Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 5 – Jackson

We are half way through our trip. Just about the time when it’s getting old telling everyone the trip story, when the nails are chipping, the cooler is warming, the lotions are spilling, and the dirty laundry bag is filling.
We were hoping Jackson would be the dark horse in our trip. We were originally going to go through Little Rock, but when I realized there was no way to avoid me hitting New Orleans, we decided to break up the drive to Memphis was a stop in Jackson. It was pretty sleepy, but we did stay at a quaint little hotel, Old Capitol Inn, and we did see a charity walk in the morning. Moving on.
We’re done with my left hand of the trip. Now we are outbound!
Liza and Jordan at Parlor

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Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 4 – New Orleans

I almost skipped nola. “I’ve been,” I told myself. I’d have just been for jazzfest. Turns out there’s no way I could ever have skipped it. NOLA has a hold on my heart and soul like no other city ever will. I went for the first time in 2000 for jazzfest and it changed my life. I will always go back given the opportunity, and create one if none surface soon enough.
Loft 523 is kind of stinky. Maybe we should have stayed at The Modern. But it was a nice big room in a great part of town.
Every time I go to New Orleans I love it more. And I always have a memorable cab driver. This time, his name was Raymond, my new New Orleans grandpa. We’re going right on Burgundy.
It was nice to check on the city when it’s not a crazy festival weekend like mardi gras or jazzfest, or a friends wedding or movie shoot or super bowl. You go through Gambit weekly and there are still fifty options of music in the hundreds of venues every night.
We hit Vaughan’s in the Bywater, right near our dinner for our dose of a late night boogie. Corey Henry didn’t disappoint.
Thanks NOLA! See you soooon!
Kuffa, Corey, Liza and Jordan at Vaughan's

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 3 – Austin

This was another big drive. A lot of the 10 and a lot of Texas. I had a slight bout of apprehension that this would go from the “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip” to the “Healthy and Boring X-Country Touring.” But I trucked along and it wasn’t all that bad. (I just don’t have that many publicly appropriate stories.) The most noteworthy of the day was that we picked up Liza and Pebbles! So now we are two girls with two French Bulldogs. I’d like to note that we are not AT ALL like Thelma and Louise. There is nothing Thelma and Louise about our trip. Please don’t compare us to Thelma and Louise, just because we’re two women in a car and maybe Liza will hook up with a hotter, younger, newer Brad Pitt along the way.
Anyway, Austin rules. We had a lovely amazing meal at Barley Swine, fully equipped with 13 courses, a regularly scheduled dose of family drama, and a cute little front of house table.

Barley Swine

Barley Swine

The Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 2 – Marfa, Texas

I was ill-advised to watch the movie Nebraska. Sure, it made the latest episode of Glee all the more enjoyable when June Squibb guest-starred, but people close to me should have KNOWN my competitive streak would take over. Now I’m embarrassed just thinking of having to tell the checkin clerk at the Thunderbird Hotel that it took me 9 hrs to get to Marfa!
Also, if I had researched a little more, I would have made the Marfa nail the James Dean poster from Giant. You know, side view with the hat and his feet up. Or the Prada label, or some twinkly lights. Sorry, Marfa! You were better to me than I was to you. I’ll make it up to you next time. oxo
giant
prada-marfa

The Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 1 – Phoenix, AZ

I could get down with Arizona. They all do 80 here. Even on side streets.
Also, the first successful Zucker family trip was in this very city. What’s my measure of success? No one cried! I don’t even think any if us fought. Me, Betti and Jim went to the Phoenician in Scottsdale over thanks g my senior year in college. If only spa, hikes, food, and golf could do the trick still….
I met up with a friend from Penn who grew up here and he took me to a Coyotes game and taught me how to drive stick in the parking lot after. (Literally, keep it clean people!)
Thanks Phoenix for the good memories 5 years and counting. *
* 17 years, but who’s counting?
Anyway, Hula and I made it to the hotel in a little over five hours with one gas/pit stop.
The Palomar was lovely, right across the street from Chase Field and US Airways Stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, respectively. One of my favorite bits in their “welcome greeting” was being informed that the room keys use radio waves, so putting it next to a credit card or cellphone will do nothing to deactivate it. Now what excuse will I have for needing to sleep in someone else’s room?!?!
We made it to our only “post-drive” Pure Barre right on time, which is great because we couldn’t have made it a minute sooner!
Great start to the trip!
1 down. 9 to go!

Hula, Jordan, and Jasmine at Pure Barre Phoenix

Virtu. Menu. Ice Queen. Burratta. Octopus. Scallops.  Corvina Blend. Mascarpone Gelato. Hulita.

Virtu. Menu. Ice Queen. Burratta. Octopus. Scallops. Corvina Blend. Mascarpone Gelato. Hulita.

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip with Pure Barre

Jordan has teamed up with Pure Barre to drive from LA to NY on her “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip!”

Here is the link to the article on the Pure Barre blog. 

It’s an LA story born from a personal relationship with a car. A predictable genesis, but hopefully muscled with a more original journey.

I’ll admit, I’ve been known to dabble in anthropomorphic tendencies. You really don’t need to know the name of my bass guitar, my refrigerator, my camera, or my skis, but I have no shame about it when it comes to my car.

Meet Oscar, my 2001 green Nissan Pathfinder. Oscar’s my boy. He’s lived MY LIFE with me. He’s seen it all go down through my prime years (which will continue for the next 20 or so…). He’s been there through it all; the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, the memorable, the non-memorable, the I-wish-it-weren’t-so-memorable, etc. We took care of each other. He cheered me up. He waited for me. He gave me independence. He offered a wheel to cry on. We spent more time together than I did with many friends. I love my car, OK.

