Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Great (3/4) Cross Country Roadtrip: San Jose to Tempe

Lance and I set out on our roadtrip on Sunday at about 5am. We had gone to the Giants game on Saturday night with my family and watched the Giants beat the pants off the Pirates, it was a great game. It was also a game where they handed out some truly heinous Giants themed hats. Proud to have one of these suckers!

Yeah, they're pretty fabulous.
We got ourselves up the next day at 4:45am to load up one car, go pick up the rental car, switch everything over to the rental car, and then get on the road.

Headed through Gilroy and into Central California

Hey look! It's that lake I can NEVER remember the name of, but it's right by the Grapevine.
Lance was beyond stoked to drive through the Grapevine.

Once we got to Los Angeles, we checked into our hotel and ended up somewhere in East LA at a chicken joint for lunch. It wasn't a particularly healthy lunch.... so after we exited the restaurant, we did a few sets of bodyweight/goblet squats in the parking lot. After scarfing down some okay fried chicken, we took a well deserved nap at our hotel and then headed to Runyon Canyon for a hike!

That white smudge on the close mountain range is the Hollywood sign! 
Scanning to the right (Southward)

The metropolis that is LA

Either pondering the 2+ million people before him or pondering how much longer we can last in this sun with no sunscreen...

The hike was more intense than I thought it would be.
The hike ended up being an absolutely fabulous idea. We were both in need of a good leg stretch after spending 6-7 hours in the car (later, we would realize just how cute that was).

When we were finished, the (very infamous) LA traffic was in full swing...even on Sunday. We decided to head to Santa Monica in order to waste some time that would otherwise be wasted in the car.

Completely foggy in Santa Monica and about 15 degrees cooler than LA
We did some touristy things, like ride the ferris wheel and shell out for ridiculous green-screen souvenir photos. Including one Sharknado photo. If this is news to you, there was a movie in which a freak tornado in Santa Monica picked up and relocated a shark or two...hundred. 

After dinner at an Italian place, we braved the traffic and headed back to the hotel for a much deserved soak in the hot tub before crashing at a truly pathetic 10:30pm. At 6 or 7am, we headed for Tempe, but not before making a pit stop in Palm Springs for a quick workout and lunch.

We found our gym on Yelp, going by the highest rating. We ended up finding a place called WorkOUT, which sounded absolutely fantastic. We pulled up to the gym to find rainbow flags flying, which I didn't find out of the norm since Palm Springs does have a large gay population. We walked into the gym to see an enormous poster of a mostly-naked man and a tiny stereo pumping out techno remixes of classic rock songs. Actually, I just googled for the gym and you can see that poster for yourself here:

A quick look for the ladies room and I came up empty handed. The gym had a men's locker room, a men's restroom, and a unisex restroom. Totally awesome. We got a great workout in and then I got to experience the cleanest gym shower I will ever see in my life. 

Upon exiting the gym and finding ourselves in the middle of a monsoon which temporarily closed the highway, we broke for lunch at George's Bar and Grill which claims fame for their burgers and insults. The joint was totally killer. The food was great, the people who worked there were so pleasant, and Ed (the insult-giver) was a total sweetheart.

Back on the road to Tempe! We almost missed the "Welcome to Arizona" sign at the border. 

I have driven to Arizona once before with family for a reunion, but I had forgotten how pretty the desert landscape is. 

We arrived in Tempe a little too early to meet up with my family, so we went on another hike in Papago Park.

We did remember sunscreen this time

Happy to be out of the car and walking around!
Sunscreen and a gallon of water!

The theme for scenic overlooks on this trip has been "ponder"

After goofing off for about an hour, we picked up some groceries and headed to my Aunt & Uncles to make some dinner. Within a half hour of us getting to their house, there was a mile-high dust storm that swept through the area followed by another torrential downpour complete with hailstones. Some pretty cool photos, well...a photo, here:

Overall, the first two days of our actual roadtrip were pretty healthy! We managed to get good amounts of physical activity in (two hikes and a gym workout) and were able to eat fairly healthily overall. We have a pretty awesome arsenal of snacks; buffalo/turkey jerky, applesauce, banana bread, fruit leathers, protein powder, oatmeal, cliff bars, 3 emergency single serve bags of chips (because a little junk food is necessary sometimes), apples, bananas, almonds (for Lance), mini flavored rice cakes (for me), some miniature dark chocolate bars, and a few gallon jugs of water. We also brought along a jumprope, a resistance band, and a 35lb kettle-bell.

Just a small portion of the snacks we brought along
5 healthy roadtrip tips!
  1. Drink a ton of water. It's easy to get dehydrated!
  2. Stand up and walk around every chance you get. Stopping to gas up the car? Pace around, do jumping jacks, jog in place, just do something to get your blood moving.
  3. When you're taking your turn as the passenger, stretch! The object of the game is to not be completely sedentary. Not to mention, sitting in one position for hours on end sucks. Keep moving around.
  4. When you're the can use a resistance band to do some "work". Loop the band around your feet and do bicep curls, double it up and loop it around the back of your seat and press outward to the windshield as a bench press type motion, double the band up and press the band toward the footwell of your seat to get some leg work in. Be creative!
  5. For your mental health, take a break from music and try a podcast. We've been listening to This American Life and Radiolab. Find a podcast about something nobody in the car is an expert will spawn some weird and interesting conversations. 

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