Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 19 - The Perfect Day

Day 19 - Skiing at The Canyons + the engagement

  • Woke up early and headed to Park City to go skiing at The Canyons for our third day of skiing
  • The weather man forecasted 5-10 inches during the day and we were both a little grumpy
  • As soon as we rented equipment and reached the gondala, the sky cleared to a bright blue and the sun came out...we had a great day skiing
  • Right before the last run of the day, Adam told Anna to take off her skies at the top of the mountain...we hiked up to a scenic overlook...and that's where it happened
  • Adam got down on one knee and asked, "VREI SA FI SOTIA MEA?" (Will you marry me? - in Romanian!!)
  • The rest is history...needless to say, the last run of the day felt more like floating than skiing!!!
  • After calling the Carson family (everyone was asleep in Romania) we walked around Main Street in Park City and had a wonderful dinner while watching the embarrassingly dramatic end to the Duke vs. Belmont game in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament
  • Stayed the night in the August Retreat room in the Armstrong Mansion back in Salt Lake City, complete with rose petals, candles, sparkling cider (they have strict alcohol rules in Utah) and our own jacuzzi
  • It was an amazing day for both of us

Day 18 - Lake Tahoe to Salt Lake City

Day 18 - Lake Tahoe, CA to Salt Lake City, UT

  • Woke up early and got on the road headed to Salt Lake City, it was a really easy drive
  • Headed through the Nevada desert and into the Rocky Mountains
  • After picking up discount lift tickets, we took a driving tour of Salt Lake City and watched the sunset on the hill near the State Capital
  • With no hotel reservations, we ended up at a restuarant/bar with free wifi and found a Motel 6 for $45/night... fun fun fun

Day 17 - Skiing at Northstar

Day 17 - Skiing at Northstar

  • Zach's friend, Greg hooked us up with free ski passes and rentals for the day at Northstar
  • We took a free lesson which helped us immensely with technique and balance
  • For our night-time activity, we took a short trip to the CalNeva Casino, the oldest operating casino in Nevada and built right across the state border
  • Anna learned to play blackjack and very quickly learned to lose at blackjack :)

Day 16 - Skiing at Squaw Valley

Day 16 - Skiing at Squaw Valley

  • Went to Squaw Valley for our first day of skiing (site of the 1960 Winter Olympics)
  • Had a wonderful sunny and warm day of skiing...lots of open space and hardly any people
  • Finished the day with a pizza and hot-tub (not at the same time)...sweet

Day 15 - San Fran to Lake Tahoe

Day 15 - San Francisco, CA to Lake Tahoe

  • Coffee on the is least Zach's life is good :)
  • Had a great brunch with friends at the classic Fog City Diner on the Embarcadero. It was great to see Erica and Chris, Donnie and Andrew Woodruff
  • Headed out to to the mountains of Lake Tahoe for our first skiing expedition
  • Dinner was cheese, crackers, marinated mushrooms and wine in our room
  • Stayed at Ferrari's Crown for the next 3 nights...a cute, but old hotel right on the lake

Day 14 - Big Sur to San Francisco

Day 14 - Big Sur, CA to San Francisco, CA via Monterey

  • We woke up in our little wood cabin and drove up to Monterey for a not-New York bagel
  • Took a short tour of Fisherman's Wharf complete with free samples of clam chowder
  • Stopped a a bar to watch Duke loose to Clemson in the ACC semi-finals :(
  • Finally reached San Fran, but got a little lost while searching for Zach's Marina
  • Made it to Zach's boat in the Emeryville Marina in time to see a beautiful sunset over the San Francisco Bay.
  • Had a sushi dinner with Donnie Flood and his girlfriend Jamie
  • Spent a great night on Zach's boat

