Route Map


Day 16: Northward Bound

Start: Los Angeles, CA
End: Redwood City, CA
Miles Driven: 360.2 (4369.8 total)

The LA forecast predicted showers, so we decided to head north for the weekend. We spent the day driving I-5 and were shocked by how much farmland there is in California (and how badly that farmland smells). One pasture we came across must have had at least a thousand cows. Arriving in Redwood City early evening, we got a much needed oil change at the local Jiffy Lube and then met up with Katrina's cousin Dominique and her husband Ted. They took us to a local Indian restaurant where we ordered a potpourri of dishes--and then immediately forgot what everything was as soon as it got to our table. We ended the evening by watching a TV special on Oliver the Humanzee; it was as compelling as it sounds.


Day 15: Glamour and Glitz

Start: Los Angeles, CA
End: Los Angeles, CA
Miles Driven: 19.4 (4009.6 total)

This morning, we drove Josh and Nicole to the airport to send them off for their own travel adventure. Afterwards, we went downtown to check out the Fashion District. We saw block after block of fabric stores (putting the Concord Joann's to shame) and Katrina yearned for her sewing machine locked in
storage. There were also plenty of shoes, dresses and suits. Patrick finally found the head-to-toe lilac suit on sale for which he had been searching since last year's Lilac Gala.

Later on we met Patrick's uncle, Robert, who gave us a driving tour of Beverly Hills,including the Playboy Mansion. We parked at Robert's house and walked around the local neighborhood: Hollywood. We saw Chateau Marmont, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theatre (home to the Academy Awards), the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We met many interesting characters and impersonators along the way.

We went back to get a tour of Robert's townhouse, meet their dog Casey, an
d wait for Patrick's aunt, Dory, to come home. Dinner was at Micelli's, an Italian restaurant in Hollywood that is famous for their lasagna, chocolate chip cookie and ice cream dessert, and singing wait staff. Micelli's is decorated with hanging wine bottles from customers throughout the years; we decorated our own bottle and hung it for everyone to see for years to come.


Day 14: Becoming Beach Bums

Start: Los Angeles, CA
End: Los Angeles, CA
Miles Driven: 33.3 (3990.2 total)

The morning was one of recovery, both from the night before as well as driving across the country. We lounged in the sun, did laundry, and took it slow. But the beach was calling us.

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway into Malibu, we had beach after beach
from which to choose. We finally stopped at Malibu Point (mainly because there was a Jack in the Box across the street). We picked up food for a beach picnic and then settled in for an afterno0n of relaxation and watching amateur surfers. Once the sun went down, it got pretty chilly so we broke camp and set out on the short drive back to Westwood Village. Unfortunately, this was at 5PM, and we got to fully experience LA traffic; it took us an hour and a half to drive 15 miles. Back at the apartment, we met up with Josh and Nicole and celebrated their last American evening before a month in a local Asian restaurant.


Day 13: Back to School for a Day

Start: Las Vegas, NV
End: Los Angeles, CA
Miles Driven: 285.5 (3956.9 total)

After a big night at the casino, we decided to make a quick getaway from Vegas so we didn't have the opportunity to lose all of our winnings. Somehow we both managed to leave Vegas ahead. We set out on the short drive to LA and made a quick pit stop in Baker, CA...also known as "Bun Boy Country", whatever that means. We stopped there for gas and a quick bite to eat at the Mad Greek restaurant....a desert oasis of Greek food and culture (and we say culture in the loosest terms possible).

Once we arrived in LA we took a quick walking tour of Westwood and the UCLA campus with Katrina's brother Josh. Afterwards we met up with Josh's girlfriend Nicole and w
ent to Santa Monica for dinner and a shopping trip. While in Santa Monica we walked to the ocean to make our coast to coast trip official.

Upon returning to Westwood we made delicious smoothies with pineapple, strawberries, bananas, orange juice, guava juice, vanilla ice cream, and other special ingredients and tuned in to this week's new Top Chef. Though we were shocked by Mama Mia's tirade and breakdown at the end of the show we all agreed it was time for her to go. We finished the day by participating in UCLA's "Undy Run", a tradition that occurs during finals that serves as a break from studying or more excuse for people to run around campus half naked. You can find pictures in the photo album...viewer discretion is advised.


Day 12: Vegas, Baby, Vegas

Start: Las Vegas, NV
End: Las Vegas, NV
Miles Driven: 0 (3671.4 total)

After her winnings from the night before, Katrina was eager to hit the casino floor again. She had a fever, and the only prescription was nickel slots. However her beginner's luck had run out. After losing 10 dollars in two minutes, we decided to try our luck at other casinos on the Strip.

Our walking tour took us to Aladdin, Paris, and Harrah's before we stopped to refuel at Margaritaville. We continued by distributing our losses to the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesar's Palace and finally the Bellagio. Since we were quickly running low on money, we decided to take in the free water show at the Bellagio, which did not disappoint.
Completely exhausted, we returned to the MGM Grand for a power nap before dinner. We dined at New York, New York but skipped dessert in lieu of more gambling. Back at the MGM Grand, it looked as though it would be a repeat of last night after Patrick's performance at the blackjack table. He then set his sights on the slots, and after a few small wins won $250 in one pull of the lever. Who's the big winner here tonight at the casino? Huh? Patrick, that's who. Patrick's the big winner. Patrick wins.


Day 11: Getting Down on the Canyon Floor

Start: Hurricane, UT
End: Las Vegas, NV
Miles Driven: 218.4 (3671.4 total)

Instead of exploring Hurricane any further, we went straight to Zion National Park.
The short drive offered fantastic mountain views but was nothing compared to the canyon we were about to see. Upon entering the park, we consulted the Visitor Center maps to plan our day. We decided to take the "Scenic Drive" through Zion Canyon and stop at points of interest along the way.

The first stop was The Patriarchs: three rocky peaks that line the canyon wall. The next two stops, Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock, both displayed unique water runoff points from the desert canyon walls. We then hiked down a two-mile path called the Riverside Walk, which follows the North Fork of the Virgin River through the canyon floor. Before we left Zion, we drove up the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway: a windy road that ascends 1,500 feet in less than a mile.

Once our canyon exploring was done (and our camera ran out of batteries) we headed directly to Sin City. We pulled into Vegas around 3:00, checked into our room at the MGM Grand, and went straight to the Grand Buffet which opened at 4:30. After dinner, we participated in a test screening of CBS's "The Unit" where we rated the show second-by-second using a dial. Katrina and Patrick gave it two thumbs down. After that, we got down to business and gambled. Several, several hours later, Katrina found herself up $60 and Patrick...well he didn't do as well. But tomorrow is a new day. (Vegas pictures to come tomorrow.)


Day 10: Traveling the Rocky Road

Start: Denver, CO
End: Hurricane, UT

Miles Driven: 647.4 (3453.0 total)

We set out this morning on one of our longest driving days yet. It was also the most scenic drive we've had so far.

We began by heading to the Rockies. The road we took was carved between mountains, which made for fantastic views around every corner. There were many tunnels that took us through the mountains, including the famed Eisenhower Tunnel which is situated 11,013 ft. above sea level. We saw beautiful peaks, steep red rock climbs, and happy skiiers throughout the drive.

On the other side of the Rockies, the scenery began to change as we entered Utah. Here we drove through canyons and saw impressive rock formations. The sky became overcast, which added another dramatic element as low clouds hovered over canyons. It also brought some challenging snowy weather to our drive.

We finally arrived in Hurricane, Utah after nightfall, where we were checked into our hotel by a 7-year-old boy and had an interesting dining experience at the only local establishment open on a Sunday night.