View Full Version : Road Trip!

05-09-2008, 06:06 AM
Allow me to indulge myself for a moment. In January, my whole department at work got made redundant (awww...), so I faced a couple of life-altering decisions. Where to work? Where to live? Plus I am getting married next year.

Naturally the smart move would have been to invest the redundancy money in a deposit for a house, and find a shiny new job to progress my accounting career.

Not a chance!

My partner and I are instead going on a 4 month road trip. 7 weeks in the states, then a couple of months through (mostly) Eastern Europe. I am now calling on your advice on what are the "must-sees" in your lovely country. The route we are taking is:

Vegas - LA - Santa Cruz - San Francisco - Chicago - Nashville - Memphis - Houston - New Orleans - Savannah - Charleston - Myrtle Beach - Edenton - Washington - Philly - New Haven - Boston - Portsmouth - Portland - New York

Transport is a mixture of planes, trains and automobiles (tip of the hat to you John Candy).

Any recommendations of places to eat, sights to see and bars to drink at would be very gratefully received. Thanks in advance!

05-09-2008, 07:29 AM
Eastern Europe? Is Hungary one of the destinations?

05-09-2008, 07:56 AM
Good for you man! :rockon::guitar::thumbup:

I'm going to live vicariously through you on this journey.

Sorry about the job but it seems your morale is high.

Rock on.

I would do Alaska. The danger being I may not come back.

05-09-2008, 08:37 AM
If you are in Memphis, you gotta go to Rendevous Ribs. Its in an alley across from the Peabody Motel in downtown. Their dry rub ribs ROCK!

05-09-2008, 08:45 AM
I hope you are gonna give us updates as you go.....

Additionally lets see for the cities I know:

Vegas: There's a post on PD somewhere that has a bunch of info on Vegas from several posters.

Chicago: I don't knwo when you'll be there, but around July 4th weekend they have the Taste of Chicago. Great event in Grant Park. Resturants from all over town participate. And at night they have fireworks. Also, get you some Gino's East Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. There used to be a location about a block or two off the "Miracle Mile". The Navy Pier is also pretty cool. I don't know if its good anymore, but there used to be a place called Dave's there near downtown. The food was pretty good but the atmosphere is something you won't experience anywhere else. Its like an old 50's diner and the severs are hilarious.

New Orleans: Pre Katrina, the aquarium used to be pretty darn cool. I don't know what shape its in now. I think I heard it was back up and running and in good shape.
Also make sure you pay a visit to Cafe Dumond for some beniegts and chickory coffee. You you gotta have some mudbugs(crawfish) while you're there.

Boston there is so much historical stuff to see there. Its just a very cool city to visit.

I guess I could go on and on but I'll let some other people give some info.

05-09-2008, 10:55 AM
as far as food goes, a good idea for any of the cities you visit is to use OpenTable.com (http://opentable.com/)

but here are some suggestions for...

i'd also toss giordano's (http://www.giordanos.com/main.php) for chicago pizza. other things to do in chicago? check out comedy at second city (http://secondcity.com/) on north wells or improv olympic (http://chicago.ioimprov.com/) on north clark/wrigleyville. andy's (http://www.andysjazzclub.com/) and green mill (http://www.greenmilljazz.com/) are both great jazz clubs. if blues is more you're thing, kingston mines (http://www.kingstonmines.com/) and rosa's lounge (http://www.rosaslounge.com/) are two cool spots. also, everyone at least once should visit the wiener circle (http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/3677757/) (also on north clark) and its famously/purposefully abusive staff -- the food isn't bad either. best to go from 10pm-4am to get the real feel for it.


matchbox (http://www.matchboxdc.com/) (chinatown/gallery place) - pizza bistro
cafe bonaparte (http://cafebonaparte.com/) (georgetown) - kick *** creperie
lauriol plaza (http://www.lauriolplaza.com/) (adams morgan) - great mexican food
old ebbitt grill (http://www.ebbitt.com/main/home.cfm?Section=Main&Category=About_the_Ebbitt) (white house area) - or any of the Clydes local chain
zaytinya (http://www.zaytinya.com/) (gallery place/penn quarter) - pretty good mediterranean
rasika (http://www.rasikarestaurant.com) (penn quarter) - indian
georgia brown's (http://www.gbrowns.com) (mcpherson square) - southern

