The Adventures of the Frog Van – Traversing the USA West Coast in Style – Part two

After leaving the Arizona desert we were off to the 3 day Coachella Music festival in yet another desert, the Colorado Desert in Indio, California. Having never been to an overseas festival we were keen to experience large name acts such as The Strokes, Arcade Fire,  Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West + over 100 other key acts which we would never experience all in one festival back in Australia.

2011 Coachella Lineup

The first key difference we noticed was that instead of hiding our alcohol in every nook and cranny we could find it is permitted to bring alcohol into Coachella as long as there were no glass bottles! Happily sipping a few beers in the large line of cars to get in makes the experience a lot more relaxed and enjoyable rather then the nervous angst you feel in lines in Australia hoping the alcohol you hid under the wheel jack isn’t found!

Coachella queue
Coachella queue – Couldn’t wait to make it to that row of Palm Trees

Our Coachella experience can be summed up as follows:

•    Amazing music acts on 6 stages so there is always something to see
•    Sooooo much room so even those people who feel claustrophobic would be able to stand near the edge and see the acts
•    Heineken bars and big umbrellas
•    Free yoga
•    Warm weather so was able to wear a bikini and shorts everyday
•    Ferris wheels, music vans, chill out pods, ice-creams and beers in the sun 🙂

Coachella Music wagon
•    Burnt skin as up to 40 degrees during the day
•    Freezing cold at night
•    Having to leave 😦

Coachella Camping
Coachella Camping

Next we headed due east to Phoenix, Arizona to see the Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs in one of the last NBA games before the Conference finals began. Phoenix is my kind of town as I love warm weather and we stayed (parked our van) in a uni district that was full of nice cafe’s, leafy streets and just a friendly vibe. The game itself was a spectacle to watch with fantastic game play, acrobatic cheerleaders and a hyped up crowd that soon had us joining in the yelling and cheering (we enjoyed this NBA game so much we ended up getting tickets to one of the finals games in San Antonio later in our travels)

Phoenix Vs Spurs
Leaving Phoenix we headed to San Diego with an overnight stopover at a Walmart car park in Palm Springs before reaching the charming southern city of San Diego.

Walmart Breakfast
Palm Springs Wallmart – living the high life

The zoo here is amazing and it took us a whole day to explore only half of the whole zoo! Unfortunately the next day we had to drop off the frog van in LA to another waiting adventurer so our road trip adventure was at an end.

Looking back our road trip crisscrossed paths more then once and could have been more organised however that’s the adventure of a road trip – go wherever the road takes you (or wherever you can get tickets to Coachella or a NBA game ha-ha). After 1980 miles (3180 km) in the Frog Van I can highly recommend getting a camper for at least part of a USA road trip to really experience the sights and be able to sleep right amongst the action – e.g. when else would you be able to wake up to a snow covered Grand Canyon while eating a bowl of Cornflakes out of the back of a van!?

‘Sometimes the road you travel doesn’t lead to the destination you had hoped for. But if you can look back on the trip and Smile… then it was worth it’

Nevada Roadtrip
Mojave Desert Skyline – Photos don’t do this amazing place justice

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