This past month or so, I've been traveling across the U.S. via car with my mom. My mother isn't the biggest fan of flying after the California earthquake in '89, so since I was a kid, my family has taken long road trips across the country.
This trip out had the purpose of going to Rhode Island for my father's uncle's 90th birthday in the form of a reunion on my father's side. My mother and I were to drive out there, my father to fly into Rhode Island, and my sister and her boyfriend to travel by train from NYC.
In the first part of the trip, my mother and I visited the cities of Santa Fe, Canon City, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Mystic, and countless others.
First stop was Santa Fe, NM. Our hotel had a hot tub outside that we frequented. Downtown had boutiques (and a Georgia O'Keefe museum!) that we browsed in. And upon the first night, we sipped tasters at the local cidery, drank prickly pear margaritas, and chatted with a Santa Fe native on how the city has suffered gentrification by white folks like us that frequent the city (but those who are natives face innate pressures to stay in their native land).
Canon City, CO, allowed us to venture in the gorge by train, walk around the downtown area (and poke in a bookstore!), enjoy the wines produced by the winery at Holy Cross Abbey, and explore said abbey!
From then on, we attempted and succeeded in beating a monsoon storm across Kansas, which eventually caught up to us the second we got out of our car to go into the hotel after dinner. Though we did have quite the light show from our room window!
We wine tasted our way across Missouri, with a little change at night by visiting the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. I loved every bit of it as my family has been going to ghost tours since I was a kid - however, I did get a little spooked!
Once we landed in Mystic, it was truly mystical (cheesy... I know). On the first night, we ate at Mystic Pizza. I'm an avid fan of Julia Roberts, so it's my goal to watch all of her movies and this one holds a special place in my heart. My mother and I ate a pizza and fried pickles as we sat next to picture frames of Julia Roberts in the movie. You don't monkey with tradition.
The next day, we ventured into a boutique - I bought a dress and my mother bought a nice blouse. We enjoyed the views of the water, the downtown area, and ice cream cones we bought midday.
Look at some pictures of the first part of our trip: