Charlie and Lanie's Rally to Cali

Just in case you missed us..

Jesse Katsopolis

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Coast to coast.

Drove down route 1 and here is a glimpse into how beautiful the pacific is.

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Written by rallytocali

October 27, 2010 at 3:20 am

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Danny Tanner

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Utah to California.  After our little detour we made it on our way out of Utah and through the terrible, terrible state of Nevada.  Now before you get all mad at me for calling it terrible.. it is.  Nothingness throughout the entire state.  There was a storm that passed over and it started hailing on our trip through the state which made the sky look beautiful.

Bishop for the night.  Then through Yosemite and to San Francisco.  We saw another bear!!  Again too fast to snap a picture but we saw the bear run across the street.  Yosemite was beautiful.  We didn’t take any pictures because we had all good intentions to come back to the park.  We made it through the park and onto the other side which was quite a drive.  I’m gonna end it there for now.  Next post will be all about San Francisco but I just wanted to post some more pictures.

Oh ps… you know what I have really come to appreciate on this trip… toilet seat covers… a wonderful invention

Written by rallytocali

October 25, 2010 at 5:38 am

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California already..

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California here we come.

We are currently making the drive from Utah, through Nevada and into California.  Here’s a little about what we did our last two days in Utah.

After Arches we drove right outside of Zion National Park to a place called Cedar City.  A town that springs up out of nowhere.   To all the people reading this who went to West Virginia University- we have seen the far side of route 70… that sign that says Denver: 1700 miles and Fort Cove: 2600 miles.  We drove through both and have seen the end of Route 70.  At the end of Route 70 and the beginning of Interstate 15 you can either go North towards Salt Lake City (Utah’s capital and home of the Mormons) or South to Las Vegas (Sin City).  A little ironic, a choice between good and evil.  How convenient that our trip took us south.  After spending the night in Cedar City and getting to know the people of Utah even better, we traveled towards Zion National Park.  More and more we are noticing differences between the demeanor and personalities of the populations of the different states we cross.  Every exchange we had with a Utah native was forced and awkward, even with our servers at restaurants.

We got to the park at about midday and by that time the campgrounds inside the park were full so we had to stay at a private campground only a mile outside the park entrance, but they did have showers which we, and I’m sure everyone around us, were thankful of.  Much to our surprise Zion National Park is the most popular of all Utah’s National Parks and is the second most visited for rock climbing next to Yosemite.  We almost didn’t come because we thought Arches was the place to see but we were wrong.  Zion is a completely different landscape.  Arches was an arid mostly flat land with the exception of the sandstone fins and arches.  Zion National Park is at the base of Zion Canyon and at the bottom of the surrounding mountains.  Virgin River cuts through the cliffs which is what sculpted the canyon.  A shuttle takes you from the visitor center to the farthest point of the paved road to the Temple of Sinwava where the river will not allow you to go any further into the canyon.  That is where me and Charlie get out and start our hike.  Equipped with waterproof pants, aqua socks, canyoneering boots and a walking stick, the hike called The Narrows takes you further into the canyon by a trail that is completely up stream.  You hike through the river from ankle to sometimes waist deep water.  Our destination is a place called “Wall Street” where the canyon gets as little as 25 feet wide and walls reach up to 1,500 feet high.  We felt like salmon as we trekked upstream for 2 1/2 hours.  The sights were amazing but we both had to keep reminding each other to look up because you are mostly concentrating on each step on the slippery rocks.  I have to say however we were pro’s, Charlie made sure we passed each cautious hiker and instead of sticking to the shallower sides we challenged ourselves with the deep parts and the rapids. Chad you were right this was the best hike we went on.  We went the whole way without falling till me, with my newly boosted I-can-walk-on-water attitude, I hopped into a deep part and fell backwards.  Taught me.

We got out, drained our shoes, and soon realized we were spent.  We did the shorter 5 mile hike, there is a longer 16 mile hike thru-river which is suggested to be an overnight trip with backcountry camping.  They have a strict “no trace” policy where everything in the canyon stays and everything you bring in the canyon comes out.  They mean everything.  At the store where we got all our gear from they require you buy a poop bag if you are doing the overnight trip.  They also have a special video about how all that works.  Maybe next time we go across country.

