Operation Alan, Jenni, Hooty and Sven see America: Complete!

::full circle::
::full circle::
We arrived back “home” to Los Angeles around lunch time today. True to form, LA greeted us with 75 degrees of comfort and sunny blue skies. We drove by our old apartment and waved hello, picked up a bottle of bubbly at our old Ralph’s and grabbed some In-N-Out. No better way to welcome ourselves back and toast to a road trip of stellar proportions. We started with a bottle of Moët camping in San Simeon our first night on the road, finished with a bottle of Moët and an In-N-Out burger on our first night “home.” I’d say that about rounds it out!
::fine eats and fine drinks::
::fine eats and fine drinks::
Here are the stats:
Miles driven: 11,815
States touched: 35 (CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, SD, MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ)
Money spent on gas: $1,411.12
Money spent on tolls: Countless dollars (I’m looking at you New York – what is $15 for one toll, honestly?!)
Locations we laid our weary heads to rest: 39
Stops by the fuzz: 1 (to tell us we were in the hood and not to come back)
Tickets: 0 (woot woot!)
Stops by Border Patrol: 2
Stops by the FBI: 1
Accidents: 0
Visits to the Volvo service shop: 3
Football games attended: 3
Weddings attended: 3
Times Alan wore his tuxedo: 4 (also approximate number of showers)
Number of times someone vomited in the car: 1
Items lost: 3 – Alan’s headphones, Alan’s bathing suit (later retrieved by Jenni’s parents yay!), nail clippers
Family members visited: 30 (including all our living grandparents)
Number of college campuses visited: 12
Serious injuries: 0
Mosquito bites: millions
Surprisingly painful ant bite: 1
Other mysterious bites: lots
Spiders in the car: 3 (seriously?! Ugh)
Beetle in the car: 1
Ladybug in the car: 1 (good luck!)
Craziest (non-wedding) party: Halloween on Frenchman Street – New Orleans, LA
Guns fired: 4
Biggest surprise: Fairhope, AL and the bomb sushi spot there
Biggest letdown: Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota
Memorable dishes: Franklin’s brisket (Austin, TX), Graze’s burger (Madison, WI), Bon Mi’s bahn mi (Eugene, OR), Pig in a Fur Coat’s tomato salad (Madison, WI), Parasol’s firecracker shrimp po’ boy (New Orleans, LA), Yolk’s breakfast sandwiches (Portland, OR), College Town Bagel’s vegetarian bagel (Ithaca, NY)
Worst value hotel: Days Inn (Charleston, SC) …though they did throw in a box of condoms next to the Bible
Scariest experience: nearly being hit by a maniacal driver after witnessing a parking lot altercation in Alabama
Funniest moment: Seth mooning the rafters after falling into the river
Coolest animal sighting: tie between wolf and pine marten; honorable mention: prairie dogs, zebra on the PCH, camel in White Sands National Monument, NM, alligators, wild boar, puffer fish
Neatest spot discovered on a stranger’s recommendation: Granite Hot Springs, WY
Best campground: toss up among Bell Bay Campground – Lake Coeur D’Alene, ID, Two Medicine Campground – Glacier National Park, MT and KOA – Devil’s Tower, WY

Note: this is a joint post co-written by Jenni and Alan in celebration of completing our road trip. We apologize for being so far behind on the posts, and we aim to finish them before we leave the country on November 21st (for a quick pre-planned jaunt to Chile)! Stay tuned 🙂

Update re Jenni & Alan see the WORLD (Sven is afraid of flying and we may launch a Kickstarter campaign for Hooty’s airfare): We finally booked tickets for the first major international leg to Asia!  We depart LA for Hong Kong on December 3 (arriving December 5), then fly to Colombo (Sri Lanka) December 8, to Kochi (India) December 16, from Varanasi (India) to Bangkok (Thailand) on January 10 and from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Kathmandu (Nepal) on April 1.  This gives us some structure while allowing lots of flexibility in India and for nearly three months elsewhere in Asia before Nepal.  In India we are thinking about Kerala, Goa, Mumbai, Ajanta and Ellora caves, Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi.  In addition to the countries above, we currently intend to visit Laos, Malaysia, Philippines (our thoughts are with their people as they battle this horrific typhoon), Borneo, Indonesia and Singapore.  After Nepal in mid to late April, we will probably visit some of the Silk Road ‘Stans and China before returning to LA in late May.  If you have any thoughts or advice, please come with it!

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