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Sea to Shining Sea

A few weeks ago Ernie asked me if I’d want to drive to Florida with him. He had a gig and the 9 hour drive and quick turn around would be a lot to do on his own. It took me like half a nanosecond to say yes, so on Saturday we woke up literally before the butt crack of dawn and hit the road.

As we were driving, I commented on the sun rising and I suddenly realized that I would be seeing the sun rise and set on my first day, which was on my 101 in 1001! How. brilliant. I ended up crossing off quite a few things from my 101.. keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove through Georgia, stopping to get some peach cobbler.

We listened, of course, to Bruno Mars most of the way. Naturally, right?! and then we finally hit Florida and made our way to The Club Continental, where Ernie’s gig was. It was so beautiful and despite the bugs and humidity, I probably could have spent a long time looking at how beautiful the place was. I walked around a little bit and took some pictures before getting tired of the bugs and the way the air fogged up my camera.

Ernie’s show was right on the water, and as I watched the sun set, I realized I’d driven all the way from Washington to Florida over the past 3 weeks. Literally sea to shining sea, just like America the Beautiful. I saw it all.

Beautiful, spacious skies? Check!
Amber waves of grain? Check!
Purple mountain’s majesty? Check!
Fruited plains? Check!
Sea to shining sea? Check!

Oh snap!

The evening was pretty fun except for that moment when Ernie started singing “Pony” and I straight up walked out, haha.

 

I did a little reading and retired to bed early because I’d been so. exhausted. This wasn’t the worst view to wake up to:

“Stand in the Atlantic Ocean” has been on my 101 in 1001 days lists since 2011. There’s no way I was going to be in Florida and not make a case for me standing in the ocean. We didn’t have much time, but I told Ernie that I literally just needed to stand in the Atlantic Ocean, snap a picture and then we could go. So he dropped me off, I walked across a beach like I’ve only seen in a movie (the whitest sand I’ve ever seen and colorful umbrellas and sea shells all over), took my sandals off, let the ocean wash over my feet, took some pictures as proof and ran back to the car.

On our way back we saw signs for the original Chick-fil-A which you know I was all over, and only like 30 seconds later did I have the sobering realization that it was a Sunday and therefore I would not be able to indulge in a chicken sandwich from the first ever Chick-fil-A. But you’d better know that didn’t stop me from still seeing it. What the heck, first Chipotle and now Chick-fil-A? ALL. THE. EYE. ROLL.

Things from my 101 I crossed off on this trip:

  • Visit a new state
  • Watch the sun rise + set in the same day
  • Stand in the Atlantic Ocean

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Party across the USA part 1

A few weeks ago I let y’all in on some details from my life: I’m spending the summer in Nashville with the Halters! and Emily and I have driven from Vancouver, Washington HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY! Y’all, it’s SO CRAZY that we’re 1700 miles away from my home because it really doesn’t feel like it!

On our way out of Portland, we stopped at Multnomah Falls which was a really fun start to our cross country road trip.

The drive through the Gorge was so beautiful, and there was the most peaceful little viewpoint right outside of Idaho.

Weย made our way into Boise for some Boise Fry Company. It was happy hour so we got two small bowls of purple fries (WHAT) for the cost of one. I tried a few of the sauces – fry sauce, BBQ and BLUEBERRY KETCHUP (WHAT!). I ended up just eating them plain because they were that good.

Boise Fry Co // stephanieorefice.net

After that we grabbed coffee and headed to our friend Annie’s house in Emmett, where we stayed for the night. After dinner we went with Annie and her precious girls to a little drive in for ice cream. I had what was basically an M&M blizzard. MY JAM. So good. It was also really good to stay up late talking to Annie – it’s literally been years since we’ve been able to do that!

That night we decided the next day we’d just spend the whole next day on the road to Denver. We stopped by Dutch Bros and got the cutest little messages from the barista who we’d told about our trip.

We passed through so many states! From Idaho we dipped into Utah where we stopped for coffee at literally the RUDEST Starbucks ever. It was like they were inconvenienced by their customers and plus have you EVER known anyone named Stephanie who spells their name like this?!

Whatever though! We passed from Utah into Wyoming, which was the worst of all the states. Just sooooo much boring.

From Wyoming we crossed into Colorado, where the scenery was literally almost immediately different and more beautiful. Driving through Colorado was so amazing. Also the first 40 minutes of Colorado we were rocking ย 99.9 MPG so that was pretty awesome.

We had this thought…. Chipotle STARTED in Denver, so we should PROBABLY go to the 1st ever Chipotle! We spent all of Colorado thinking about how excited we were for first-ever-Chipotle. We finally pulled up and…

IT WAS CLOSED FOR REMODELING STARTING LAST WEEK OMG WHAT. So naturally by then we were on a Chipotle kick so we went to Chipotle for dinner before heading to our friend Cari’s house, where we were staying for that evening. We were so grateful to have a comfy bed and warm shower after such a long day in the car.

We realized that nobody had said nice things about driving through Kansas so we opted to instead drive through Nebraska which was surprisingly beautiful. We booked a hotel room, woke up and hit the road. My car key FOB ran out of battery which we fixed ourselves (little victories, okay?) and hit the road.

Nebraska was pretty and will forever go down in my memory as the place where I had Dunkin Donuts for the first time. Apparently that’s a big deal that I’ve never had DD but now I’m a real American I guess.

We made our way to Lincoln, Nebraska where we stayed for the night. After checking in to our hotel we went to Cracker Barrel where we literally ordered the front of the menu. Emily had the Chicken campfire meal, I had the beef, and we split the Smores dinner. It was so good and filling.

We got to the hotel, crawled into bed and watched trashy MTV shows until we went to sleep.

You know what’s crazy? It hasn’t really felt like we’re halfway across the country because each day we wake up, get in the same car that’s driven me around Washington, and then we drive. It makes the country seem so much smaller because suddenly it’s all so much more accessible.

My dad keeps saying this is such a special trip because we get to see so much of the country in a way you can only see by car. Ernie said he was excited because we got to see the whole purple mountains and amber waves stuff of the country, and it’s true! We saw the rockies and endless fields and skies that looked like they were straight from a Pixar film.

I never realized until this trip that I would love to see all of the cities in this whole country that I call home, and it’s amazing to me that I’ve lived so much of my life completely unaware of what was connected to me. I’m excited to make our way to Nashville, but I’m also really looking forward to being able to drive through America to get home, again. I might have to take a different route, though, so I can see all new things!

 

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Disney Days

Last week, I took my FOURTH trip to Disneyland this year. FOUR TIMES, can you believe that?! Twice were really quick trips to surprise kids I love, and twice were with my mom & Justen. This time it was CHRISTMAS! and it was chilly. I say chilly but that's relative, because it was like 55 degrees there and we got home to a snow/ice storm. and I'm currently watching snow fall from the sky. Real snow, not magic Disney snow. 

Our ride to the hotel was crazy. The shuttle driver was nice but kind of all over the place. It was like the first ride of the trip, AND we were crammed in the back. It was a little sketch.

stephanieorefice.net 

We did a bunch of typical things: we dole whipped, space mountain-ed, big thunder mountain'ed and Starbucks'ed. 

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Y'all know I love Starbucks, but I ESPECIALLY love Starbucks at Disneyland. My go-to drink at the parks is a Caramel iced coffee with cream. It's like a poor man's iced caramel latte.

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** location bracelet: Wanderer Bracelets (use code STEPHANIEOREFICE20 for 20% off!) // FitBit Flex Cover // Jeans: Mossimo via Goodwill (similar) // Purse: Mossimo (similar) // T-shirt: Ellie & Kate (similar) // Gold cardigan: Gap (similar) // Shoes: Mossimo (similar) **

I LOOOOVED the Christmas decorations. I didn't snap tons of pictures of them, but the castle + main street at night were AMAZING. and the tree was HUGE!

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We also tried some new things! I'd never been on the Peter Pan ride, which my friend Savannah thought was ridiculous. So we braved the long ride to go on it for the first time and it was totally worth it. Such a cool ride, and I cannot believe I've never been on it! Justen and I split a clam chowder bread bowl, which was so good. And since they're taking out Tower of Terror, I convinced Justen to go on it so he can say he's done it. We were seriously so nervous the whole time – we almost talked ourselves out of it, but I'm glad we didn't! We also convinced my mom to live on the edge a little bit and we rode Mickey's Fun Wheel – which was really cool!

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AND – we spent almost a full day in California Adventure, which I have NEVER done…. like ever. I usually kind of aimlessly wander around that park wanting to go back to the other park, but this time we logged some hours and I have a new appreciation for DCA!

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We went into the Ghiradelli store probably 5 times just for the free sample – but at the end, I bought a small bag of candy. Including a caramel pumpkin spice square, which a lady at Target had told me was terrible, but it was SO GOOD, y'all. I never realized they had boardwalk games, so one day Justen and I played each other – he won a little Mickey stuffed animal because he beat everyone me. Even though I convinced him to give me the Mickey, I was determined to beat him so we went back and right as we were about to start playing, like FOUR OTHER PEOPLE joined and I was so frustrated because I just wanted to beat Justen and win my own Mickey. Well guess what… I ACTUALLY BEAT EVERYONE, and instead of a little Mickey I got this medium sized Bullseye. Cheapest souvenier of all. A less cheap souvenier? This popcorn bucket. IDK you guys, sometimes I just really want something and I REALLY WANTED that popcorn bucket. 

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** shoes: TOMS via Goodwill Bins // Jeans: Forever 21 (similar) // White shirt: Forever 21 // Sunflower cardigan: Forever 21  (similar) via Goodwill Bins **

The best part of all of this? At one point we were walking and I told Justen I remember so many trips to Disneyland I imagined I'd be there with a boy someday. and he's the best one I could ever go to Disneyland with. AND. He got an annual pass. Can't wait for more Disney days with him in 2017 (and beyond) ๐Ÿ™‚

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