After crossing four states in 14 hours driving, I couldn’t sit and write about the final destination… So I apologize for being late on this post.
This also happened because we couldn’t leave New Orleans without visiting Villalobos rescue, from the show Pitbulls & Parolees. Unfortunately, Animal Planet didn’t allow us to film, but after a little chat with Mikey D, the producer of the show, we’ve had some hours inside the car discussing ideas to help dogs. The huge structure and organization they have in there, motivated me even more to start a movement for the dogs in Miami…
Interested? Contact me ;)
We left in the morning after a nice breakfast at New Orleans Guest House, stopped for a little while at the rescue, and by 12:30pm we were at the road. Snacks, water, a nice playlist and the headset to call family and friends were the tools that kept us in the road without getting bored.
Since we were tired from a bustling night in NOLA and focused on arriving in Miami, we couldn’t make any stops besides gas, pipi and a quick late lunch at Ruby Tuesday. Also, the way wasn’t that welcoming to explore. When doing the research in other traveler’s blogs, I haven’t found any tips with cultural approach or special sightseeing’s.
Banana, baby carrots, chocolate, cheese sticks, trail mix, water and an iced coffee were the snacks we’ve had this last day… Yes, I missed my kombucha, my Ezequiel sandwich with Laughing Cow cheese and the delicious pastries from Deli News in Dallas...
We arrived in Miami at 4am and slept just until 10am because I was EXCITED about meeting my baby. From California, I adopted a girl from MDAS that my friend Nathalia fostered for me.. Her new name will be Calee. She's an American Bulldog that was surrended by her owners at the shelter and would probably be euthanized... But now will be happy and healthy with me ;)
Tati had to fly back to NY in one day and wanted to see old friends here, so we HAD to do a last meal in a Miamian style. The destination was a typical Cuban bakery, and we found a Latin American on Calle Ocho.
When I have friends visiting Miami, my tip for a good breakfast are the very casual Moises Bakery in Miami Beach (73rd St & Collins) or the touristic News Café at Ocean Dr, but I am addicted to eggs benedict, and always exploring brunches… A good one I remember was at Olivers on West Ave ;)
Ah! The biggest tip I'd give to anybody when visiting Miami, specially Miami Beach, is: BE AWARE of where you park, because I've lost the count on how many times me and friends had our cars towed.
I hope you enjoyed our tips and posts…
I will develop some articles based on the trip and post here at the website until March 31st. Keep visiting!
Please, feel free to share and help us reach the goal for the dogs… The campaing goes until March 31st.
This is the link, and ALL money we raise will be donated to MyAnimalsRock.org:
Knowing that we were going to head New Orleans today, made Tati wake up happier and faster… By the way, she loves to sleep.
We left Shreveport straight to New Orleans with just a quick stop at a gas station.
During the way, while Tati was driving, I was calling and searching to all websites and hotels between the French Quarter and Downtown to get a hotel, but there is a conference that attracted over 25.000 people to the city, and all hotels were booked. The few we got, were over $300 per night.
We decided to enjoy the city, eat and have fun, and then head to the airport area, but when waiting for the car at the parking, the valet guy gave us one name, and bingo! We got a place (New Orleans Guest House) with all the poetic NOLA decoration at the French Quarter for just $129, including gated parking and breakfast with typical pastries. And the best part: we were greeted by Bill, a very kind gentleman (a Navy veteran) who told us a little bit of history and made us feel at home. Yeeyy!!! If in NOLA, look for them: 1118 Ursulines St - NOGHSleep@aol.com
The tips for today are:
Desire seafood & Oyster bar – we’ve had the Oyster on the half shell and crawfish to start, and then shared a salmon with shrimp and spinach while tasting Abita Purple Haze, a local brewed wheat beer made with raspberry puree.
The Spotted Cat Music Club – a local jazz bar at Frenchmen St, that we kept faithful to the Abita while listening to a nice local jazz band (Kristina Gonzalez & The Bayou Shufflers), and being helped by Danny and Betina, very cool people that made our night even more special.
Yes, we wanted to stay here for a little while, but I have to head to Miami… So, that’s where we are going now, our final destination!
After the spooky night driving around at 3am in a neighborhood where one of the largest maximum security prison is located, searching for a hotel thanks to Booking.com that messed up our reservation, we woke up ok and drove to Dallas.
I was super excited to see Clarence, a dog I fostered last year in San Clemente (CA) for three months. Thanks to Facebook networking, a friend found an adopter for him in Dallas and he was the inspiration for this trip and this project.
I wanted to pass by, see him and from the example, create awareness to people that ADOPTION is the way to go now, with SO MANY dogs being abandoned in shelters and streets.
Well, he is doing fine, happy and healthy with a family that loves him. A happy end!
The tip today goes to Deli News, a NY style deli in Dallas with few Russian dishes that especially on Sundays have a 45min waiting.
We ordered the Nova Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon (that they bring from NY, as many other ingredients) and it was delicious. They have eight different kinds of soups everyday, daily fresh baked breads and some authentic Russian dishes.
Basically everything they offer there is made from scratch, especially the pastries that we even had some to go: MOUTH WATERING! The poppy seed strudel and the coconut macaroon are a MUST order!
From Dallas we drove to Shreveport, the third largest city in Lousianna, known as the commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex. The area where Arkansas, Luisianna and Texas meet.
We just needed a place to arrive early, relax, organize and be ready for New Orleans, our next destiny.