*others like Citronell, CityZen, Bistro Bis i hear are excellent but can't speak for myself.

too see
well if you've never been before it is a requirement that you go monument hopping on the mall. eastern market (http://www.easternmarketdc.com/), georgetown (http://www.georgetowndc.com/), old town alexandria (http://visitalexandriava.com/)are all cool neighborhoods to walk. the newseum (http://www.newseum.org) is newly re-opened but costs around $18. you've got the free smithsonians. the national building museum (http://www.nbm.org/) (also free) is cool. DC is also home to the international spy museum (http://www.spymuseum.org/) (not so free admission). if NPR (http://www.npr.org) is your thing, they give public tours on thursdays at 11am (i'm sure other media offer similar).

Trader Joe
05-09-2008, 01:13 PM
Giordano's is very good pizza, but the best Chicago style pizza is Gulliver's which is a family owned place just north of Northwestern's campus. It's amazing and its pretty cool atmosphere as there are a bunch of antique lights hanging from the ceiling.

05-10-2008, 06:51 AM
Vegas: There's a post on PD somewhere that has a bunch of info on Vegas from several posters.

I think this is the one you're talking about. I know Vegas has been brought up here several times.


05-12-2008, 08:24 AM
Eastern Europe? Is Hungary one of the destinations?

It mostly certainly is. The (very rough) plan is:

Czech Republic - Slovakia - Hungary - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Greece - Italy - Croatia - Slovenia - Austria - Germany

I have been to Budapest before and absolutely loved it. Can't wait to see the whole country in a bit more detail.

05-12-2008, 08:28 AM
Oh, and a big thanks to Gyron, ATC & Indy for all the tips. I knew it would be a good idea posting this here! I will definitely keep you informed on our progress.

BTW, I will be in Vegas for the 4th July... I can imagine it will be even more party-licious than usual!

05-12-2008, 10:54 AM
If the Cubs are in town when you hit Chicago, you owe it to yourself to catch a game at Wrigley. You should have no trouble scalping a couple tix outside the park, and you can take the el train right to it. You should definitely go whether you like baseball or the Cubs or not.

05-12-2008, 11:21 AM
If the Cubs are in town when you hit Chicago, you owe it to yourself to catch a game at Wrigley. You should have no trouble scalping a couple tix outside the park, and you can take the el train right to it. You should definitely go whether you like baseball or the Cubs or not.

Ahhh, thanks. Pre-empted my question there! Since it won't be NBA or NFL season in July/Aug, baseball is about the only thing I can catch. I was wondering which stadiums are the ones to check out. I figured it would be the Cubs, Red Sox or Yankees. Cheers.

Trader Joe
05-12-2008, 11:29 AM
If you can get to a Yankees game then you should. Its their last season in this stadium and there is a lot of tradition there. I don't even like the Yanks and I think it would be cool to see a game there before they tear it down. Also if you can catch a game at Fenway you should do that as well.

05-12-2008, 11:51 AM
Savannah - Garibaldi's Cafe - lunch or dinner; great seafood and top notch cooks, excellent service, wife and I ate there in shorts for lunch despite its formal atmosphere and felt quite welcome.

Savannah is a great walking town, so if you get a chance to, I'd spend a full day there checking out the historic squares.

Also, Six Pence Pub - English style pub. Like walking into London. Great place for an ale after walking around.

Belford's Savannah Seafood & Steaks is also very good and near the market place.

Charleston SC - Hank's Seafood - I'd try the soft shell crabs. They're delicious.

While you're there, I'd check out Fort Sumter, the location of where the Civil War started.

05-12-2008, 11:49 PM
I'd take the smaller roads between Savannah and Charleston...if you see a roadside vendor stand selling shrimp po' boys...they're worth a stop. Po' boys as in sandwiches...

Oh, and in Zagreb (and other parts of Croatia) they sell an imperial stout type beverage...Tomislav pivo. Pivo is beer. Tomislav is good. Strong taste.

