2,500 miles across the United States

Road tripping across the United States has always been a dream of mine, likely planted by two of my favorite comedies ever — Dumb and Dumber and National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Naturally, when I decided to take my talents to Florida, I ditched a short 5-hour flight to Orlando in favor of a 2,500-mile and 40-hour expedition on the road instead. Screw conventional wisdom, man.

The entire trek was worth it and more. Here are some highlights and random tidbits:

  • Shoutout to my main dog, Surg Nunez, for joining me on the trip. Road tripping alone would’ve sucked. But with one of my best friends? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, bro.
  • The entire trip spanned from Monday 9 am PST to Friday 4 am EST — a whopping total of 88 hours. We traveled through 11 states (Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida). Seven of those states were completely new to me.
  • I tried Chick-Fil-A for the first time in Salt Lake City. Miss me with that KFC and Popeyes shit for the rest of my life. Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries, sauce, and customer service all day!
  • Wyoming blows. That is all.
  • I almost died in Denver. While walking around 16th Street Mall — at 11 pm, mind you — I almost got my ass taken out by a public bus while I was glued to my phone. That’s right, a got damn bus was still chugging along at 11 FREAKIN’ PM along the outdoor mall, which is closed to all other traffic by the way. It was some Final Destination-esque shit, but I can proudly say I avoided death.
  • I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than that. That John Denver is full of shit, man.
  • The 8-hour drive through Kansas was the most boring part of the trip. There’s a whole lot of nothing in that place. I feel bad that Superman grew up there.
  • St. Louis’ Gateway Arch is an amazing piece of architecture. Words don’t do it justice. Look at my pics below for a view from the ground level and 630-feet above.
  • Nashville was my favorite stop along the trip. Music City USA, as it’s nicknamed, is sneaky cool. For one, it’s incredibly scenic. Lots of hills and mountains — some of the last ones you’ll see before going any further south. The Cumberland River flows through downtown and right outside the Tennessee Titan’s stadium. Two, it’s popping as hell. Downtown features a few blocks with bar after bar, all equipped with live music or karaoke since Nashville is the hub for country music.
  • Speaking of country music, I had to stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame while there. I use to like country music a lot, while I don’t listen it much anymore, I still consider Johnny Cash the GOAT. Seeing the Man in Black’s exhibits and pictures was so cool.
  • Also in Nashville, we decided to play The Escape Game. Room escape games seem to be catching fire across the country as a team-building activity, but it was the first I played. It won’t be my last, either, because this was so fuckin’ fun. Our game was themed The Heist, tasking me and my teammates with solving riddles, finding clues, stealing a sacred painting, and escaping a locked room, all in under 60 minutes. Surg and I were teamed up with four randoms — two couples who were friends with each other. One of those dudes was cool AF. He was rocking a Led Zeppelin shirt, a graduate of Morehead State (who lost to my alma matter in the 2016 CBI Finals), openly dabbled in recreational drugs (according to his girlfriend), liked reading Malcolm Gladwell books like me, and he was missing a couple of screws… While playing the game, this guy was a man possessed — breaking objects in the room, connecting clues seemingly out of no where, and just doing random shit. Great guy, man! We ended up hitting our time limit with one step away from solving the entire mystery and escaping the room. So we lost, but screw it, we were close enough that the workers gave us a ‘W.
  • Kentucky was one giant letdown. For one, Colonel Sanders was no where to be found and you know the blue grass that the state is famous for? Well, guess what, it’s not even freakin’ blue! IT’S DARK GREEN! WTF, man?!?
  • Atlanta really bent us over, bro. They close all the tourist-y stuff at 5 pm. So we were shit out of luck hitting up World of Coca Cola and the College Football Hall of Fame AND Chick-Fil-A Experience (great sponsorship, by the way). Centennial Olympic Park is awesome, though. They have a mural with all the medal-earning athletes from the 1996 Olympics, which they hosted. We saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a bronze winner, the only loss of his career (which was a complete screwjob).
  • Daytona Beach at 2 am is kinda sketchy, but Surg got to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time — and it completely shits on the Pacific Ocean.

RANDOM but don’t you hate when you take a bunch of dope pics, but they’re all on Snapchat? Either they’re lost in the Snapchat vortex forever or they’re blemished with filters. In 20 years when we’re reminiscing about our youth and uploading throwback pics, they’re going to be covered in geofilters, big ass emojis, and colorful drawings…