Day 13 - LA to Big Sur

Day 13 - Los Angeles, CA to Big Sur, CA via the Pacific Coast Highway

  • Woke up an hit the road taking Route 1 (the Pacific Coast highway)
  • Amazing scenery up the coast, driving through small surfing towns and along cliffs overlooking the ocean
  • Passed through Malibu, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara among others
  • Planned on camping, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we found a small wood cabin instead...turned out to be the right move because it rained all night and into the morning!
  • Chilled out till midnight and then took a 30 minute drive to the Esalen Hot Springs that are only open to non-residents from 1 am to 3 am
  • Esalen was very mistical and exciting. We delighted ourselfs in the hot mineral baths and caught sight of an extremely rare natural phenomenon...a moonbow / lunar rainbow / white rainbow!!
  • We later found out thet Adam's Father, Uncle and Brother had all spent a significant amount of time at Esalen their past!!!

Day 12 - Los Angeles

Day 12 - Tour of Los Angeles


  • We got a late start on the day because Adam had to sleep off his hang-over
  • Breakfast / lunch at In-and-Out Burger
    Toured Hollywood Blvd and the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Scenic drive on Mulholland Drive with great views of the city
  • Went downtown to see the Disney Concert Hall
  • Finally caught up with the sunset over famous Venice Beach
  • Met up with Adam's friend Joel and Adam's Brother Zach and had a great Sushi dinner with Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction / Red Hot Chili Peppers) sitting at the table right next to us
  • We drove Claudia to LAX and said goodbye :( ... we were back on our own again

Day 11 - Las Vegas to LA

Day 11 - Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA via Death Valley

  • We slept late after a long night in Vegas, almost missing check-out time
  • Drove through Death Valley National Park (the lowest point in US)...amazing scenery that should not be missed
  • Finished the first half of our road trip at the end of Historic Route 66 (at the Santa Monica Pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean)
  • Great dinner in Santa Monica, on the Promenade with a menu list so long it looked like a newspaper
  • Reached our hosts place, Adam's fraternity friends Ross and Brian. A cool apartment in Beverly Hill, 90210
  • They took us out for a night out clubbing in LA...Adam didn't make it home until 5am!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day 10 - Sedona to Las Vegas

Day 10 - Sedona, AZ to Las Vegas. NV via the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam

  • Woke up in Sedona surrounded by the incredible red rocks!!!
  • Quick stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Pink Jeep extreme off-road tour into the desert
  • GRAND CANYON (no comments needed)
  • Crossed over the Hoover Dam at night, on the way to Vegas
  • Vegas sights: Bellagio fountain show, New York New York roller coaster, Luxor, Paris, Excalibur, MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood. Very little gambling ;)
  • What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 9 - Santa Fe to Sedona

Day 9 - Santa Fe, NM to Sedona, AZ

  • Short visit of wonderful Santa Fe: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Canyon Road art stores
  • Hit the road, headed to Arizona
  • Drove through the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park. Amazing scenery
  • Made it to Sedona after dark, we missed the sunset :(

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 8 - Tulsa to Santa Fe

Day 8 - Tulsa, OK to Santa Fe, NM via Oklahoma City, OK via Amarillo, TX

  • Waking up for sunrise after leaping ahead an hour for daylight savings
  • Clear skies
  • Historic Route 66 through the Texas panhandle
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • World's Large Cross (in the Western Hemisphere)
  • Sonic in Amarillo, TX
  • Beautiful scenery in New Mexico
  • Met Claudia in a snowy, cold Santa Fe

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 7 - Tulsa, OK

Day 7 - Tulsa, OK

  • We slept late for the first time on our trip :) and had biscuits and gravy for brunch...
  • Bailey and Anna spent the day around Tulsa: downtown, haircut, the arena, Gilcrease Museum
  • Adam got some work done at a local coffee shop
  • Two step and line dancing at the Caravan, where only pick-up trucks were parked out front.
  • Watched the pre-recorded, unbelievable, disappointing, Duke vs. UNC game

Day 6 - Memphis to Tulsa

Day 6 - Memphis, TN to Tulsa, OK via Little Rock, AK


- Woke up early to complete our "chore" at the Pilgram House Hostel.

