Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Go West...by car!

Had the opportunity to catch up with some friends from California last week who were in town for a family wedding. Chatting with them reminded me of a travel adventure I wanted to share when I first created this blog.

A few years back my good friend Jason Sapinsky and I embarked upon a mega road trip from Winnipeg to Los Angeles. Our official goal was to visit his relatives in LA and see as much Major League Baseball as we could in a three-week period, while visiting a Waffle House in every two bit town along the way.

The route stretched west along the Trans Canada Highway to Regina, and then south into the US. A scary storm with tumbleweeds pummeling the car greeted us in Montana, followed by a chilly trip into Yellowstone National Park where we experienced the American way of over commercializing a natural resource (Old Faithful). After a mother bear chased us down the side of a hiking trail we got in the car and pushed on towards the Grand Tetons and the warm weather. Utah was next on the agenda, with visits to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. (Google these parks and then go there. Right now. They are incredible but tourist heavy.) Salt Lake City and the Mormon Temple came soon thereafter, followed by two nights on the Strip in Las Vegas. (The Luxor is especially nice with its marble bathrooms.) Vegas became LA, which we called home base for 10 days. Ate calamari in Malibu. Surfed Huntington Beach. Saw Santa Monica. Walked Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Went to huge markets in heart of LA. Would live in Laguna Beach in a heartbeat if I had the money. Realizing that all good adventures must also include the reality of returning home, we pointed the car east and blitzed across the desert to Phoenix where it hit 104F and I could cook food on the asphalt. Next came a turn north, towards 4 Corners (where New Mexico, Colorado, and two other states meet). A nighttime run across the Interstate brought us through Vail and the ski resorts to Denver, where we paused to take in the sights. Colorado soon became South Dakota, and Wall Drug, a weird and wonderful drug store that has been around since the American Frontier was opened up. A motel in the middle of nowhere, with a bathroom that featured a TV, pretty much sums up the rest of South Dakota, followed by pitstops in Fargo and Grand Forks before Canada Customs welcomed us and our many pairs of runners home.

We accomplished the baseball goal by visiting ballparks in Anaheim, San Diego (it was the 4th of July...Americans sure know how to celebrate), Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Denver. LA was special because it was televised on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, with a crowd of 50,000 + going bonkers as the Dodgers won the game.

We also got to experience the wonder that is the Waffle House. All you can eat for $5 is a thing to behold, and goes a long way to explaining why obesity is such a problem. Whatever, bring me another grilled cheese.
Sooooo, it has been awhile since I last posted here. Who knew updating a blog about a favourite subject could get derailed by 4 of the hardest weeks of school so far?

Anyway, I jumped back into Twitter in a big way yesterday and I thought I would share some info that popped up on my screen.

I'm now receiving tweets from WestJet and Air Canada (AC_websaver) and airfarewatchdog. Judging from what I saw, there are a lot of really, really good deals to be had right now, both for travel across Canada and the United States. For example, WestJet is featuring up to 65% off its fares and I saw Winnipeg-Phoenix for $79 each way.

If you don't have any travel plans for the upcoming holiday season, you just might want to reconsider based on the deals that are popping up.