San Francisco to Santa Fe

Almost one week in and we’re still trying to get into the rhythm of road life. We’ve traveled 2,220 miles and are currently sitting in line for BBQ in Austin. So far we have stopped in Monterey, Palm Springs, Flagstaff, Santa Fe and our current home for the next few days is Austin. We have had one minor detour in Santa Barbara after an iphone accident but otherwise have been doing great on time, miles, and fun. 

San Francisco

We officially started our trip from one of the best cities. After staying in Oakland for a few days we drove across the Bay to walk out by Crissy field, say goodbye to the fog and the wind and make our way down the coast. Just taking a different route we saw a different part of the city than either of us had ever been too, which is what we hope to do along our journey too.


Being a Californian my bias will always be towards California beaches. Monterey is one of those places I always want to stay longer. We got to watch some brave souls suit up for the cold water and their SCUBA test. My fear of sharks has made me hesitant of doing such an insane thing but seeing all those people in the clear water of the bay made it seem a lot less crazy. Watching the seals laze about on rocks and docks is a perfect way to start our journey out of our home state.

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree

Neither of us had ever been to Palm Springs. Being more of a beach family than a desert family I guess it just never made our itinerary. It was as hot as expected and a perfect dose of midcentury modern style. We picked up A Map of Modern Palm Springs at the visitors center (they also sold vintage postcards!) listing all the best architecture spots. We stopped at Frank Sinatra’s house, which is hard to see past the wall. We got to see Cary Grant’s place, which is for sale if you have $3 million to spare. But my favorites were the Alexander Steel houses and the Racquet Club Road Estates. 

I have heard a lot about how special Joshua Tree is so we made a point to drive through on our way out of Palm Springs to Flagstaff. It was incredibly hot and they don’t allow dogs anywhere but parking lots basically. So our impression of it is very much a surface view. Watching the plant life change from the south entrance to where we exited at 29 Palms was really beautiful. I know it’s all about the Joshua Tree but I really loved the Ocotillo, and wondered what the Joshua was called by the indigenous groups in the area before the Mormons decided to name it.


We visited the Grand Canyon on a road trip as kids. But like kids we probably didn’t appreciate it as much as we should have. This time we got up at five to make a short trip out there from our dog friendly Flagstaff hotel. It’s a nice drive and mostly traffic free that early. We walked around part of the rim trail and really got to take a small chunk of it in. We even got to take Dot. Dogs are allowed in the park, leashed and on the upper rim trails only. 

Santa Fe

We spent a couple of nights in Santa Fe which meant we actually had a whole day to explore. After a slow start to the morning we got to explore our neighborhood of Canyon Road with Dot and then take her to the Plaza area to check out some shops and the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The house we stayed in was in a quiet perfectly Santa Fe adobe style area so the Plaza was a little too touristy. We spent the afternoon at the Museum of International Folk Art, where we even caught a Flamenco guitarist as part of one of their summer exhibits. Their permanent exhibits are full of beautiful pieces but I really loved the Polish paper cuttings, the vintage Navajo weavings, and the Indian embroidery.
We just arrived in Austin last night, after our longest scheduled day of driving and it’s already living up to everything people have said about it. Our Airbnb host is as nice as can be and our unit is absolutely adorable. Looking forward to a few days of exploring here and then heading to see a friend in New Orleans. 

We just arrived in Austin last night but it’s already living up to everything I’ve heard. Our airbnb host is nice as can be and our unit is cuter than I could have imagined. Looking forwarda couple of days here for xploring food and whatever we can find. Then on to see a friend in New Orleans.


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