Wandering West: TX to CA

I’m amazed that it has taken me this long to post a recap of my road trip from Texas to California! With 2ish weeks left, it’s about time! The 4 day trip out west was a memory I will for sure remember and recommend to anyone who has the opportunity! My partner in crime for this trip was Miss Lynsea Rohde. We had such a fun time, stopped way too many times, took a record-breaking amount of photos, and saw parts of the country we had never seen before!

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Our trip was a total of about 1,500 miles, and we took 4-5 days to get there. Our route took us through Lubbock TX, Albuquerque NM, Phoenix AZ, San Diego CA, up to LA! We decided to take our time & stop when we had friends in the area. I’m convinced this is the best way to do it. We had the opportunity to explore along the way without a time crunch, enjoy the hospitality of our friends and family, and ultimately have a more pleasant, relaxed trip! If you have friends along the way, make a stop! It’s amazing how refreshed you get just by taking time to see people you love on the journey!



The photos above were taken at our first stop in Lubbock, TX. We decided to drive from Dallas to Lubbock in the PM (6 hours) to get a head start on our trip. I’m so glad we did that because there is honestly NOTHING to see in that first stretch. We just listened to music and talked which was really great for us as a duo because we really got to set the intention for our trip, catch up, etc. We stayed with a friend in Lubbock and headed out first thing in the morning! (Thanks again to our friend Natalie who opened up her home to us!)

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^This might be one of the only good photos we got during our trip. Its next to impossible to get good photos together (especially with the scenery involved) while on the road! Selfies just don’t do a trip like this justice! Lynsea is (obviously) stunning and made for a great model along the way. On through New Mexico…

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Sometimes, wide open spaces are their own kind of beauty. We passed by this big field of dirt (?) and were just completely amazed at its beauty. The trip west is very much filled with wide open spaces, so when we saw something unique, we made a stop. Every time. 

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As we continued down the road a bit longer, we saw a big group of horses just standing together really close to the fence. We were contemplating whether or not to stop, we figured we probably need to drive for a while before stopping again, but eventually we decided to turn around. We had carrots and well…why not!

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Still in New Mexico at this point. It took us a while to get across this state and into Arizona. It was hot, and pretty barren. When we saw a cool town or place to stop, we always did. We wanted to savor the trip as much as we could, and find the beauty in the 15 hours we were driving this day. Yep, we drove for a while. It was definitely our longest day. We made a detour up to Albuquerque, NM (last photo) to explore the town & and do some turquoise shopping. It certainly was nice to get out in a populated area, take a break from driving, etc, but I wasn’t too impressed with New Mexico as a whole.


We pretty much drove into Arizona at the perfect time. We were racing the clock trying to get into Phoenix in time to settle into our ‘home’ for that evening’. We went through Flagstaff, through the mountains right at sunset. It was beautiful. If I were to change anything, it would be allowing time to really enjoy the sunset over these red rocks. From Flagstaff, we rushed through our last 3 hours into Phoenix. Lynsea’s boyfriend, Derek, lives in Phoenix, and we took a day off of driving to enjoy the day in the city, spend time with his family, relax, and rejuvenate for the rest of the trip. Let me just say, Phoenix is hot. I know I’m a Texas girl, I should be used to the heat, but wow. I’m not sure how they do it. My favorite part of Phoenix was the cool nights in Derek’s backyard. We enjoyed some wine with his parents, talked about life, and ended the night with some acoustic worship.


^I have to take a moment to recommend a restaurant we ate at in Phoenix called Joyride! It was a Mexican restaurant with great aesthetic, awesome music, & amazing tacos. I’m hoping to go back on my trip home! After our time in Phoenix, we continued west, now with a third passenger, Derek, along for the ride! We took our time in the morning, and headed out to San Diego. We spent about 6-7 hours driving this day. We went right along the Mexico border, which was really interesting to see! It felt like we were in a different world! We also saw sand dunes which I had never seen before! We didn’t get any photos, I regret not stopping!

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^Loved all the windmills as we passed through the desert in Arizona! Beautiful and surreal to see in person! They are huge!

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^FINALLY made it to the California border! From here, we drove a few more hours and made it into San Diego! Let me just tell you, the California air is like nothing else. So refreshing after driving through desert heat! I had never been to San Diego so it was nice to wander around a new area.

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^That night, we enjoyed the sunset along the beach, celebrated our arrival with a nice dinner, only to realize we hadn’t figured out a place to stay in San Diego! We rummaged our contacts, and after much debate, decided to just reserve a hotel for the night. Even though we had to spend some money on rooming this night, it sure was nice to sleep in a big bed, get room service (thanks Derek), and relax without worrying about invading someone else’s space!

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The next day, we had about half a day to spend in San Diego. We had heard that La Jolla was a really nice place to check out. Boy were they right! It’s definitely the hidden gem of San Diego! Beautiful look out, crystal clear water, seals, snorkeling, shopping, it has it all! I’m a sucker for cute coffee shops/breakfast places, and we were lucky enough to stumble upon Cody’s at La Jolla. I absolutely recommend this restaurant to anyone and everyone! It is a cute little house/restaurant with amazing food & drink. Not to mention, it has a beautiful view of the ocean! I didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to go back in a couple of weeks! Best part? They serve breakfast all day.


After our time in La Jolla, we made it up to Huntington Beach to stay with our good friend, Carson for the night. While in the OC, I took some time to unpack all my bags at the intern house, get acquainted with the area, etc. Once settled in, we headed up to LA for the weekend. Derek plays drums in a band called Betty Who, and so while there, we got to take in LA, enjoy the Betty Who show, see the LA Ballet, go to Hillsong LA for the first time, shop, etc! It was a great welcome into the city! On Sunday, after this whirlwind of a trip, I headed back to Newport to settle into my new home for the summer.

What a week! I loved my experience getting to drive from Texas to California. We were so lucky to have so many friends and family open up their home to us during this trip! It wouldn’t have been the same otherwise. For anyone who is able, I definitely recommend a road trip out to California over a flight at least once. It was a memory I will always remember, and HEY, in a few short weeks, I’ll get to do it again! If you have any questions regarding places to stop, things to see, or how to budget for a trip like this, don’t hesitate to comment with your questions or contact me personally! I love planning out fun trips like this and am more than willing to help anyone who has questions.

For those of you who read through the end, y’all are troopers.


One thought on “Wandering West: TX to CA

  1. Pingback: FAVORITES of 2014 |

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