05-13-2008, 08:57 AM
If you make it to Koln, Germany, Make sure you check out the Dom Cathedral. Its Amazing. You can actually see the bullet and bomb holes in the walls from World War 2.

And if you are in New Orleans, Jackson Square, has many artists and a beuatiful Cathedral as well, but it doesn't compare to the Dom in Germany.

Also in New Orleans, if you can do one of the Graveyard tours, they are very cool and very creepy. The mosileums are amazing.

05-13-2008, 09:13 AM
If you come to Canada there is a lot of open space, igloos and moose to be seen and rivers of beer where beavers live in. But dont worry the Mounties keep it all safe.

05-13-2008, 10:27 AM
Ahhh, thanks. Pre-empted my question there! Since it won't be NBA or NFL season in July/Aug, baseball is about the only thing I can catch. I was wondering which stadiums are the ones to check out. I figured it would be the Cubs, Red Sox or Yankees. Cheers.

One thing about Wrigley, make sure you pay enough to get good tickets and ask where they are. Wrigley is a very old park and has supports that block the entire field from some seats. If you go to the Cubs site, they do have single game tickets available, but only in certain sections. Anything that is looking out from behind the dugouts and over the infield is likely to have supports in your view, unless you are pretty close. I remember once we had tickets that were behind homeplate but in the second tier of seats. We had a pole right in our view that obstructed the plate, the pitchers mound, second base, and center field, so we could not see the pitch delivered, the batter swing, or any plays at second base. My advice would be to go for some outfield tickets, or some balcony tickets even. Some more advice, make sure you get there early because there is a TON going on outside the park at a Cubs game. They have a brass quartet dressed in Cubs gear that plays music the whole time the gates are open. They also have several statues of Cubs greats for good photo ops.

05-27-2008, 06:38 AM
You wouldn't believe it. The Red Sox, Yankees & Cubs are all playing away while I am in each of their respective cities. I had to settle for Phillies tickets. I got a pair in left field for a Marlins game in early August. Should be fun!

Also booked a day trip out of Vegas to see the Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam. It will be totally bizarre seeing it in person. I expect that I will be mightily impressed.

07-24-2008, 11:34 AM
A long time coming, but a late update is better than no update!

Currently in Houston, 3 weeks into the trip. Having an awesome time, great places and great people. A few brief thoughts on the places we have been:

Vegas - I love this place. Hot would be an understatement (115 one day). Managed to escape the tables about break-even. Nice fireworks on the 4th July.

LA - Mixed emotions on this place. We loved Venice, Disney & Beverly Hills. Hollywood we were less impressed by. Plus I wasn't too well, which scuppered our hopes of hitting the Sunset Strip nightlife. The poverty in some areas was very depressing.

Big Sur Drive - Spectacular. We loved San Luis Obispo. Carmel was a little perculiar... and snobby. We stayed a night out on Pigeon Point which was great (except for a baseball bat fight between two locals outside the lighthouse). The drive itself was brilliant.

San Francisco - Beautiful city. Great setting, very friendly people. Good eating too. Caught an improv comedy show which was enjoyable. Cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge on a tandem. Not recommended! I never realised how hard those things were to control... especially in high winds.

California Zephyr train - Very cool. Scenery was gorgeous but I could only imagine how brilliant it looks in winter. The contrast in the terrain as you go from Utah to Colorado was very memorable. Managed to get cornered in the train bar by a very drunk dude who informed me he was just out of jail after 7 years for aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon. Nice!

Chicago - We did all the necessary things - Aquarium, Sears, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Wrigleyville. Highlight for me was the deep dish pizza at Pizza Uno. Mmmmmmm.

Nashville - Hilarious place. We loved it. Not our kind of music, but, when in Rome...

Memphis - Fun, fun, fun. Beale Street was cool. When to a blues joint where the bass & sax player from Isaac Hayes old band were playing. I would highly recommend the Civil Rights Museum as well.

About to head off to the NASA Space Museum. I can't tell you how excited I am about that. Thanks for all the recommendations - they have been very helpful!