Springdale is the town right outside the park and where we set up camp. There is one local sports bar & restaurant that we dawned at the end of the night so Charlie could catch the Phillies game.  Utah has some funny drinking laws.  Because of the heavy religious influence the bartender can not serve you alcohol without you ordering food since it was also a restaurant and they can never have drink specials because they don’t want to promote drinking.  There are signs posted behind the bar explaining the rules and the last rule is “you may not be intoxicated”.  The bartender recited the rules as he must have millions of times to the out of staters and we must have had disbelieving faces because next to us a guy started laughing.  We soon found out that he was also from the east coast and he said the closest bar where you could just order drinks without food was 60 miles away in Cedar City where we had come from.  So we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and sucked it up.  After talking to the guy from New York we learned he was on a road trip of his own and was riding his bike from Washington state to Arizona.  A bicycle not a motorcycle.  He had been on the road for as long as we have and was almost finished.  Again, maybe next time we go across country…

Our next destination is San Francisco.  We are driving tonight to the other side of the Nevada border to California.  On our way out of Zion we took a little unintentional detour into Dixie National Forest.  An hour out of our way but was an amazingly beautiful ride because the leaves are changing colors.

We will be passing through Yosemite so we can make it to Game 4 of the Philadelphia-San Francisco NLCS game on the 20th in San Fran and doubling back to see Yosemite.  Love will make you crazy things.

Written by rallytocali

October 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm

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Sanclemente DePasquale Westward

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Oh yeah we forgot to mention we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  If you were older, rich and artsy this would be the place to be.  With our budget all we could do is look around.
We made it out of New Mexico and traveled North to Colorado.  Immediately after you pass over the New Mexico border into Colorado the landscape changes.  Suddenly you are surrounded by tall mountains and the foliage comes back to life.  The change from monotone desert to rich land explains why it is called Colorful Colorado.

We stopped in Colorado Springs to try and experience Pikes Peak but we got there too late and this time of year it is too cold in the mountains for people to be able to make trips up.  We decided to move on north where a friend of Charlie’s, Jordan, cordially invited us to stay with her while we explored Boulder.  We got to capture what it is like to live in Boulder and experience the “crunchy” atmosphere of land loving people.  The mountains blow West Virginia out of the water and were something that left us in complete awe.  We piled into Jordan’s jeep and trekked up over 10,000 miles to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  There we got our first real taste of hiking.  We saw Bear Lake,

Nymph Lake,

and Dream Lake.  Dream Lake was one of the most beautiful landscapes we have ever seen.  I hope the picture does it justice because we still can’t stop talking about it.

Boulder is also known for its tons of microbreweries.  Lead by a bearded man with a thick Irish accent, we got a tour of the Avery Microbrewery.  Much to Charlie’s dismay, their Smoked Ham Blend was not available but the lady said it was like drinking beef jerky. Mmm.  By the way me and Charlie have finished over five bags of beef jerky already on trip.  We each tried unique blends and throughout the Boulder trip Jordan had us trying different kinds of beer including ones that tasted like espresso (just like your’s Nino and Lori), ginger and blackberry.  Almost every city has had a Q’doba or a Jimmy Johns and to much of both our dismays we haven’t indulged into our old college like ways and have passed them by at each place.

After we left Colorado we headed west to Utah.  Since we would be camping in Arches National Park and because we left Boulder at about 4:30pm and had a six hour trip ahead of us we stopped for the night in Grand Junction because we didn’t want to step up camp in the dark.  We both had to pee so bad we couldn’t make it to the hotel so we stopped at a lone gas station.  Charlie somehow slipped away from me to buy a scratch off lotto ticket.  We won $2 so of course, instead of taking the money, we bought another ticket.  Won $5, so pressed our luck once more.  Well, turns out, someone up above had control of our bladder because Charlie’s ticket won us $110.  That boy is my lucky charm.  He was so happy he took me out to dinner, half price appetizers at Your Neighborhood Grill, Applebee’s.  After bone buff wings, we spent the night at Grand Junction so we could get an early start to Arches.  We left Grand Junction at about 8:30am and had about an hour till we reached Arches National Park which has only one campground inside called Devil’s Garden which has been booked up for months since it is teacher’s convention in Utah.  There are however some first come first serve campsites.  We called on our way and got in touch with a lady who laughed and said “Hun, those fill up by 8:15.  Good luck.”  Psh, Luck? Little did she know about Charlie over here.  We drove into the campsite and charmed our way into Campsite 20.  One of the best views in the whole campground the guy said.  Our tent was surrounded by rocks to climb on and we were so secluded we could see every star in the sky at night.

