breaks and dinner at our end location to save time, and get there faster! We drove for about 13 hours that day. I have the worlds most amazing mother. She filled up an entire cooler of drinks, snacks, and sandwiches to get us through our drive until dinner. Isn’t she the best? Getting out of Florida seemed torturous, but when we finally did, we hit Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana very quickly. Driving through Florida was our most boring stretch of the drive, and seeing the Louisiana bay was definitely the highlight of our day! The water was so blue, and the air was crisp and cold! We also crossed the Mississippi river which was pretty neat.

 

We stayed at the New Orleans Airport La Quinta Inn & Suites because I found a good deal on the Hotel Tonight app (one of my favorite apps). It had good reviews, it was a decent price, and it was supposedly only 10 minutes from Bourbon Street. Boy, was it a mistake! This hotel was disgusting. There was hair in the bathroom, it looked so grungey I wore my flip flops in the shower. It was also 20 minutes from Bourbon Street causing us to take a very long, interesting, and expensive taxi. I say interesting because our cab driver was very chatty in the weirdest of ways. We decided to take a nervous Tucker with us to Bourbon Street, but do not fret, we carried him the whole way. NEVER WOULD I EVER allow my precious baby to walk on Bourbon Street and risk him stepping in glass, puke, beer, and anything else you could imagine that is found on Bourbon Street. Why did we take him you ask? He was very shaken up after a long car ride, and continually barked/cried when we left him alone. He also followed us around the hotel room, sitting in the bathroom waiting for us to get ready. We stood outside our hotel room door for 15 minutes waiting for him to stop crying, and we could not risk an angry worker going into our room and shutting him up. The only logical reason was to take him, and Sean carried him the whole way. This definitely got in the way of us going to certain restaurants and bars, but at the end of the day our angel was safe and we were still able to stop at Cafe Du Monde, and eat some good ole Southern Cajun food. Here are some pics of our time in NOLA (please excuse my mediocre iPhone5 pictures)

 Day 2: New Orleans, Louisiana to San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a very cool city! Sean and I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Sea World and absolutely loved it. It was a great deal, we got free breakfast, and it was so clean! The beds were also extremely comfortable. We also enjoyed exploring the Riverwalk area of San Antonio, and we had AMAZING Tex-Mex right on the river for dinner. It didn’t take very long to get out of Louisiana, but as you can imagine it felt like Texas was the never ending state. It took us about 8 hours to ONLY get to the middle of Texas, and we had so much more ahead of us the next day. For me, driving through Texas was very cool! Texas is where we started seeing mountainous terrain, oil rigs, interesting trees, and one beautiful sunrise. Here are some pictures of our time in San Antonio:

Day 3: San Antonio, Texas to Tucson, Arizona

Now, this was my favorite part of the drive, although it felt like it would never end! It was also our longest drive at 14 hours (I guess thats why it felt that way lol), and Sean did this one on his own. God, I love that guy! A couple reasons why I loved this leg the most: the mountains started getting bigger and dryer. We drove through tons of different terrain. Made our way through New Mexico, and hit the southern tip of the Grand Canyon. We didn’t get a chance to get out and explore, but we did see the most amazing red rocks. I cannot wait to go back to Tucson. Every part of me wants to teleport there right now. We stayed at the Lodge on the Desert, and I can honestly sing its praises. Sean and I loved it! I would stay there again in a heartbeat. It was the cutest, most quaint lodge I have ever seen. We had our own western pueblo with a fireplace and the best views of the mountains. When I think of Arizona, all I can think of is dry terrain and cacti. I saw the biggest cactus in the entire world (well to my standards), and what blew my mind the most is that they grow wild all over the place. They are mind-blowing. At one point, we were driving on the highway and there were 100s upon 100s of wild cacti taking over the hills. It was unbelievable. We aren’t talking baby cactus you buy at home depot, we are talking about 10 foot (or bigger) cacti with huge, scary thorns. This Floridian couldn’t believe her eyes!Day 4: Tucson, Arizona to San Diego, California

 

 The drive out of Tucson and into California was like nothing we’ve seen before. As we were exiting the Grand Canyon State, we saw the 15-foot tall, black fence a.k.a the USA/Mexico border. We got stopped by border patrol 3 times, and it is no joke! As soon as we got into California, it felt like we were driving through the desert. There were so many sand dunes–huge gigantic and completely natural sand dunes. It was pretty remarkable. We then started climbing up in altitude, and our ears began popping like crazy. We began weaving in and out of the San Bernadino mountains, and we crossed Devil’s Canyon. California really is the most amazing state. In the short 2-hour and 45-minute ride from the border, we passed through the desert, mountainous terrain with slippery boulders, bright green open area with a multitude of trees, and the most beautiful coast.  We made it to our beautiful home in downtown San Diego around 5:30pm to pick up our keys! What an amazing once in a lifetime journey. Would we do it again? Probably not, but we are sooo happy we did it while we could.

IT FEELS SO GREAT TO BE HOME. The below pictures are our first moments captured in San Diego:

Our first view driving into SAN DIEGO! This is actually a block from our condo! We can walk here in 2 seconds! It's beautiful!
This was our first view driving into SAN DIEGO! Looking back now, this is actually a block from our condo! We can walk here in 2 seconds!
Officially ours!
Officially ours!
IMG_6828
…and this little fam bam couldn’t be happier!
TUCK APPROVES!
TUCK APPROVES OF THE VIEW!
<3

Thank you for following our journey! It was an adventure that will never be forgotten. Cheers to all of my followers, our supportive family and friends, Sean, Tucker, and San Diego!

 

XO, Christina

TLB

8 thoughts on “What it’s really like to drive cross country from Florida to California

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