Summer Roadtrip

America, the beautiful... Indeed. I've lived in the US for most of my life, and I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to finally understand why millions of tourists flock to the US to experience the gorgeous landscape that inspire songwriters to tell stories of its beauty. I thought I had already seen most of what it had to offer by checking off the top to-do's: the east, the west, Hawaii, Alaska... But what I'd missed out on was the entire section in between those coastal geographies. 

What started off as a two-week road trip quickly turned into three. My boyfriend and I drove through 12 states and several national parks. We saw wildlife, monuments, got an amazing tan during an impromptu stop in Vegas (where we also saw Chris Angel!), tasted wine, shot guns (seriously), stopped by Sonoma to be a bridesmaid at my childhood friend's wedding - and the list goes on.

It definitely wasn't always as glamorous as it may seem. We stayed in some pretty sketchy hotels, as you do on road trips. As you can imagine, Vegas was definitely a treat! I can also - for the first time - attest to the fact there is a depressing difference between free-range grass fed cattle and sitting in the dirt waiting for feed cattle. But for every bump in the road, we were rewarded with nuggets of beauty like bear claw marks over trees, small hikes in Yellowstone and for this designer here, lots of super cute boutiques in Denver like Strut shoes and Blush.

But since I don't want to bore you with the excessive number of photos I took, here are a few of the cool stops that we made!

Mesa Verde National Park

It's amazing that these cliff dwellings were homes to the ancestral Pueblo people from 600 AD - 1300. Amazing.


Arches National Park 

Absolutely breathtaking. It was so hot that my pedicure melted onto my socks... No joke.


Red Rocks 

Unfortunately, there weren't any cool bands playing that night. But when Sigur Ros (my favorite band) comes back, I will definitely go!


Drinks with friends at Linger in Denver, CO. 


Deadwood, SD 

Such a cool random place. Lots of live music, gambling, and drinks.


The Crazy Horse Monument

This is going to be the world's largest mountain carving, if it's not already. The scale of this sculpture that is carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota is so large that the entire site of the Mt. Rushmore would fit into his head alone. You can see the what the finished sculpture will look like here in comparison to what they have completed thus far. It's taken over 60 years to get to this stage!


Mount Rushmore 

I finally got to see it for the first time. Impressive.  


Does this next one look familiar? They chose this location to film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" at Devil's Tower. Totally makes sense. It looks like it was intended for a spaceship. It's flat all around and then there's this random huge structure. This place was also very peaceful and mysterious. 


Crater Lake 

This lake in Oregon was spectacular! The water is a pristine, deep, crystal blue.


And of course, we visited Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful and some bison!

So, with 5000 more miles added to our car, I'm happy to report that if there's a road trip you're looking for, this one may be it. Get right to the middle of the US and start driving. You won't regret it!


Photos: Emmy Trinh

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