Category Archives: CA

California: The Ride Out (White Sands, Dory Visit, Santa Barbara)

While preparing to leave Austin was a bit of a bummer we were super pumped about the fun ride out west that we had planned.

The excitement of an adventure certainly helps when you get that unavoidable twang of anxiety that comes with picking up and leaving a place you just got acclimated to.

We headed Northwest out of Austin on a Thursday afternoon toward Ft. Stockton, TX which would be our first overnight stop.

White Sands National Monument:

Ft. Stockton put us a few hours from WSNM (New Mexico) which was our first planed detour on our ride out.


As soon as we arrived we knew that the 110 mile round trip detour off of I-10 was worth it – as you can see from above.


After scoping out the scene for a minute at the visitor center, we decided to rent a cheap sled so that we could slide down the dunes while exploring this amazing place.


Me and Chica getting ready to go down the hill.

This park is unbelievable.  On the approach to the Monument, you would never guess there would be snow white sand dunes situated in the middle of nowhere.  The whole surrounding scenery was intense.


Every time one of us would slide down the hill, Chica would come barreling down as well.  Needless to say, she had a blast and was well exercised for the second leg of our drive.


We had already driven about five hours on our way to White Sands and goal was to drive another 440 miles to Phoenix that same day to stay on schedule for our visit  with Dory in Orange County.


So 440 miles to Phoenix equated to about another 9 hours on the road.  A 14 hour driving day with a stop at White Sands was a lot, but it just doesn’t seem as bad when driving through the endless Southwestern beauty of New Mexico and Arizona.

General Patton Memorial Museum:

Our drive from Phoenix to SoCal was beautiful!  After crossing into CA we stopped off randomly for gas and wound up at the museum.


In another random on that stop, we ran into a veteran from PA and he schooled us a bit.  The gentleman informed us that Patton’s troops would simulate desert warfare in this particular locale  while training for battle in North Africa during WWII – hence the location of the memorial.


So glad we got to pay tribute!


We arrived at Dory’s mid-day Saturday; it was so good to see him! Stuffing our faces with amazing food was on the agenda; Dory and Katie didn’t disappoint!


One of the nicest surprises, for me at least, was the Boba (Taiwanese bubble tea) at Class 302.  Never really got into it before, but this place was bomb.


And we had one unexpected, but not surprising event happen: Amy shaved the back of her head!


One day into being a Californian and Amy goes grunge!  This was inspired by Katie, who had this bad ass design of her own and Amy wanted it…personally, I kind of like it 🙂

While the weather was uncharacteristically rainy during our stay in SoCal, we had an amazing time with Dory and Katie.  Looking forward to the next visit!

Drive to Paso Robles:

We left SoCal early Monday morning and got a taste of the terrible traffic these poor people deal with on a daily basis.  Once we past Santa Monica on the 1, the traffic opened up and we were on our way to Santa Barbara for a quick bite.


This place is simply stunning!  No wonder when looking into staying here it was crazy expensive.


All good though, as you can see the rest of the ride up wasn’t so bad.


It was great to arrive at our home in Paso and looking forward to seeing all this beautiful place has to offer!