- Headed to tour Graceland, home of Elvis... glamorous but not too big.

- Fried pickles, a first for both of us, delicious!

- Drove through a blizzard near Little Rock...the same storm dumped more snow in Memphis than they have had in 40 years

- Dinner with Bailey and Emma Austin

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 5 – Atlanta to Memphis

Day 5 – Atlanta, GA to Memphis, TN via Birmingham, AL and Mississippi


- Discovered a brand new highway (soon to be Rt. 22) not yet on either our GPS or Google Maps

- Great visit to the Memphis Zoo…our favorites were the Giant Pandas, the sea lions, and the tropical bird house

- Dinner on Beale St. in Memphis…seafood gumbo, stuffed mushrooms and fried catfish

- Listened to some blues at Rum Boogie Café on Beale St.

- Stayed the night at the Pilgram House…a hostel in Memphis that makes its visitors do small chores before they can leave in the morning

Day 4 – Atlanta, GA

Day 4 – Atlanta, GA


- Adam had lunch with Janet Sunshine at Goldberg’s Bagel Deli…not quite as good as New York

- Anna met up with Aunt Doina…had lunch at a French Bistro and visited Renzo Piano’s addition to the High Museum

- Met up with Anna’s cousin Sylvia and her boyfriend Mitch at her cool, new apartment in a high rise in downtown Atlanta with a great view of the city

- Dinner with Adam’s former Duke bowling partner, Cathy Llewlleyn at Taco Mac while watching Duke crush UVA

- Stayed with Doina at her house in Villa Rica outside of Atlanta

Day 3 – Duke to Atlanta

Day 3 – Durham, NC to Atlanta, GA via Charlotte, NC and through South Carolina


- Tour of Duke Campus including East Campus, West Campus, Central Campus, athletic facilities (designed by Anna’s firm, PCPA), K-ville (in prep for Duke vs. UNC game), Cameron Indoor (home court for the Duke basketball team), Duke Chapel, Bryan Center, Engineering Building (where Adam’s name can be found on the “Best Mechanical Engineering Student” plaque)

- Lunch with Prof. Adrian Bejan (inventor of Constructal Theory – when human designed systems evolve naturally to take the shape and structure of forms found in nature)…Prof. Bejan happens to be from Romania…serendipity!

- Discovered ‘pickle in a bag’ and ‘cajun boiled peanuts’ in a gas station in South Carolina

- Dinner with Josh and Patricia Luber…fried catfish and grits w/ cheese…amazing!

- Stayed the night at their huge new house / home office (for Josh’s new Web 2.0 startup, Servinity)

- Watched the Texas/Ohio primary results…go Obama!!

Day 2 – Philadelphia to Duke

Day 2 – Philadelphia, PA to Durham, NC via Wilmington, DE, Baltimore, MD, Washington DC and Richmond, VA


- Brunch with Adam’s Grandmom and boyfriend Al at the famous Hymie’s Deli

- Short visit to the Baltimore Inner Harbor and a delicious crab roll

- Drove through DC passing by the National Harbor, future site of the National Children’s Museum (main project that Anna worked on while at PCPA)

- Made it down to Durham in time to see the Duke Chapel lit up at night

- Dinner at Francesca’s (formerly Bull City Grill), where Adam used to work while in school (Devil’s Delivery Service)

- Stayed the night at Scott Stroud’s in the West Duke Apartment complex…old tobacco warehouses converted to really cool lofts

Day 1 – New Haven to Philadelphia

Day 1 – New Haven, CT to Philadelphia, PA via New York City, NY


- Quick drive from New Haven to NYC in the White Mamba (Adam’s 1978 Toyota Cressida) with all of Anna’s possessions packed in the car

- Stopped in New York to pick up Adam’s laundry (which he forgot) and to have brunch at Via Della Pace with Sena and friends

- Made it down to Philadelphia in time to see Adam’s Mom perform in The Pajama Game!

- Stayed the night at Adam’s house in Lower Merion