Driving All Day to Rest at Cali Cochitta

The Big Trip Out West

Though I haven’t even been home for more than a month, I’ve been pretty busy. Almost immediately after coming home, my family and Julia set out on a great adventure west. We wanted to see some of our nation’s most beautiful parks during the Centennial of the National Parks Service. Our goal was to visit the Badlands, the Corn Palace, Custer’s State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Craters of the Moon, Crater Lake, Redwoods State Park, Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoias, Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, the world’s best cinnamon roll at Glen Haven, and Trail Ridge Road. But even the perfect plan can have its bumps and amazing surprises. Come along on the journey, as I’ll be posting each day (and roughly each park) throughout the next few months.

A Bad Restaurant Experience

Because of the boulder that fell on Tioga Pass, our family drove through Death Valley in the night. By sunrise, we had reached Beaver, Utah. Pro tip:  for those of you going on long road trips, KOA’s are perfect places to stop and have a shower. For just $10 each, we were all squeaky clean and ready to go!

We didn’t stay there long, as we were heading to Mom’s Café, a little restaurant we had gone to in Salina, Utah many years ago. Everyone was so excited until we walked in the door. We have never been so insulted at a restaurant before.

Do not go to Mom’s Café.

I repeat, NO to MOM’S Café.

Now, I get it. Being a vegetarian means that some items on the menu won’t work for me. I’m not here to cause any type of distress or make anything unduly difficult. For instance, I would never order a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and expect someone to remove the ground beef from the red sauce. Some things are complicated, but it seems pretty simple to not put a piece of bacon on an egg sandwich. I was simply shocked by our experience, especially after the wonderful service we had at Mom’s Café in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.

After a few of the waitress’s outbursts, my mom just gave us one rallying look, stood up, and politely told the waitress we were leaving. Looks like there’s only room for one mom in that place, and she’s a crab!

The Hot Spot Saves the Day

The Hot Spot, Salina, Utah

We drove down the road looking for a place to eat when we found the Hot Spot Drive-in. It was such a cute place and reminiscent of so many Tastee-Freez, Wienerschnitzels, The Original Hamburger Stand, and Dairy Barns around America. It’s just a good, old-fashioned, ice cream and hamburger stand. The employees here were so happy and helpful, and those sweet potato fries were to die for.

As we drove, we pulled over at a few Canyonlands lookouts and took in the view.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Cali Cochitta, The House of Dreams

Four hours later, we arrived at our next destination:  the Cali Cochitta Bed and Breakfast and Moab, Utah. This was the first hotel on our trip where we had arrived before sunset, and we were all excited to enjoy it. Otherwise known as the House of Dreams, Cali Cochitta has been in restoration for the past decade or so by some really dedicated owners.

Cali Cochitta, Moab, Utah

They added on to this small farm-style house, built an additional house next door for themselves, and added an incredible backyard complete with a small pond, a two person hammock, a hot tub, a few bikes you can borrow, an outdoor dining room table, and an extensive grape arbor.

Cali Cochitta, Moab, Utah

The grape harvest was just coming on, although it seemed weird to be ripening around October. Our hosts invited us to pick and eat as many of them as we wanted; they tasted just like Welches! Carrie, their assistant, welcomed us to the home with freshly baked PB-chocolate chip cookies and hot coffee.

Cali Cochitta, Moab, Utah

We sat outside in their Adirondacks and the hammock and enjoyed our relaxing evening.

Cali Cochitta, Moab, Utah

When the sun finally set, we wandered to the Moab Diner, a restaurant we always stop in when in Moab. It has some amazing ice cream, so be sure to grab some when you’re passing through!

Moab Diner, Moab, Utah

When we were done eating, Julia and I bundled up in our pajamas and headed down to the living room. It’s tiny, but we kicked on the tiny fireplace and settled in to read our books. What a magical little stop on our journey! We loved Cali Cochitta!


Be kind to one another,


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