Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

how to pack your life into a box-ster

February 18, 2009

On my road trip back to Austin, I surprised myself yet again with my amazing pseudo-ninja packing/cramming skills, by packing everything I owned into the Boxster.

How To Pack Your Life Into A Box-ster
Back Trunk: suitcase, shoes, sleeping bag, casserole dish, laundry hamper, bathroom rug, and a messenger bag full of documents.

How To Pack Your Life Into A Box-ster
Front Trunk: suitcase, even more shoes, duffel with more clothes, and tennis stuff.

How To Pack Your Life Into A Box-ster
Passenger Seat: coat hangers, toiletries, wireless router, toilet paper, towel, backpack w/ computer stuff, road atlas, and of course, red bull, the ultimate road trip drink.


san francisco: part 2

September 16, 2008

Well, “San Francisco” is a slightly inaccurate title, being that I’ve been in the south bay / san jose area the last few days (Saratoga to be exact), staying at my cousin’s place. He has a wonderful family, with two incredibly cute daughters, aged 3 and 4. They are quite a handful, but that comes with the territory. I visited the Stanford University campus, which was mostly unimpressive, except for the wonderful Memorial Church, which was a very peaceful place to meditate. I was able to sample some wonderful Korean and Japanese cuisine (on separate occasions), including dishes like Raw Beef, Sashimi Salad, and Fried Shrimp Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms. All delicious. Also went with his family on the Roaring Camp Railroads from Felton to Santa Cruz, and back. This train ride was on one of those old fashioned locomotives, winding through grandiose redwood forests. We had an hour to explore the wonderful Santa Cruz Boardwalk, where I tried French Fried Artichoke Hearts for the first time. Overall, the trip certainly reaffirmed my admiration for the city. Papa Beards Cream Puffs was also great.

Roaring Camp Railroads

Xuening also came down this side of town to hang out for a few days. We explored the night life of Santana Row, which is like The Domain (yes, another clone), except this one was higher class, had free valet every day, Wi-Fi, bars, clubs, and cafés. At Cocola Café, I tried a delicious Chocolate Brioche. It was also right next to the Valley Fair Mall, which was mostly boring. We also explored Old Town Los Gatos, which was similar to a more chill Rodeo Drive, and Cupertino Vilage, an asian market center where we had soup dumplings. I was also invited to Xuening’s parents’ place, and treated to a wonderful Northeastern Chinese feast. My favorite dish was some ground meet sandwiched by fried eggplants. Yum.

Well, that is pretty much the end of my road trip. I will be flying out to China tomorrow for a one month trip, with a one night stopover in Seoul, Korea. China stops include Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, Suzhou, and Shanghai. I’ll finally be able to see my parents (after not having seem them in 4 years), as they are vacationing there too. My internet access will probably be spotty, but hopefully I can continue to update this blog and my flickr account as well…

los angeles to san diego

August 21, 2008

@ Hermosa Beach

I took my time getting to San Diego, I stopped by or drove by as many beaches as I could along the southern part of Los Angeles. I hit Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, and Long Beach. Most of it was just a quick gloss-over, as I will be exploring them in depth when I return to L.A., however, from what I did see, I completely fell in love. Just imagine the feelings I had from Santa Monica Pier the previous day, and multiply it by 10. As nice as Santa Monica was, it didn’t have the small beach town feel that this area had. It reminds me of Ras Tanura back in Saudi, except a little nicer, a little busier, and much nicer houses. Oh, the houses. I usually do not have much of a desire to be rich or famous, but after strolling the streets and seeing a mix of beautiful classic and ultra modern architecture, my heart absolutely ached for this lifestyle. I wanted so much to be able to run, bike, and rollerblade through the concrete paved boardwalk in Hermosa Beach, and then go back to my super nice home and relax, open up the balcony, let the ocean breeze come in. I can’t imagine what I’d feel like if I visited the beaches of Orange County, like Huntington, Newport, and Laguna Beach. I’d probably be depressed that I would never be able to get to that level. I hear the San Diego beaches are even nicer, so I can’t wait to see for myself. Here are the stats, my trip back to L.A. should be much quicker:

Distance: 158.4 miles
Average Speed: 45.1 mph
Moving Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 28 minutes
Average Mileage: 29.3 mpg

austin to el paso

August 13, 2008

@ Van Horn

Well, the 8 hour drive was not as tough as I expected, this being the furthest I’ve ever driven in a day. Leaving Austin was probably the saddest and toughest things I’ve ever done in my life. There’s just so much of my life there, and finally leaving led to an overwhelming flow of emotions. Just outside of Austin, I intended to stop by Fredericksburg, but a quick drive through the town changed my mind. I’m not sure why, I just wasn’t in the mood, but I did see a whole lot of peaches. Reminded me of the song by Presidents of the United States of America. The long trip through the Hill Country and Big Bend regions of Texas was exhilarating. Thank god for 80mph speed limits! The scenery was breathtaking, especially around the Van Horn area. There were isolated thunderstorms with incredibly strong gusts of wind, that made it hard to see, but certainly more exciting. You could see the storms up ahead while you prepared yourself to drive through them. The whole experience made you feel so helpless to the sheer force of nature, and that by itself was worth the price of admission. Here are the trip stats for leg 2. 

Distance: 564.1 miles
Average Speed: 75.1 mph
Moving Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 58 minutes
Average Mileage: 26.7 mpg (blame the lower mileage on the higher speed limit :-X)


August 11, 2008

UT Tower

You know, after living in Austin for 6 years, there are still a ton of things I haven’t done. Although the city isn’t huge, there is still definitely a ton of stuff to do. I finally went up to the top of the UT Tower, for the 7pm tour. I wish I had tried for the 8pm tour so I could see the sunset and also see the city lights. But nonetheless, being up there with the breeze and recognizing all the shortcuts I took through campus was very nostalgic and relaxing. I have also ever been to South Congress (SOCO) at night. It was always the daytime that I went, and it was cool to me then, but man the place transforms at night. I had no idea it was going to be so packed. It was like a completely different city. Other things I did included visiting the Barsana Dham hindu temple, Dave & Busters, The Domain, Mt. Bonnell, canoeing on Town Lake, Schlitterbahn, Blazer Tag, and Spider House. Most of these were revisits of old favorites, but the temple was new. It was on the way to Salt Lick BBQ. I got to meet up with some friends for the last time. Overall, it just wasn’t enough time, naturally. Austin will always hold a special place in my heart, and I have a feeling I will return to the city one day.

Places I ate: Which Wich, La Feria, Salt Lick BBQ, Ichiban, Oma’s Kitchen

road trip!: houston to austin

August 8, 2008

So begins my road trip out west. I am moving to California, although the exact city is still uncertain. This trip, which includes stops in El Paso, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, will hopefully reveal to me where I’m meant to be, for now. It’s just that I’ve found myself in kind of a rut this past year, and a change like this will do me good. I will also be using this blog as a travel journal of sorts, so check back here to get updates, hopefully. First stop, is of course, Austin. So my first leg of the journey was Houston to Austin. Here are some quick stats:

Distance: 175 miles
Average Speed: 63.5 mph
Moving Time: 2 hours 45 minutes 
Total Time: 2 hours 56 minutes
Average Mileage: 26.9 mpg

Austin details later…