Hi again! So sorry for the delay. I thought I'd be up and running yesterday but we didn't get Internet at our new house until late last night!
Day Three, Continued
After walking around the Garden District of New Orleans a bit, we headed back to the hotel, packed up our stuff, and got in the car. Ender had been traveling in his crate until this point but when we opened the back door he completely froze and refused to get in, which broke our hearts. I opened the front door and he hopped right in! He wasn't against traveling, he just wanted to be with us; so we let him sit in the front with whoever was in the passenger seat. It took a little getting used to and I was uneasy with it since he wasn't really secured in any way, but we brought some pillows forward and he would curl up on our lap and sleep (he's 53 pounds--not a lap dog).
This third day was pretty uneventful and was really just spent in the car--we planned to stop in Dallas but somehow didn't realize that Dallas to Denver was 12 hours, so we pulled a late night and an early morning swinging through Oklahoma City and then finally getting to Denver around 5 or 6 the next day.
Denver: We had never been to Denver before and totally forgot that they have a city and county-wide ban on pit bulls. We remembered as soon as we got there and were leashing Ender up to take a long walk around a cute little lake with a walking path. Apparently your dog can be confiscated and subjected to a breed assessment before they let you keep them or make you get rid of them. We were only there for one night so I don't think it applied to us too much, but we skipped the walk and kept Ender cooped up in our hotel room all night, which sucked. Something to consider if you have a pit or a pit mix and are driving through Colorado.
Once we got him settled in the room, we headed to Linger to have dinner and drinks on the roof. It was gorgeous and the food was great. The drinks were delicious too--we actually ordered from the self-serve food truck on the roof because getting a table would have taken 20-30 minutes and it was already kind of late. After dinner we grabbed an Uber to Great Divide Brewery to try a few beers.
The next morning we drove over to Little Owl Coffee, which was recommended to us by our friends at Hex Coffee in Charlotte. Rob stayed in the car with Ender and I ran in to get two cappuccinos to go. (The pit bull ban really threw a wrench in our Denver plans, but at least we got to eat some good food and drink some good coffee.)
Driving through Colorado was absolutely breathtaking, and we stopped at a little lake to walk around and enjoy the cooler weather.
Grand Junction: We stopped in Grand Junction, Colorado on our way to Salt Lake City. It was about halfway and Rob's brother Dan was actually there with his girlfriend on vacation, so it worked out really well. We had a late lunch at 626 on Rood, which was a great place that took such great care of us--Lindsay called ahead to make sure we could have a dog (I was surprised by how many breweries and patios in Colorado didn't allow animals! I think Charlotte spoiled us.), and they said we were welcome to bring Ender to the back patio. The server brought Ender dog treats and cucumbers and stopped to pet him every time he came out, which was so nice after having him cooped up in Denver. It worked out so well that we ended up spending a lot of time in Grand Junction, which got us to Salt Lake City pretty late.
We woke up early in Salt Lake City and headed downtown for coffee and breakfast after walking Ender around a bit. We had done such quick mornings in every other city that it was nice to take our time in Utah. I've been twice before but never really explored because I was always at a conference.
We got coffee at La Barba and then walked to The Rose Establishment for some food (and more coffee, woops). I got a Yerba mate latte that was so good and reminded me so much of my childhood that I actually cried a little. The gorgeous breakfast bowl I ordered didn't help. I'd go back here in a minute.
After breakfast I took Rob to The Grand America, which is where Alt Summit used to be every winter. We walked around and then headed back to the hotel to pack up and get Ender so we could explore Temple Square a bit. I'm not Mormon or even that religious but there's something about seeing the temple in Salt Lake City that always touches me. It's pretty magnificent.
I kind of stopped taking pictures after this point--we were so ready to be done driving. Going through Utah was really beautiful, though.
Lake Tahoe: We decided to go to Lake Tahoe instead of Reno and I'm really glad we did. Once again we got in late, but when we woke up we discovered a walking/bike trail right behind our hotel, so we took Ender for a nice long walk and found a coffee shop along the way, which we ended up visiting again that same hour for breakfast sandwiches.
We left Tahoe and headed to Sonoma so Rob could get a growler of Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewery (it's so good). We were in the home stretch! We got lunch at an In-N-Out and finally made it to Mountain View, where we checked in to a hotel until our stuff arrived a few days later.
Now we're home and slowly unpacking. It takes so long to get settled and I know it's going to take even longer before the Bay Area feels like home, but that's another post for some other time. Until then I'm just glad we made it safely and created some incredible memories along the way.