Last week Katie and I took a road trip from Southern California to Logan, Utah and then to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the Alt Summit conference. Road tripping is a great way to see the sights in the summer and save money over taking flights. This road trip was nearly 700 miles each way, with lots of country and desert areas that were not very populated. Staying connected to Google maps, checking emails for work, and keeping Katie entertained when she wasn't driving were all challenges we expected to face on this trip. Luckily, we brought along our new mobile hotspot from AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR on this fun summer road trip! This post was sponsored by AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR. All opinions are 100% my own.
We started out early in the morning, stopping in Yermo, CA at Peggy Sue's Diner for breakfast. The service was slow and the food was adequate. I don't remember anything great about the meal and the stop put us behind about an hour. I would say you can skip this once-awesome landmark. Once back in the car, Katie used the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR to connect her phone back up to Google maps so we could check traffic and construction through to Las Vegas, NV. We stopped at the California-Nevada state line for gas and then headed on out through the Nevada desert.
Here are some noteworthy places to stop along the way:
- Near Newberry Springs, CA is the abandoned Rock-A-Hoola water park that was recently featured in a car commerical with Tony Hawk. It's right next to the freeway and you can get out of your car and get some cool photos there.
- Between Yermo and Barstow, CA is the Calico Ghost Town. It's a fun little day trip that the local kids go on for field trips. I recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid the summer heat.
- At the state line in Primm, NV there are Starbuck's to both the West and East of the freeway, inside the gas stations. Fuel up because Las Vegas is about another hour away.
- In Las Vegas, take the I-215 to the East to downtown Fremont Street. There you can stop at the Downtown Container Park for lunch and cool shopping. be sure to stop by the Sweet Spot candy shop to get unique vintage candy as well as the most trending candies seen on YouTube. Bodega has graffiti inspired art and clothing. A pulled pork plate at the barbecue joint inside runs under $10 and can feed two. I'll be doing post about the Downtown Container Park soon! We actually hit this spot on the way back to California from Utah. I discovered it while in Las Vegas this April for New Media Expo.
Past Las Vegas, we continued north through to Arizona. It was a cool 108° F when we stopped for gas in a Del Webb retirement community somewhere on the surface of the sun. Ahem, I mean in the Arizona desert. The Grand Canyon is just on the other side of the mountains but it wasn't on our itinerary.
We saw this Tardis car right outside St. George, Utah and well, a photo for Xaver was a must! Of course we stopped at that Starbuck's too. The wi-fi at this Starbuck's was not working so we pulled out the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR and connected the laptop to browse the class offerings at the conference and figure out our schedule for the next day while sipping lattes. It's so cool that I can get some work done and accomplish things when I am over 200 miles away from my office. No wi-fi at Starbuck's? No problem with my AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR!
Katie just got her driving permit so I thought this road trip would be a great way for her to log a bunch of highway miles. After driving about an hour, she was spent! I guess we all forget how long it takes to build up driving stamina because we've been driving for so long. Right about the time we hit St. George, UT, after passing over the Arizona-Utah state line, Katie pulled out her laptop to watch some YouTube videos.
The AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR was easy and fast to turn on and her laptop was connected in minutes. This allowed me to have a conversation on my phone with a work colleague while my daughter enjoyed watching YouTube videos on her laptop. If we were doing a family vacation, I can totally see the kids sitting in the back seat watching YouTube on the laptop or tablet with the help of the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR. I love that we can connect up to 10 Wi-Fi devices to the one AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR so that every one has access without disrupting one another.
Utah was very green and pretty compared to our usual brown California desert habitat but after a while, we wondering if there was anything BUT green pasture after green pasture after green pasture. It just went on and on and on so we decided to periscope from the car about our drive, with the help of our AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR since my cell was not getting good service at this point.
We finally arrived in Salt Lake City around 5pm, checked into our hotel, and unloaded the car. Next, we headed north on the I-15 again, this time towards Logan, UT to meet up with our friends from AdornIt Shoppe! Carolee and Alison took us to dinner at a Mexican food place called Costa Vida. It was sort of like Utah's answer to Chipotle. It was super yummy but as a Mexican from So Cal, I kind of can't call it Mexican food. Sorry, Utah!
We took a tour of the AdornIt Shoppe which was super fun and I got an amazing necklace that I ended up wearing to Alt Summit. Next, Carolee and Alison took us up to the AdornIt warehouse for another tour and we chatted and laughed into the wee hours of the night. It was super dark at midnight up in Logan, Utah, which is almost into Idaho! The drive back to our hotel in Salt Lake was through a gorgeous but dark and windy road. Katie turned on the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR, connected her phone to it, and we just followed the navigation directions from Google maps safely back to downtown Salt Lake. There are times when WiFi access is essential, and you don’t want to be limited to just your phone. The AT&T Unite Express gives you secure Internet access via AT&T’s 4G LTE network (where available). During our entire one day massive road trip we were connected online the entire time with AT&T Unite Express!
The next day the conference started in the afternoon so we spent the morning exploring Salt Lake City until the sessions began. We had lunch at Even Stevens, a sandwich shop with super yummy food that provides a sandwich to the needy for every sandwich you buy. While we enjoyed our lunch, we checked in to the Alt Aummit Facebook group to see what was up, using Katie's laptop and the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR. We saw that Plum Stitch had shared a blog post and map of a quick graffiti tour around Salt Lake City that we had just enough time to follow!
I'll share more about the Salt Lake City food scene in a post coming soon but here is some graffiti we saw after lunch at Even Stevens Sandwich Shop. We kicked off our graffiti tour using the map from Plum Stitch and our phones connected to the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR to guide us.
Each night during the conference Katie was able to update her blog with her look from that day, like this post she created on day 2 with images she created in Polyvore. I was able to check emails and edit my own blog posts in the evenings, helping me stay on top of work since I was out of the office for six days. During the conference, the wifi provided by the hotel was overloaded but the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR allowed us both to have fast secure internet via AT&T’s 4G LTE network on my phone and laptop the entire time.
As a small business owner, I love that the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR lets me enjoy secure, reliable, affordable WiFi when I need it, where I need it, on my own terms with no annual contract, no recurring monthly fees, and no credit check. Seriously, what small business owner loves getting credit checks? Not I! We have too much to lose! As a mom I love the flexibility and accessibility of AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR. I can access my emails from the beach, entertain the kids in the backseat of the car any time, and have wi-fi access to maps and other tools to help my road trip go smoothly. No matter who you are or where you go, the AT&T Unite Express also makes a great gift for Father’s Day, graduation, and summer travel. AT&T Unite Express is available via Amazon, Target, Walmart or Best Buy stores.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR Wifi Family and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.