Moving from Orlando, FL to Denver, CO

What a whirlwind these past two weeks have been. If you've been following my social media as of lately, you would know that my family took the bold leap of moving out to Denver, CO and I could not be more thrilled. Since we had to drive out with our cars anyways, we decided why not make an epic road trip out of it? I told my best friend Kathleen she had no choice, she was coming along with me. So, her and I rode in my Dad's truck, pulling a U-haul behind us; while my mom was stuck with my teenage sister, her teenage best friend, and our two ~lovely~ doggos. Sorry, Mom. Naturally, I decided to blog about the journey and trust me, it's worth the read. Road trips are always interesting experiences, lol. So without further ado, welcome to the road trip diaries. 

Longwood, FL- New Orleans, LA (10 hours) The Big Easy, the birthplace of jazz, & the place to be for Mardi Gras was our first stop on the road trip. We stayed at the Le Meridian hotel off the corner of Tchoupitoulas St., which in my opinion might be the best named street ever. My first born sons middle name will be Tchoupitoulas just because it’s unnecessary & hilarious. Two of my favorite characteristics. We arrived on Tchoupitoulas st. (any chance I have to mention that name I will take) around 7:30 pm & quickly got ready to meet my parents lovely friends, The Capella brothers, for dinner at Impastato’s. This place felt like you stepped through a time travel machine and wound up in your Italian best friends grandpas restaurant in 1980. Mr. Joe, the owner, is quite possibly the cutest old man I’ve ever seen. His high-pitched, fast paced voice, his squinty smile which exposes his barely-there teeth, and his homemade pasta which he prepares with both marinara & cream sauce right beside your table really makes you feel like you’re more than a customer; you’re practically like a guest at his own home, especially because majority of the people who work there are his sons & grandsons. After entering a full on pasta, bread, shrimp, fish, ice cream, & red wine induced food coma, we called it a night. The next day we had to check out and get on the road to head to our second destination, but I wasn’t leaving until I walked down Bourbon St. with a cold daiquiri in my hand. So while the fam packed up the car, that’s exactly what Kathleen & I decided to do. As we made our way down Bourbon st., I've never seen so many daiquiri shops & titty bars. Every block we’d walk past boasted it’s own unique scent, which was just some variation blend of urine, weed, & Cajun food. Mardi Gras beads still hung from the railings and music roared from inside the open doors of bars; mind you, it was 12:30 pm on a Sunday. The best part about our little adventure down Bourbon St. was when this man stopped Kathleen in her tracks, held out a live crawfish right in front of her face, & began to laugh his ass off as she screamed in shock. His buddy who was broiling them proceeded to say, “ya didn’t see that one comin’ did ya.” Needless to say, NoLa is a city that’s exploding with culture & I wish I could’ve spent more time in it. Onto the second stop of our moving adventure... 

New Orleans, LA- Dallas, TX (8 hours) Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose were the words that came out Kathleen and I as we crossed the Welcome to Texas sign. Clearly, we have a very specific depiction of Texas. The abundance of Mexican restaurants and BBQ smokehouses seen from the highway didn’t contradict that depiction either. Dallas was our second stop on the road trip and we were excited to see the city! We weren’t expected to get to our hotel until 9:30 pm, so we scanned the exit signs looking out for anything that wasn’t Wendy’s or Sonic that we could eat for dinner. Finally, we came across the only decent option for food- Chili’s. I was so hungry it didn’t even matter that my Mango-Chile chicken tasted of plastic. By the time we got to Dallas, it was close to 10 pm and all I had in mind was getting into my PJ’s and passing out. The next morning, we ate breakfast at our hotel, The Fairmount, and discussed hitting a running trail before we had to get back in the car and drive to the next stop. Katy trail was only a 0.5 mile walk from our hotel, so we got our sneakers on and stepped out into the 100 degree weather. We never made it to Katy trail, but we sure as hell got a workout in. We were supposed to make a left on Olive St. then go straight until it ran into the trail. However, there was no Olive St. Before we knew it, we were walking along the side of the highway, dodging cacti, and watching cars whizz by us- probably laughing their asses off as they watched us running by the metal guardrail, still determined to get a workout in. Kathleen might’ve got pricked by a cactus and someone almost shit their pants as we power walked through the city of Dallas, but moral of the story, the DiMarco’s will always get their workout in. Oh, and we found Olive St. on our way back- turns out it was there all along. Also, if you’re wondering who that “someone” is that almost shit their pants, it was Kathleen. Texas was hard for her. Onto our next stop…

