Viva Las Vegas!
I know there are plenty of things to do in Nevada, but of course I was cliche and went to Las Vegas. I have been to Vegas before. The first trip I went on there the phrase, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," could not have been more true. Also I highly recommend you see a Cirque Du Soleil show, it is breathtaking. This time I only visited for a day. You really can't do much in a day but I did 2 things.
Welcome to Utah, by far one of my favorite states. I especially love Moab. I like that when you are going south you can see the beautiful snow top Rocky Mountains on your left and the gorgeous Red Rock on your right. If you are an outdoor adventurer, this is the place for you. They have hiking, fishing, biking, horse back riding, atv/off roading and river rafting. I know you can find that every where, but I personally fell in love with the red rock. I spent the majority of my time in Bryce Canyon, and only a short time in Moab. I can't say for sure because I didn't get to spend a lot of time in Moab, but I think Moab has a little more to offer in regards to food and shopping. Both places though offer great outdoors adventures and views.
Well this is embarrassing!
I was looking through my tour blog to see where I left off and apparently I decided to stop writing after Utah??? What the F! Come on Johanna get your act together. In truth I only posted a few photos of Utah. I have more un-posted ones on my phone and in my email. I am terribly embarrassed and also sorry to everyone following my travels. My promise to you this year is to get all my state visits updated.
Here is a run down of what you can expect. At least 20 more post because I have in this road trip visited all but 8 of the driveable states. Apparently driveable is not a word, but I am using it. You understand. I am also going to post about other travels until I have enough money to finish the last 8 states. I am selling my house this summer, so fingers crossed I can finish up this year. I have to tell you...I don't know if my incredibly awesome painted car will make it. Due to the polar vortex in Minnesota the button broke of the gear change. Oddly enough, I am okay with it. That button alone is not going to stop my car from making the trip. She is just getting old.
Since I mentioned my painted car, I want to give a giant shout out to Paintings by Malia. Seriously, she is amazing! A child at one point even walked up to the car and licked the cupcake. Go check the paintings out on Facebook:
I don't get it!
Fitting in! In Utah!
In Utah you can rent camping vans and they are all decorated a variety of ways. No more stares....My vehicle fits right in!
My Everyday Essentials
When I first started this trip, I had three bins: baking needs, shoes, and dog toys. I also had two suitcases, dog food and a cooler. It was overwhelming to pack and I ended up shipping three big boxes home. This time around I slimmed down a lot. I now have one bin, one suitcase and dog food. AND!!! I still think I brought too much. Overall can confidently say I'm becoming a minimalist and a professional at packing for travel. Now of course there are the basics like food and clothes that you can't go without, but I do have two items that I recommend no one travel without.
Here is my plug:
1. A gallon of water. The cap must twist on because if you accidentally tip it (which I have) the water goes all over the place
2. Baby wipes. Always good for freshening up!
!!WARNING!! Please don't drive alone!
Today I am on my second day in California! Crazy I know! All I can say is I can't believe I made it! When I first started, I just barely missed the snow storm in Iowa. Nebraska was completely painful to drive through but then came ahhhhhhhh! (That's me seeing the Mountains!) It is very hard to drive through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California because you want to take in all the beauty around you while you're driving. Very distracting. It is absolutely breathtaking. My jaw was on the floor the entire time. It's stunning to watch the landscape change from snowy mountains in Colorado, red rocks in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada and then all the green in California.
Baking on Break
On the road again!
Hi all! I am back on the road again. It's a good thing I'm so excited to be back on the road because my first two states I'm driving through are Iowa and Nebraska...a smidge boring.
As many of you know, I did NOT get to complete my first leg of the tour due to Hurricane Matthew. I am now breaking the trip up into 4 parts:
First: NE Second: SW Third: SE and Fourth: NW
There are 2 questions people commonly ask me about my travels.
1. What is your favorite place you visited?
2. What was your favorite thing you did?
Both of those questions are so hard to answer and to be honest I still don't have an exact answer. Everything was fabulous. I know everyone is surprised that I don't say meeting Dolly Parton, but the entire trip was an adventure. Twelve families were willing to open their homes to my dogs and I. I stay in mansions, apartments, simple homes, cabins and once in my car. I learned a ton about myself. Things I like, things I don't like and how for me life isn't about things. It is all about the experiences. When I returned home, I purged a lot of my possessions. I made more thoughtful purchases. I connected with friends as much as possible. I worked the bare minimum (which is huge for me.) And lastly I made memories with my family!
The second time around I do have a few goals I would like to accomplish.
1. Pack lighter - check!
2. Camp out more
3. Be better about blogging (I just realized I never posted about Virginia, so more on that later.)
4. And as always be safe!
I know now days many people look at the terrible things going on around us, and it is hard not to because that's all the news seems to share. I am here to tell you there is still a lot of good in this world. You can decide what to focus on and how to live your day and life. You can help create change. Smile, spread joy and make the world a better place. So far, I have shared my story and baking skills in 25 states. I have made new friends, created great memories and hopefully left a little bit of goodness every where I went and with everyone I met. Before I was always using #fortheloveofjo, now I am taking it one step further #bakingamericagreatagain. I strongly encourage you to share your passion with the world. In the words of Howard Thurman, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
There is definitely a lot more coast to come which means seafood will still be plentiful, but I have made it to the big stops: Maine lobster and Maryland crab. My adventures in seafood have been nothing less than fabulous, so I thought I would share. The most rich thing I have had so far is the stews. I had both lobster and crab stew and will be making this recipe for years to come. I have to say though besides the tail, lobster is not my personal favorite. I like shellfish the best. Clams, oysters, mussels. The fried clam bellies had a different breading on it that melted in your mouth. Truly any seafood I saw I ate. SEE FOOD...SEAFOOD! The soft shell crab was the weirdest thing I tried. The legs tasted great, but I couldn't get into eating the whole body.
Here are a few seafood restaurant recommendations:
Try the lobster stew and the clam bellies!
It's fun and on the water, the fries are delish and the staff was super friendly and helpful. I liked that you had the option to have your lobster roll prepared 3 ways.
* If you want a crab roll or a shrimp roll get it while you're in Maine. Don't wait until you're Maryland because I made that mistake and I didn't see any crab rolls on any menu in Maryland.
The menu offers an overwhelming variety and you can't go wrong with any item.
For me any thing that said made with brown butter was a winner. I don't know what makes it so good but brown butter rules.
Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”