We set up camp and ventured into the town Moab which is about a mile south of the park.  The closer we got into town the more we realized that this is a place for adventure.  Charlie’s eyes lit up as we passed signs for pretty much everything an L.L. Bean has gear for; ATV rides, Off-road Jeep trips, Hummer rock crawling, White water rafting, cayoneering and rock climbing.  After considering our budget, we agreed on an ATV tour that we would take off early the next morning.  Before heading back to camp we had our first hike in Arches National Park to Sand Dune Arch.  You would almost feel like your at the beach with all the sand except for the 200 foot high red wall rock formations surrounding you.  We leisurely walked the path but soon realized the best things about these rocks were not looking at them but climbing them.  Charlie traversed atop the first arch before I even knew he was gone and then we were hooked.  We climbed up everything and saw amazing views of the park.

Bright and early we left for our ATV trip.  Cody, the crazy sandal wearing, motorcycle jumping, “strap my 11 month old baby on my back when I go rock climbing” tour guide took us on an incredible ATV trail filled with sandburms, almost vertical ledges we had to ride up, water holes, and sharp turns… all the while going as fast as we can.  While on the trail we also got a chance to stop and see incredible views.  Cody was also handy with the camera and got some great action shots and Charlie was a great driver.  We did get to switch but Medford is a little less experienced then Woodstown with off-roading.  So far, it might be the best experience we have had on this trip.

We both agree that Moab would be a great place to visit again with lots of money and a fully equipped RV.   With advice from Cody we then trekked up Mill Creek Trail to a waterfall that is outside the park so not many people know about it.  The locals give us the advice “make sure to go left where the trail splits.”  Yeah the trail splits like 5 times and it is overgrown with trees and bushes so the entire trip we weren’t too sure if we were headed the right way.  I, with my great directional skills, finally got us to a place where we could hear people and water so had an idea we were getting close.  The water was a chilly 50 degrees but Charlie decided that it was worth it to jump off the cliff, I took one for the team and took pictures instead.

Once we got back in the park the sun was almost setting and we wanted to catch the Delicate Arch during sunset.  We had to hike up a strenuous 1.5 mile completely uphill hike but once you got there it was all worth it.  The sun cast orange hues on the huge arch and you couldn’t look away.  Since the scene was so picture perfect people scaled the rocks looking through their lens and seemed to not care if they fell off the cliff to get the perfect shot.  It was one of those things where you had to look away because in no way did I trust that these people weren’t going to slip and fall.  I’m pretty sure every mother knows exactly how that feels.  Not that these German tourist were my kids (hiking in Crocs non the less) but it was scary enough that we decided that that was enough and left the beautiful sight.

After another glorious night under the stars, this morning we hiked the Devil’s Garden trail and because of the long day yesterday we wanted to take the easier 3 mile hike but somehow ended up taking the difficult, primitive 7 mile hike uppppp hill to the Double O Arch. Again it was all worth it once we got to the top and took it the sight. Primitive hike really had no trail but just piles of rocks leading you from one spot to another through trees, up rocks and over water holes.  It has definitely tuckered us out for the day and now we are driving 5 hours to a town right outside Zion National Park.  We are springing for a hotel because another tidbit about the campground is there are no showers.  Smelly.

Arches National Park is something hard to describe.  I got a little crazy with the picture taking and I wish they did the park a little more justice.  this is a place you have to see in person to really appreciate it.

Written by rallytocali

October 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

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The Tex-Files

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We made it out of the deep south.  Onward to Texas.  Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
Houston is the 4th biggest city in the United States.  Yup, that is just about right.  We drove into the big city, got lost, got out of the car, walked around and then decided we needed to move on.  Wish I could tell you more but that is basically it for us and Houston.  It was not a walking city by any means.
We grabbed something to eat at another Diner Drive In and Dives joint called Cafe Pita.  It was bosnian food which is a lot like greek food.  The thin bread was really good with hummus.  We decided the give Houston another try and asked the waiter what to do.  He immediately suggested leaving Houston.  That was enough convincing for us and we are out of the there.

Onto San Antonio.  We drove two hours and by the time we got there it was night time.  Now if you know me, I’m slightly afraid of birds.  Ok more than slightly.  And if you know Charlie, he’s not too fond of bats.  I think you know where this is going.  Birds that flew in crazy scary bird packs.  Good luck walking under a tree.  You could hear the splattering every 5 seconds.  In a packed parking lot you see the trend of no cars in certain spots.  An unlucky visitor will pull in and be pleasantly surprised to find their car under a pile of you know what.  I asked the bus driver, “What’s with all the birds?”  “They live here” he said.  Enough said I guess.  We dodged the trees and walked down to downtown San Antonio.  It looks like any other city until you take the stairs down to the amazing River Walk.   Throughout the city runs a river that is lined with restaurants and people.  It is something out of Disney World.  We both had to keep convincing ourselves that we wouldn’t see mechanical children singing Small World around the corner.  We picked among a slew of Mexican restaurants and got ourselves a $25 pitcher of margarita on the rocks and a couple of 100% pure agave tequila shots.  Oh the food was good too.
We ended us chatting with a couple who once we told them we were from New Jersey instictevly asked Oh like the Jersey Shore?  We then convinced them that Ronnie was Charlie’s cousin and that we had heard San Antonio and the River Walk was going to be the shooting location for the next season.  We decided that this will now be our response when people ask us about the Jersey Shore.  It worked in New Mexico too.