Dallas, TX- Amarillo, TX (5 1/2 hours) It wasn’t that we specifically wanted to make our third pitstop in Amarillo, it was just the midway point to our final destination. Not knowing much about it, I was shocked to find out that it was the 14th most populous city in the state of Texas because by the looks of it, you wouldn’t ever think so. Granted, we stayed in a hotel right off of the highway so we didn’t see much of the city. What we did see, though, was a statue of a horse outside of every hotel, restaurant, strip mall, and car dealership. Texans really love their horses, y’all. From the highway we spotted the Big Texan Steak Ranch which is a brewery and a hotel that is most known for their 72 oz steak challenge. Basically, you are to eat an appetizer, salad, and 72 oz steak within one hour and you get your meal for free; if you fail, you pay $72 for your meal. Gotta love Texas. After reciting quotes from Friday Night Lights and saying ignorant, stereotypical Texas phrases in our best country accents out of straight post-drive delirium, we walked to one of the restaurants that lined the side street off of the highway by our hotel. Let me list you our choices: Logan’s Roadhouse, Fuddruckers, & Saltgrass Steakhouse. We picked Saltgrass Steakhouse, even though I’m pretty sure the other restaurants had almost identical menus. Once we got there, we all shared ribs and a few appetizers and because the water at the restaurant tasted like absolute dirt, we all washed the food down with our preferred cocktail of choice. A margarita for me, Corona-rita for Kathleen, Texas tea for my Dad, and a glass of white wine for my Mom, because she’s classy like that. The next morning before embarking on the last long drive of the journey, we picked up Starbucks and drove out to Cadillac Ranch, an art installation that’s been there since 1974 where people can spray paint there names on old Cadillacs off the side of Route 66. After typing in the wrong address in maps and rerouting my parents 20 minutes out of the way, we finally got there. It reeked of horse shit and the ground was full of mud, but we sure as hell saw those Cadillacs. My parents and Kathleen were all confused and saying that this could quite possibly be the dumbest shit they’ve ever purposely gone to. Turns out, you're supposed to bring your own spray paint and write your names on the vehicles, which would've made driving there worth it. I thought it was pretty #kewl regardless. Next stop…

Amarillo, TX- Colorado Springs, CO (5 1/2 hours) Our last stop before heading into Denver was Colorado Springs! We got a cute little air bnb for the night which was a nice change up from the crappy hotel beds we’d been sleeping in the past 4 days. After putting our stuff down and getting changed, we drove into Old Colorado City historic district and grabbed dinner at Jake & Telly’s, a Greek restaurant in town. Went for the food, stayed for the white wine sangrias. They were so good that we asked for the recipe, 12/10 would recommend. Later we came home to our cozy bnb, watched the movie dodgeball, and passed out! The next morning we grabbed breakfast at this super yummy cafe called cafe red point before hiking Garden of the Gods. I don’t really know what we were thinking, because we decided to go on a 3 mile hike at noon in the blazing hot sun without any water. My parents had to take the dogs back to the car after 15 minutes of walking. I guess I forgot that my sister and our friends are used to being at sea level, so after about an hour we had to stop and have my mom come pick us up on the top of the mountain. Garden of the Gods was super pretty but we definitely were unprepared.

Colorado Springs, CO- Denver, CO (HOME!) It only took us about an hour and 15 minutes to drive from Colorado Springs to Denver. We planned it perfectly because we were able to celebrate the evening of 4th of July in Denver at a BBQ hosted by a member of Cherry Hills Golf Course. Even though looking back, the road trip was one of the most fun experiences I've had, we were all happy that we no longer had to sit in a car for hours on end. Walking never felt so good. 

I'm used to my parents traveling and being away because of my Dad's golf career, so living in a different state for college wasn't too hard. However, now that they're out here, I'm realizing how much nicer it is to have your family only be a 40 minute car ride away. I know I'm going to get this question a lot: why did your family decide to move out to Denver? And to be honest, the largest part wasn't even because I'm here. For as long as I can remember, I've been flying out to Aspen, CO in the winters & spring to ski, and in the summer to hike and enjoy the town. My parents honeymooned in Aspen. It's been their dream to eventually have a place out here, if not move full time. So honestly, with my brother beginning his golf career in Canada, my sister starting high school, and me going to CU, it just made sense. It was like, if there is a time to make the move out here, it's now. And so they did. And now that they're here, I find myself wondering what took them so long. They live the most active lifestyle and being in Colorado is the perfect place for them to thrive. They've only been here for about a week now, but it has already brought so much happiness to them. I'm so excited for this next chapter in my family's and my life and I could not be more proud of them for taking this leap of faith. Here's to a new chapter full of happiness, love, and everything life throws our way!