Again I wanted to ask you all, if you are enjoying the tips, to please share it. We need help to promote this project and raise funds for the dogs. The rescue group is in deep need, with many urgent cases of dogs, and we haven’t had ANY donations in the past 3 days :(
Decent breakfast at the hotel in Flagstaff (Aspen/ Inn Suites). Overall it's a great location and decent price, but I'm not sure if would stay there again... Too old.
We passed by a Jiffy Lube to check the car before drive again. The manager, Bobby, was very helpful and kind - In emergencies, a good place to stop (at Route 66 and Ponderosa Pkwy).
Today was basically road, a little bit of New Mexico culture, and a BAD experience with Booking.com.
We were looking for some history, and after researching, decided to stop in Gallup, a small, but the most populous city in between Flagstaff and Albuquerque.
We heard that Gallup is known as the “heart of Indian Country”, because it’s in the middle of many Native Americans reservations, but we didn’t find anything more than overpriced stores selling Indian jewelry and rugs.
Heading East on I 40 we’ve seen many signs for Indian stores with Navajo pottery and souvenirs, but decided to stop at Cline’s Corner, a very traditional store, what we were trying to avoid, but in the end it was a good surprise. Lots of gifts and souvenirs for all pockets and tastes.
My tip: if you are driving from Arizona to New Mexico looking for Indian stuff, stop before entering New Mexico at the small stores you will find along the road, probably the Native Americans that craft it are the ones selling it.
Today we noticed the main difference between California and Arizona, with New Mexico and South of Texas. While driving, entering New Mexico we could notice already the litter at streets, the kindness of the drivers and people in general in both states along I 40 and 287 South (where we drove) unfortunately doesn’t compare to California and Arizona. Hope this was just my impression.
Passing Amarillo on I 40 E, around Wildorado, there were a kind of slaughterhouse and the smell was just awful. I don't know why is it so smelly, but we are researching if it could be because of the conditions- there were maaany of them in a small area. A sad part for me, specially because a little ahead at 287 South we have seen many foxes (or maybe similar animals) dead and a couple of them crossed us. :(
Since we were tired, we slept in Wichita Falls, a small city between Amarillo and Dallas, but Booking.com just sent the reservation after midnight to the hotel- we booked at 6pm (it's not the first time this happens, and I'm not planning to use them anymore). We were tired and looking for rooms at 3am in front of a road sign that said "Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates"- not the end we expected for our day...
Hope to have better experiences to tell you tomorrow when heading Dallas to see Clarence, a dog I fostered in 2012.
"This whole experience of asking people about gratitude and happiness, is making us think and while driving talk a lot about it. I feel looking inside and realizing what should I do about my life in matter of really changing what is not making me happy."
GUYS, PLEASE, DON'T FORGET TO SHARE IT AND DONATE! IT'S BEEN 2 DAYS WITHOUT ANY DONATIONS FOR THE DOGS :(
With not enough sleep, after a tour in Vegas between the Venetian and Wynn, we were excited to have a totally different day, with magical energy from the nature. And that's what it was.
We left Vegas around noon, a little late to do everything we wanted. The sunset over some mountain in Sedona was the goal of the day, so we didn't have enough time to stop and explore as much as we wanted.
Sedona is AMAZING. The road (89A) to get there was beautiful.
We went straight to the airport vortex. It was free and an easy one to park to go to the top.
A perfect place for a yoga practice. Either just sit and breath meditating or stretch with focus on balance. Tree pose, bridge, lotus or even Savasana are simple ways to practice and let the vibe do the rest.
After the sunset we drove to Flagstaff and slept at the Aspen Flagstaff (Inn Suites), a decent hotel located at Historic Route 66. I choose it because of the good reviews on the breakfast, and since I'm posting this before eating, you will just know if it was good tomorrow morning when I post about the third day ;)
When planning the trip, I read that we shouldn't miss the Beaver Street Brewery, and yes, it was a must go.
Great food, looved my beer and very good service. The order:
Me: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and R & R Stout beer
Tati: Meat Loaf Platter and Red Rock Raspberry Ale
Besides the de-li-ci-ous appetizer, Pesto/Cream cheese!
Today will be long... 14hs on the road to Dallas...
Are you there? Comment, interact, and please, share it to help us make it for the dogs!
Go to the website below and donate ANY amount! We have 30 days to make $4500.
Car: tires, brakes, oil. CHECK
Documents: all in the same spot, so we don't go crazy. CHECK
Back pack: toiletries, pijama, underwear, leggings, t-shirts, scarf and jeans. CHECK
Phone charger, headset, water and snacks, lipstick, and here we go. Pandora on Smashing Pumpkins station to start.
Tati wanted to see a little bit of San Diego and I showed her Pacific Beach (the pier) and La Jolla cove. In La Jolla we went to Juice Kaboose to get some natural fuel: I ordered a green lemonade (spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger, fresh lemon juice, fresh apple juice) and Tati got a shot of ginger and the Fruit Blend (fresh banana, fresh strawberry, fresh pineapple and fresh OJ). Our healthy tip of the day ;)
With Iphone now, life is much easier, but I LOVE to stop by at gas stations or places to eat and ask about tips from locals.
Our favorite apps: MyGasBuddy, NearMe, Google maps and Pandora. Google maps is great and there's voice guidance, a good feature for the ones that still use IPhone 4.
From San Diego we stopped by San Clemente and then hit straight to Vegas.
Arriving, we went to Las Vegas Blvd (Strip) to check the lights, casinos and what people were happy and thankful about...