Farewell America, Hello Africa.
By Caitlin and Jed
7,000 miles driven, 25 states visited, 0 speeding tickets. Not bad. I'll admit, that the last 6 weeks were much more fun than I anticipated. I thought I would be really sick of the car, gas station bathrooms and probably Jed. However, I really missed the trusty Honda when we walked from the airport to our hostel this morning upon arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa. Now, as the international portion of our journey begins, we first wanted to make a list of some Bests/Worsts of our cross-country trip:
The Roadies – Jaitlin's road trip awards:
Best Cheap Motel: tie between Motel 6 and Microtel
Worst Motel: Super 8 Austin. Never a good sign to have 5 cop cars and several people handcuffed when you show up to your motel.
Most Essential Motel Amenity: Free Wifi
Least Essential Motel Amenity: Free breakfast (since we slept through it every time)
Top 3 Cities for Tourists: New Orleans, Savannah, and New York City
Favorite Ice Cream: Fielder's Choice - Sabbatus, ME
Best Gas Station - General Category: Love's (best magnet selection)
Best Gas Station - Bathroom Category: Pilot (big, thick walls between stalls is key)
Scariest Moment: Caitlin woke up in the middle of the night and thought a stranger was sleeping in the other bed at our motel in New Orleans. Only after waking Jed (and a brief heart attack), did we realize it was luggage, shadows, and paranoia playing a cruel trick.
The Hangover Award: Big Red Margarita, College Station, Texas
Best Spontaneous Celeb Spotting: Geraldo in full wizard gear at Harry Potter World (Jon Stewart was a close second, but loses out since it was not spontaneous)
Best Beard: 3-way tie for Eli, Dave, and Craig because beards are a pre-requisite of living in Maine
Best Catchphrase: “That would never happen in Chatham.” Refers to the idyllic life in Chatham, New Jersey
The "We Owe You Big Time" Award, You are Amazing: All of those who let us crash at their homes: Monika and Patrick Redmill, Mamie, Grandpa Harvey, Kerry Beckman, the Kasarjian Family (Chris, Kristina, Dylan and Avery), The Staff Family (Renata, Mike and Logan), Jimmy Foster, The NJ branch of the Johnson Family, Eli Leveston, Brad Wilson and our wonderful families. Thank you all SO, SO much.
Lastly, it was so great to see all our family and friends on our road trip. Here is a photo gallery of all those we got to see. We miss you all already!
Pizza. I love it. It would probably be the one thing I would bring with me on a deserted island. Thus, I was quite happy to be in NYC, one of the pizza capitals of the world. Caitlin and I decided that for one of our dinners in NYC, we would just eat pizza...lots of pizza. Since there are literally pizza places on every block of NYC (sometimes multiple pizza places), we just strolled around and went into any place that looked halfway decent. Here is our Pizza review. Do not read if you are hungry.
What is so cool about New York City? It's regarded as one of the best cities in the world and I wanted to know why. I lived in a pretty awesome city for a few years (Chicago shout-out) so how different could NYC be? At the end of our trip I'll feel more informed to offer an opinion on the best cities, but I can say we fantasized about how cool it would be to live in the Big Apple as we strolled through the city streets.
My only regret is that I didn't meet Beyoncé.
We Love Food.
Just a post to note that we have added a new section to the website entitled "We Love Food" which will showcase pics of us sampling the local cuisine as we travel (cause that's kind of the best part, right?). You can find it by going to "food photos" under the "Miscellaneous" tab...or by clicking here. This will of course be updated as we progress on our trip.
Beer City USA
Asheville, North Carolina's nickname is "Beer City, USA", or at least that's what they signs tell us. Apparently it's named this because it has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in America. My only memory of Asheville was going to Crestridge Summer Camp outside of Asheville after begging my parents to let me go to sleep away camp at the age of 12, to which I attribute my knowledge of many beloved "Worship" songs and a love of the Appalachian Mountains. The mountains and Asheville's rep as an artsy, hippie, brewery-loving town sealed it in the itinerary.
We arrived on the heels of Moogfest, which left some interesting characters loitering around town that we assumed were all just part of the hippy-vagrant vibe, but maybe they were just visitors. We never figured it out.
We tried our best to soak it all in by hiking in the mountains, perusing all the beautiful crafts and pottery and of course, by drinking the beer of Beer City, USA
We dedicated ourselves to the beer on one night in particular and here are our conclusions:
Also, Jed had some amazing ribs (or so he tells me) at 12 Bones, fave BBQ hangout of POTUS and the First Lady.
This is Caitlin and Jed's blog about our adventures.
Subscribe to our blog: