Two weeks, one car, and 10 states. Here is a flashback to when we took our big road trip from Georgia to Washington. It has been mentioned before that this road trip is what inspired me to start Foreign Taste Buds. Ever since I was young, I have always loved to travel and experience the new area through the food. So, it was imperative that during this road trip, I had a chance to stop in as many major cities as possible and eat something that represented that city well. Once I started planning our trip and realizing how much cool stuff I was going to be doing, I also realized that I loved to share my adventures with others. So I figured the best way to do so with a community of like-minded people was to start my own community through a blog. Finally Foreign Taste Buds was born!

Rodney and I moved to his hometown in Georgia in December 2013, and although I loved the experience, I knew that I wanted to be back home in Washington sooner rather than later. So we marked our calendars for the middle of September 2016 and this time I insisted it be more of a vacation than a move. The closer September rolled around, the more I researched and planned to see the perfect sights in each state (Seriously, I was obsessed, I created a Pinterest board and everything!) Once September finally came, we packed up our apartment, stuffed our car to the brim and hit the road.

2 weeks worth of driving across the country. This is the route we took and loved every minute of it.

Throughout these posts, I will highlight some of the exciting, touristy things we did and of course talk about the food I experienced! Although I try to stay on subject with just dessert and tea, I think it is worth it to talk about ALL food this time around, right?

If I touched base in your city, let me know if I did your city justice or if I have another reason to come visit! Enjoy!


Dallas, TX

First up, after about 18 hours of driving (the day after our going away party, mind you) we finally made it to Arlington, TX to visit some of Rodney’s family. This was one of the most anticipated locations for us because we have been here before but did not get to truly explore the way I would have preferred. So this time, I was going to do it right! Half the time we hung out with the family and enjoyed grandma’s cooking, but the other half of the time, we explored as many places as possible in Dallas for the one day we would be able to. To fulfill my excitment while in Dallas, I got to try Turkish coffee and Baklava for the first time, I got my first Sprinkles cupcake, we found a fun arcade (for Rodney), and of course we went to the Reunion Tower.

Points of Interest:

  • Dallas Farmers Market
    • Laili Dallas– Afghan Street Food and Turkish Pastries-Turkish coffee and Baklava
  • Reunion Tower
  • The Plaza at Preston Center
    • Sprinkles Cupcake ATM- Red Velvet (Of course!)

 

 


Waco, TX

Do y’all watch the show Fixer Upper? Well I do on occasion and I love the fact that the show highlights its birth place, Waco, TX! Every time I watch the show, I would see a few locations featured here and there that seem like a great place to check out. So, I figured that sense we would be passing by it, we might as well stop! I tell you, it was such a cute town and everything that I would imagine to describe small town Texas.

Points of Interest: 

  • Common Grounds – Coffee Shop
    • Common Grounds has been shown on the show fixer upper a few times and it seemed to be worth the stop. The coffee and service were great but the best part was to be able to sit out back and enjoy the quaint space while sipping my coffee. If I am ever in Waco again, I will definitely be back to catch a live performance in their back yard.
  • Spice Village
    • Spice Village was an unexpected stop but it was totally worth it. When you first walk in, you see a giant set of staircases with fun sayings that give off the best first impression of this place. When you make it up the stairs, it feels like a flea market/ antique shop wonderland. There are many small shops all located in one building , each with their own identity. My favorite shop has to be the one that has kitchen utensils hanging from the ceiling (Imagine that!)
  • The Magnolia Market (Fixer Upper’s cast’s retail shop)
    • Yes! The Magnolio Silos was beautiful and it had beautiful pieces for sale. But, I wouldn’t be myself if I wasn’t excited to stop at the bakery. I went, I saw, I ate. I got a Lemon Lavender cupcake…yum! That is all.


Austin, TX

Now Austin, Texas was not necessarily a stop that was on our route, but we have some friends that currently live in Killeen, so we had to see them! I noticed that Austin is a town that has a great mixing pot of people and a lot of culture to it. While in Austin, we didn’t go to too many places, but the things we did do were totally worth it.

Points of Interest:

  • Austin Zoo
    • Being from Seattle, I am used to going a zoo with traffic directors in the parking lot, and statues to greet you at the door. So when we got to the Austin Zoo I was surely taken back. To start, the Austin Zoo is not in the middle of the city, I in fact had to drive through windy hills in a residential area to get to the zoo. When we finally (and safely!) made it to the zoo, there was a beautiful view greeting us. This zoo has been an experience without us even walking in yet! But when we did walk in, I was excited (and surprised) to see chickens and peacocks roaming freely around the dirt paths. Lets just say, that this zoo remains one with nature and is a wonderful first impression of Austin for me.
  • Raising Cane’s- Local fast food chain- YUM
  • Hope Outdoor Gallery- Graffiti park


Las Cruces, NM

After about a week in Texas, it was finally time to move on and make some progress towards the west coast. Las Cruces, New Mexico was our next destination and I had high expectations for the food. Growing up in Seattle, I have always been exposed to Mexican food (and loved it) but there was just something about going to New Mexico that made me want it even more. New Mexico is known for its unique blend of Native American and Mexican culture and every year, Las Cruces creates the world’s largest enchilada. Unfortunately, I was going to miss out on the world’s largest enchilada, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still have one. So I took to the streets and found some yummy food.

Points of Interest:

  • La Nueva Casita Cafe- A delicious mexican restaurant – My first ‘christmas’ enchilada (red and green)
  • La Fiesta Bakery
    • So many good choices! But to experience my surroundings, I decided on a Guava Empanada and a biscochito. The Guava Empanada was so yummy that Rodney ate the remainder of it. A biscochito is New Mexico’s state cookie. It is an Anise and Cinnamon flavored shortbread and it is everything I imagined and more.


Wilcox,AZ

 Arizona was another highly anticipated destination simply because I had so many exciting things planned for us. The only reason I planned on stopping in Wilcox, Arizona was because I knew that there was an orchard festival and pancake breakfast happening. Rodney and I love being able to go out and pick our own fruit on a beautiful day, so I knew that this day would be fun.

Points of Interest:

  • Apple Annie’s Orchard– apples and Asian pears (some of our favorites), bakery, and souvenirs.
    • On this specific day, there was an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast schedule. I had house-made pumpkin pancakes with house-made apple cider syrup. Once we were stuffed to the brim, it was time to start apple/pear picking under the beautiful scenery. Then before we hit the road again, I made sure to grab some apple cider donuts (should I try making this?) and a souvenir.


 


Phoenix, AZ

The closer and closer we are getting to WA, the more I feel at home. Phoenix is a city full of culture and I was so anxious to experience it. To start, I had to make a stop at my school, to make some fun out of it, we decided to check out the Arizona State Art Museum. Then, we made it to the highly anticipated Brazilian Day Arizona Festival where I tried out some yummy food. Then by the end of the night, we did some shopping (just like every city) and stopped at the Pheonix Desert Botanical Garden for a tasty drink.

Points of Interest:

  • Arizona State Art Museum- Go Sun Devils!
  • Brazilian Day Arizona Festival
    • Wow, this was such an amazing experience! For the first time, we had the pleasure of watching a live Brazilian dance performance, tasted authentic Brazilian food (including coxhina ) and even got to see one of Scottsdale’s famous LOVE landmark.
  • Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden
    • By the time we made it here, it was almost closing time so we didn’t bother purchasing a ticket to go in, but I did insist on grabbing a prickly pear flavored drink, because that just screams desert. I ended up deciding on just a simple Prickly Pear Tea.-Yum!


This is just the half of our road trip! Have you been to any of these cities? Let me know in the comments what I missed out on so I can have a reason to go back!