Saturday, February 27, 2010

How To Prepare for a Cheap, Epic, Vegan Road Trip

Hey, everyone. All five or six of you. Yeah. You guys. What's up?

So today is Saturday. Tomorrow is the beginning of my graduate school tour road trip! And, OOPS, I haven't done much of ANYTHING yet! Now, those of you who know me know that I hate packing. I always leave it to the night before or morning of, and my list of supplies usually includes only the bare essentials: 2 t shirts, contacts, toothbrush/paste, book, iPod. I mean, what else does one need, really? Unfortunately, in this case, more than that. I've only gotten into one school, and it's neither of the ones I'm visiting, so I have to at least put on some sort of act. Make them believe that I'm a professional, mature individual who takes pride in her daily appearance and social image. The other problems? It's tough to road trip with a vegan diet and minimum wage. And there are TWO such unfortunate freaks going on this adventure. Yup, X is coming along for the ride.

Things to do in preparation of motorin':

1. Prepare some eats for the road. Okay, so I cheated a little bit on this one. Normally I prefer to make all of my own snacks and meals, pack them up, and go. But given my limited time and limited motivation, I did some purchasing. Several cans of vegan soups, some pre-made containers of tabbouleh and Mediterranean rice, hummus, tortillas, pretzels, and, of course, peanut butter and bread. I DID at least go through the trouble to make some rocking homemade granola for breakfasts, and plan to whip up my fame-gathering tofu sandwich spread (if you want the general idea of making your own, seek inspiration from the song Talkin' Tofu Wiggle by Samuel Seth Bernard). I also made a batch of those chocolate chip cookies we here at Oops all love so much. We're couchsurfing, so I wanted to make a nice little something for our hosts.

2. How about that couchsurfing? Ever heard of it, folks? Get familiar, because it's a wonderful option for those traveling on the cheap. Check it out at You meet incredibly interesting people who often are willing to show you around, and the rate is $0 a night. X and I will be blogging during the trip, no doubt, and will share with you our own experiences.

3. Collect absurd music lying around your house. It will keep you entertained for many hours of driving. When you could be hearing anything from Paula Abdul and Ace of Base to Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake at any moment, you will NEVER nod off.

4. Look up vegan eateries at your destinations prior to tripping. There will be times when you just don't want that damn soup anymore, and if you can work it into your budget and your schedule prior to the trip, it's always nice to eat out. One of our stops for the week is Ithaca, so X and I are jumping out of our skin to eat at the Moosewood Restaurant. Anyone who is vegan/vegetarian and loves to cook is familiar with that name. In Amherst, MA, my favorite place to eat is the Amherst Brewing Company (they have good fries). This will be another important meal.
Had I gotten my act together a week or so ago, I would have loved to have purchased this book for the trip: Healthy Highways. X has used this book on a trip in the recent past, and said it's truly a must-have.

5. Bring some interesting reading material. Besides being entertaining at the boring times, it might be a nice conversation starter in the awkward quiet moments that are no doubt going to happen with your couchsurfing hosts.

6. Take a shower, you dirty hippy. Really, though, you don't know when the next chance will be, so take one before you go. Fortunately for me, my sweet new fauxhawk is the type of haircut that only looks better the less you shower and the more nights you sleep on it. What did I say about trying to appear professional and mature? Oh, well.

So, I guess that's that. Start getting excited for future posts.

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