An All-American Road Trip (Part 1)

All american road trip destinations travel
A few weeks ago, my brother and I embarked on a grand adventure: driving across the country from Seattle, Washington to Durham, North Carolina. My husband moved to North Carolina for a new job a few weeks ahead of me, so I was tasked with packing up the final pieces of our personal life into our Ford Escape. Not one to waste a trip, I decided to take advantage of the move by planning out a series of stops along the way.
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tea pot gas station all american road trip washington state travel destination americana driving trip
First stop: The Teapot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Washington. I discovered this little gem on the Roadtrippers app and knew we had to check it out. Apparently whimsical gas stations were a thing in the 20’s and 30’s, as we drove by a few on the trip.
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Currie Nevada All American Road Trip destinations travel driving sites
Our first two days were spent driving through much of Idaho and Nevada. We often drove for more than hour before reaching any major signs of civilization. This was a little store set on the side of the highway in Nevada. It was the only bathroom within at least a 45 minute drive in either direction.
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Venetian Casion Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving trip
We made it to Vegas in the afternoon of day two. After checking into our hotel, we did a grand tour of the biggest and flashiest casinos. We had to stop by The Venetian for a little shopping along the canal. It was hard to capture a good shot of the ceiling, but the whole thing was painted to look like the sky. It was beautiful.
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Paris Casino Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving trip
I think my favorite casino may be the Paris. I mean, look at that Eiffel Tower! The property was just beautiful and really stood out as classically beautiful amongst all the flashing neon.
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Paris Casino Vegas Nevada Julia Malinowski all american road trip destinations travel
The Paris has a great little bistro called Mon Ami Gabi. While it’s known for its brunch, they serve a mean steak frites. This is me post-dinner. Happy and full.
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Bellagio Casino French Bakery Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving destination
The Bellagio was decked out for the Chinese New Year with an unbelievable display in their lobby. It was so busy and opulent it was a little hard to capture. If you’re ever in Vegas around January or February, I highly encourage checking it out. The Bellagio is also home to the world’s largest chocolate fountain at Jean-Phillippe Patisserie. It was all I could do to not lick the glass.
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Vegas skyline nevada all american road trip destinations travel
Vegas was interesting because it really transformed at night. During the day a lot of it looked kind of cheap, but at night, when those lights started shining, it really was beautiful. This is a view of the city skyline from the Bellagio fountain.
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grand canyon arizona all american road trip destinations travel
After our night in Vegas, we head to the south side of the Grand Canyon, one of my bucket list destinations. The canyon definitely did not disappoint. It was jaw dropping. We walked around the rim trail for a little bit to see a couple different views before we had to get back on the road.
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sunrise all american road trip destinations travel
One of my favorite parts of the trip were the mornings. We left early to make sure we had enough time to explore each stop along the way. There’s a peacefulness to the road at 7am and a few days we caught some pretty morning color.
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Stay tuned for part two of my trip. I had too many pictures and stops to share everything in one post!
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Have you been to Vegas? What are your favorite things to do or see there? I may want to go back to see a few shows since we didn’t have time.
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XOXO,
Jules

 

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Weekend Adventures: Washington D.C.

This weekend I took a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend Teach for America’s 25th Anniversary Summit. I arranged my trip so I had about some extra time to explore and enjoy the city. D.C. is a great city to visit with access to so many free cultural experiences and great dining experiences. Here are a few highlights from the trip, along with recommendations for a few spots to seek out next time you’re in town.
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Lincoln Monument Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel National Monument Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogI arrived Thursday late afternoon. After checking into my Airbnb apartment, I decided to do a night tour of the monuments. I’d never done this before and really enjoyed seeing the the famous monuments lit up against the night sky. The Lincoln Memorial was peaceful although about a dozen tourists seemed to have the same idea as me.
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Museum of National History Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogThe next day I swung by the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, which is always enjoyable. You can easily pick and choose which exhibits to see, so you don’t need to cram everything in during one visit. I like to stop by to see the dinosaur bones and just love the beautiful entrance.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures South by Northwest Blog Julia Malinowski TravelI explored the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the first time and was throughly impressed. The curation and exhibits are incredible. The subject is somber, so be prepared to possibly cry in public. I know I did.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Top Sites to See Julia MalinowskiThe shoe display was particularly striking. It’s a collection of 4,000 shoes confiscated from victims at concentration camps.
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The quote reads “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers, From Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam, And because we are only made of fabric and leather, And not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire.” Moses Shulstein.
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slipstream washington dc weekend adventures travel coffee shopAnd now for a few restaurant recommendations. The apartment was located close to Slipstream, a great little coffee shop that also does brunch on the weekends. They make their own cashew/almond milk in house, so I indulged in daily chai lattes. It’s a little pricey, but the atmosphere was cozy and they have free wifi which is harder to track down in DC than expected.
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Daikaya Ramen Washington DC weekend adventures travel Thursday night I did dinner at Daikaya, a combination Izakaya bar and ramen shop in the Chinatown area. The space is small, so the average wait time can run 30-45 minutes for a party of 2-4. Since I was flying solo that night, I was lucky and got in pretty quickly. I ordered the Shoyu with the pork belly add-in and was not disappointed. The broth was rich and satisfying and the noodles had the perfect bite.
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rural society washington dc weekend adventures travelFriday night a group of friends got together for dinner at Rural Society, an Argentinian restaurant. Argentinian restaurants are typically known for their steak and this place is no different. Their walls featured photos of prize winning bulls! However my favorite dishes were the vegetable sides. The grilled wild mushrooms with truffle and roasted brussels sprouts with chestnut cream and pomegranate seeds were fantastic. I was stuffed and couldn’t stop eating them.
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Washington DC Teach for America 25th Anniversary SummitThe girls after dinner. Not the best picture of the group, but had to throw it in! I taught with Veronica and Erica who are on my left.
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Janelle monae washington dc teach for americaSaturday night, the Teach for America conference closed out with a performance by Janelle Monáe. She’s an “Electric Lady” both on and off the stage, so it was definitely a fun show.
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One of the perks of moving to the East Coast is that more weekend trips to DC may be in my future! Have you visited the nation’s capital? Any favorite restaurants or sites of your own? Mil’s good friend Sarah used to live in the city and she worked at The Kennedy Center, which hosts incredible arts programming.
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XOXO,
Jules

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Photo credit: Teach for America

 

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