The next morning we went to the City Market which is a outdoor market with food, crafts and Michael Jackson?  Not the black one or white one.. Miguel Jackson.  He performed as well as ladies who sang Selena.

 

We then went to the Alamo.  We went into the main building which had original guns, Davy Crockett’s vest, and a diorama of how the whole battle went down.  And a segway tours! We looked for Gob but he wasn’t there.

We spent another night on the river walk and then went to New Bruafels and tubed down the Guadalope river.  A 3 and 1/2 hour ride down the river with me Charlie and a case of beer.  We hit some rapids Charlie lost his shirt and sandals.  Another pair of rainbows gone.

All the tubing made us hungry so we went to the Salt Lick outside of Austin.  A huge BBQ place in the middle of nowhere which has made it onto almost every Food Network show because they have an open pit in the middle of the restaurant where they throw every kind of meat on there to cook.  We both got tasting plates which had ribs, smoked sausage, brisket, baked beans, smoked turkey, potato salad and au gratin, and bread and butter.  Pecan pie with ice cream for dessert.  The ribs were our favorite.

Austin was our next stop.  The first day we explored the city and went to the the biggest Whole Foods in the country.  There are some not so lousy food vendors on the streets and people playing music.  The next day we woke up and went a little outside the city and went on a Canopy Tour.  We zip lined from tree to tree and walked over some rope bridges.  Another crazy tree hugger tour guides Robert and Cedric.  The place is a farm which uses windmills and water wheels and raise Bison.

On the way back to Austin we stopped at Lake Travis.  A beautiful clear blue lake with multi-million dollar houses.  We traversed down to the lake and went to find a beach so we could swim in the lake.  We pulled up to Hippie Hallow park.  We roll down the window to pay the lady to get in and she asks us, Have you been here before?  We say no and she says just want to let you know it is clothing optional.  We decide to just give it a shot.  Well it didn’t seem it was optional to us.  Long story short, we were there for about 20 minutes, there were a lot of naked old men, we were the only ones wearing a bathing suites besides one fully clothed mexican who could have been the creepiest of them all.  Nude beaches are not for us.

1.5 million bats live under the North Congress Bridge in Austin.  At dusk the bats fly out from under the bridge and go hunting.  In a single night they will eat 20,000 pounds of bugs.  We tried to get pictures but they were flying so fast and we were on top of the bridge so they didn’t come out that good.  But if you look hard enough you can see the outline of a couple.  We also got some great shots of the Austin skyline.

The next day we decided to take the long haul to Albuquerque. The drive was long with nothing on each side of us except for the occasional ranch filled with everything from texas longhorn to antelope. This is home on the range where the deer and the antelope play. You pass through towns during the long trip but wouldn’t even know it except for the signs welcoming you to towns such as the aptly named Plains, Texas, or the not so greatly named Eden Texas. After 8 hours of driving we finally reach Roswell NM, the site for the historic UFO crash landing some 50 years ago. The town has small touristy museums and “research centers” to find out if life really does exist outside our own planet. The McDonalds playplace was in the shape of a UFO while every other street light or so was made to look like a glowing alien head not from this world. On the way out of this metropolis known as Roswell, while driving in total darkness we happened to see a streak of light falling from the sky. Was it real…I let you decide.

Finally we made it to Albuquerque and we all sorts of pumped about seeing the hot air balloons at the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  We waited in traffic, paid our $20 to get in, walked around for two hours only to be sadly disappointed to find out that they canceled the “Glowdeo”.  We’re not really gonna get into it because it was pretty disappointing.  We did get to see some balloons the next morning which we were told it would start at 5:30 so we got there then.  Two hours later… balloons started blowing up.  All in all…  the fiesta was a fail for us.

 

Written by rallytocali

October 12, 2010 at 12:14 am

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Billy the Tour Guide

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New Orleans. The big easy. Nawlin’s. Who dat.

What a town.

The city is almost like any other city with things like skyscrapers and take a walk down Canal street and you almost feel like youre in Times Square. There are bums on the corner and starbucks around every bend.

