Two in One: San Vegas and Las Diego Road Trip Weekend

Odometer (Legend):  550,486


Odometer (ILX):  192,625


Trip Distance:  1,000 Miles


Yeah, I know.  Who RSVPs to a birthday party in one state, and a bachelor party in another state, on the same weekend, and still attends both?  You’re looking at him.  And here I am 1,000 miles later to tell you how that all played out.  The good news is that it feels amazing to go from the awe-inspiring 54th floor of the Cosmopolitan on the Las Vegas Strip one day, to the picturesque and sweet-smelling Mission Beach of San Diego the next.  The bad news is that coming back to reality bit.  Hard.

This past weekend’s adventure started with me scooping up my friend Kyle at his place in central PHX and us making our way, Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme in hand, in the ILX to Las Vegas.  It’s a drive that takes about 4.5 hours through the picturesque yet pretty barren reaches of Highway 93.  We arrived just in time to join the rest of our gang for a bite to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings before venturing out on the town.


And I can assure you, what happened in Vegas that night will stay in Vegas.  Well, I take that back.  The group text message with 8 people in it became a dumping ground for all the photos and videos from that night’s debauchery, and they will forever live on in the memory bank of each participant’s iPhone.  But this isn’t the time nor place to divulge any of those details.  Las Vegas Boulevard, known better as “The Strip,” is home to some 62,000 hotel rooms.  Tourists are out on the streets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is seriously no end to the available entertainment and we got our share of it.


On Saturday morning, we pulled our acts together in time for brunch at “Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar,” home to some of the best nachos I’ve ever had.  They’re called “trash can nachos” and basically come out in a big tin can that gets dumped on a plate in the center of the table.  Trust me, they were amazing.


Snoozing passengers!


Kyle, Lance, and I hit the road by early afternoon for the next chapter of our road trip weekend:  a bachelor party in Southern California.  Luckily the drive was a breeze with 95% of it being on southbound Interstate 15.  We stopped briefly in the middle-of-nowhere town of Baker, home to the World’s Largest Thermometer at 134 feet tall.  In typical fashion, traffic was slow-and-go the closer we got to the Los Angeles area, but as dusk settled in, we kept cranking the iPod and karaoke’d to classics like Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” (a song now 20 years old!) to pass the time and the miles.

Primitive but predictable, the Motel 6 on 2nd Avenue in downtown San Diego was our resting spot for the evening.  We had just enough time to freshen up there before heading to dinner and a night out on the town at Oxford Social Club in the Gaslamp District.  I felt like a true A-Lister there:  VIP entry, special reserved seating, and a meeting with the owner himself who came over to shake our hands.  The lights and music raged onward as we celebrated the upcoming wedding of my friends Wade & Rustin until the wee hours.

Speaking of, this is what happens when you’re part of 2 massive group texts and you put your phone away for a few minutes.  Ugh, the anxiety of unread messages.  I put both threads on “do not disturb.”


And what California trip would be complete without a stop at the beach?  My phone told me we were a mere 14 minutes from Mission Beach so we saddled up in the ILX and went to check it out.  The smell of a fresh sea breeze and the sound of crashing waves will never get old.  We wandered northbound along the sand for a little while before looping back to meet the rest of the gang in Little Italy for brunch at a spot called Prepkitchen.



The final leg of this epic weekend journey was the stretch of Interstate 8 that links San Diego with the Phoenix area, an oft-desolate road that runs parallel to the Mexican border.  Kyle took the wheel from the halfway point in Yuma onward, which was great because I needed some time with my eyes off the road.

The gang in an elevator


View from the Cosmopolitan hotel room


Soaking it all in, with Lance


This was the burger I had at Guy Fieri’s restaurant.  I liked the fries better!


Stop in Baker, CA with Kyle along I-15 southbound.


Gas prices there, ouch!


World’s Tallest Thermometer – 134 feet tall – indicative of the highest temperature ever observed in Death Valley nearby.  Notice it was only 67 degrees at the time of our visit.


Continuing on down Interstate 15


California’s inspection stations have never caused me too much delay.  I just get waved through.



Ahh, the beach!


Looking northbound alongside the sidewalk at Mission Beach in San Diego



Fuel and bathroom break in Gila Bend, AZ on the way back to Phoenix Sunday night


Check out this story about my friend Steve who flew across the country recently to buy a minty 4th generation Honda Prelude and drive it all the way back to Arizona!  Congrats, Steve!  I’m looking forward to seeing the car when you visit tomorrow.

And finally, does anyone out there want to be my twin?  This Legend coupe is up for grabs in the Los Angeles area!


Have a great weekend!

15 Responses to “Two in One: San Vegas and Las Diego Road Trip Weekend”

  1. Brad Heffran Says:

    Whoa! Are you just a tiny bit tempted to acquire that twin Legend coupe? We know that baby has hundreds of thousands of miles left in it. 😊

    • Yes, definitely! Very tempted. I really want to track down the VIN so I can see how close in the production sequence it was to mien. I know for a fact based on a friend’s research that there are only 27 cars identical to mine out there. So this is one of them. Happy weekend!

  2. Looks like a really fun trip. So the car in LA. $7500 and in “Fair” condition? The price, picture and condition don’t seem to go together. Did you see it or just the ad? Party on Garth.

    • Just the ad. I’m intrigued, though. Maybe I need to snag it as a back-up. Or maybe even a donor if mine ends up needing something? Hope you have a great weekend, Duane!

  3. Terrific post. That’s a whole lot of wheel time in a very short period! And you know I fully agree about mandatory beach visits!

    My only complaint: where is the photo of the trash can nachos? 😉

    (And realizing that Tubthumping is two decades old depressed the heck out of me)

  4. It’s kinda hard to believe that there are so many hotel rooms in Vegas. Mind boggling! With such a vast trip over a short period of time, I’m sure this will be one you’ll remember too. When’s the lucky couple tying the knot?

    • March 11th! I just got fitted for a tuxedo and I’ll be picking it up on 3/9. It’ll be the first time I’ve gotten that dressed up since my senior year in high school, 17 years ago.

  5. You’re so close to 200,000 miles. You might have to start planning a 200k road trip party.

    • Oh the plans are in the works!! The idea is to roll 200,000 on the 5 year anniversary of the day I got the car new. So Monday, June 12, 2017. Can I get to 200k by then?

  6. That was one crazy weekend. We know you don’t like to talk in the phone so we need a different icon on your quick launch bar on that phone. I can’t wait to read about the 200k celebration.

    • Haha, I didn’t even know I could customize those icons on my iPhone. Ew, phone calls? Who even does those anymore! Maybe you will be around for the 200k. Who knows!

  7. The Cosmo is pretty spectacular isn’t it (along with the prices) we were there last fall to meet up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in over 35 years.

    The place is insane especially during the weekend when you’re trying to park and you’re endlessly circling to find a spot among the 1000s of filled spaces.

    To there credit at least they’ve installed overhead LED indicators displaying red or green to indicate occupied and non-occupied spots. I never did see a green one… Vegas odds 😉

    • I know how that goes. We stayed at a place called Polo Towers that had very limited parking, so I stashed the car a block away at the Planet Hollywood parking structure. I had to circle my way up to 9th floor before I found an available spot… well, I should say, an available spot that met my needs. I refuse to park between two vehicles if the space is likely to give me door dings.

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