Now Bourbon Street.. that’s a different story. You turn onto the road and you finally see where everyone is. At about 6pm, they close the street off to cars and the bars open up. Tourists line the street which has beads hanging from just about everything they can hang from including telephone polls, street signs and trees. Bouncers try to entince the passerbys with signs for things like 3 for 1 drinks, big ass beers, hurricanes and hand grenades. Or they simply just point to you and say come on. Haha not the most imaginative but I’m sure if you were drunk enough you might just listen. Be careful bc some of these bright neon lights decieve you into thinking it is a bar when it is just a guy with a keg and a cash register. Most definitely a spectical. We even had a beer at the oldest bar in America which dated back to 1772. The whole bar was lit by candlelight.

oldest Bar

The French Quarter was beautiful. We ate beignets and drank coffee at Cafe Evansdale. Ha j/k.. Cafe Du Monde. We ate muffelats, po-boys, gumbo, jumbelya, gator, crawfish and a whole lot of shrimp. The food highlight of New Orleans was an Alligator and Crawfish Cheesecake. Now this is not something you’re gonna see at The Cheescake Factory… This was no dessert. More like a quiche but a lot better. That night we saw an impromptu jazz concert. You knew watching it that you were witnessing some great talent. The best part was the funny Asian kid playing the cowbell with the group that we are convinced was not really invited but came anyway.

There are street cars that run in the middle of the crowded road. The bums are all holding beers bc there are no open container laws. And the entire city is surrounded by Lake Ponchatraine and the Mississippi river. Which we got to see for the first time. We traveled outside of downtown on the Street Car and saw the garden district which was filled with huge southern antebellum homes and saw amazing campuses at Tulane and Loyola New Orleans which totally makes WVU look like Camden.



Mississippi River

Today we left New Orleans and headed down south to an Airboat Adventure. A tour 30 minutes outside of the city of the the bayous. The main attraction? Alligators. 7 FOOT GATORS PEOPLE! Now we had just ate some of these creatures the night before in that cheesecake I was telling you about. I sense some karma coming to bite us in the ass. Literally. Billy was our tour guide who totally blew us away with the history of the wetlands. The landscape had influences from the Spanish, French, and Native Americans. They planted trees to mark territories and used everything for medisional purposes. Beautiful Spanish moss hung from the trees which gave everything a picturesque feel. Note about Spanish Moss: The Spanish came with beards which looked like the Spanish moss. The native Americans, who never had facial hair, confused the beards and the moss and when the Spanish were cutting down the Cypress trees the Native Americans thought the trees were cutting down themselves. That Billy knew everything..

Back to the gators… Billy also was skilled at calling them. They answered to his voice and gladly ate the marshmellows he threw and even liked when Billy would lift them out of the water by their neck, smacked them in the head and grab their tails…. Yeah the 600 pound gator was quite the trooper. It was one of the best experiences in Louisiana. The boat that we were on was the same one Billy said he used to ride down Canal street to pick up the survivors from hurricane Katrina. On our tour we were riding on an average depth of 2 feet of water. New Orleans was under 26 feet of water after the storm came through. We got an explaination of just how important the wetlands are. Hurricanes in the 60s and the 70s were just as strong as Katrina but with the wetlands disappearing with erosion and the Nutria (big 65 pound rats that burrow into the ground and eat the roots of the vegetation in the wetlands) the impact is devistating.

Now we are driving west to Texas. 11 states down. Kisses everyone.

Written by rallytocali

October 1, 2010 at 12:48 am

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Diners Drive Ins and Dives

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We’ve donned our spiked white hair and multicolored goatee and stopped at two spots featured on diners drive ins and dives. Our first was an Irish pub in Atlantic beach, fl called Cullhans. The owner spoke with a heavy Irish accent and pictures of guy fieri were plastered all over the walls. Lanie’s lamb sliders were killer and my guiness stew was awesome…yea that’s right…I had guiness and beef in the same dish.
700 miles later in Fairhope, Alabama we came to panini pete’s. In Alabama’s own French quarter we walked through a tiny alley to open up to a quaint area which served fancy sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. I got the roast beef with gorgonzola and tomato while in a surprise choice lanie ordered the Rosemary chicken with goat cheese Note: Lanie HATES Rosemary and cheese! Both sanwiches were very good. Our next stop was Mobile in which we saw risotto gelato. We ended up getting a gelato made with Marsala wine and egg yolks. This was absolutely the best gelato I have ever had an will look for again while I’m down here. Well that’s all for now but I’m sure we’ll have plenty more about food from the trip to share

Written by rallytocali

September 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

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