But, sometime early this year, I had an unexplainable urge to check out “what they’ve done in the auto industry in the past 13 years.”

This curiosity led to multiple test-drives around town, all of which resulted in me returning to Oscar, assuring him he was still better than the rest. Satellite radio and a navigation system that really doesn’t rival my own sense of direction had nothing on his loyalty, fit, and rock star driving.

….Until I got in this one car. It was like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, or Jordan and The Three SUV’s. The others were too big or too soft, but this one was juuuuust right. Long story short, three weeks and tons of masterful negotiations later, I came home with Beluga. Oscar would be retiring to a loving house on a lake in upstate NY with a friend this summer.

Driving across the country has always been on my bucket list. So I thought, what better way to have one last adventure with Oscar?!?! But I was worried about my 30 something metabolism handling all of the sedentary hours. I wanted to stay active along the way. And I wanted to soak in all of the latest local culture in each stop, because that’s how I roll.

I mapped out different routes, researched different hotels, restaurants and local offerings, and I wound up with this trip.

On Monday, Oscar and I hit the road. We are doing 10 cities in 10 days for our “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip!” We’ll be joined by my little French Bulldog, Hula (my real first love, but don’t tell Oscar or Beluga). My dear girlfriend, Liza, will be hopping aboard in Austin.

To stay in shape while we sit in the car for the better portion of daylight hours, we are starting each morning with a Pure Barre class. I couldn’t believe they had one in almost every city we were hitting! Then we drive. The drives will range from 3-9 hours and Oscar will be equipped with nutritious and delicious non-perishables. We will be listening to playlists with bands indigenous to each destination. We will check into a boutique hotel when we arrive in each new city, and dine at a local farm to table restaurant. The rest we will explore as we go!

Send along any hidden gems you’re privy to!

Here is our itinerary:

Monday May 19th
LA -> Phoenix
380 mi – 5.5 hrs
5:45 pm:  Pure Barre Phoenix
Stay: Palomar
Dine: Virtu Scottsdale

Tuesday May 20th
Phoenix -> Marfa
623 mi – 9 hrs (and two time zones!)
Stay: Thunderbird
Dine: Cochineal

Wednesday May 21st
Marfa -> Austin
427 mi – 6.5 hrs
Stay: friend’s house (would have stayed at Heywood)
Dine: Barley Swine

Thursday May 22nd
8:30 am:  Pure Barre Austin – Westlake
Austin -> New Orleans
510 mi – 7.5 hrs
Stay: Loft 523
Dine: Maurepas

Friday May 23rd
9:45 am:  Pure Barre New Orleans
New Orleans -> Jackson
186 mi – 2.75 hrs
Stay: Old Capitol Inn
Dine: Parlor Market

Saturday May 24th
10:45 am: Pure Barre Jackson
Jackson -> Memphis
208 mi – 3 hrs
Stay: Peabody
Dine: Iris

Sunday May 25th
9 am: Pure Barre Memphis
Memphis -> Nashville
213 mi – 3 hrs
Stay: friend’s house (would have stayed at Hutton)
Dine: Josephine

Monday May 26th
9:40 am: Pure Barre Nashville
Nashville -> Asheville
294 mi – 4.5 hrs
Stay: Inn at Biltmore
Dine: Marketplace

Tuesday May 27th
9:45 am: Pure Barre Asheville
Asheville -> Charlottesville
352 mi – 5.5 hrs
Stay: friend’s house (would have stayed at the Clifton Inn)
Dine: The Local

Wednesday May 28th
8:30 am:  Pure Barre Charlottesville
Charlottesville -> NYC
350 mi – 6 hrs
Stay: Home Sweet Home
Dine: Barchetta

Thursday May 29th
12 pm: Pure Barre New York -Upper West Side

 – Jordan Zucker is an actress, blogger, and on-air personality. She writes about her adventures through dining, drinking, dating, dancing, (and now driving) on Oxtails, Cocktails, and Rock Tales. She is the ringleader for the modern female sports fan, creating content geared towards women’s interest in sports and running fantasy leagues on Girls Guide to Sports. She played “Lisa the intern” on Scrubs and guest starred on an episode of The Food Network’s “Grill It!” with Bobby Flay. You can follow along with Jordan on her “Hip & Healthy X-Country Tour” on instagram and twitter: @jordzuck

Sleep No More: Top Ten Things To Know Before You Go!

Not to say that I was ill-advised prior to arrival at Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More, but I really didn’t know what to expect despite minor research. The following would have helped:

1) Wear pockets. We all know not to wear heels, but did you know you have to check your purse?

2) HOLD HANDS!

3) If you don’t have a thing for the duckbill platypus before you go, maybe develop one.

4) The “actors” are indeed actors, but more so dancers. i.e. Mama’s not auditioning. And if you’re looking to really get into the Macbeth plot, pick up a copy of Macbeth…

5) They have a bar. Have someone reserve you a table for after the finale. There’s more absinthe and boozy bands to melt to in a rowdy red room.

6) Just as I was taking a mental note of “bad rumor – no one takes you into a closet!!” I watched the guy next to me get dragged into a closet. Good rumor.

7) Arrival time is a rough suggestion. No need to snarf the uni panini down from El Quinto Pino, they’ll still let u in 15 min late.

8) Your “group card” value is cute, I had a jack. It’s supposed to indicate with whom you leave the bar and head into the hotel. Also a suggestion.

9) The McKittrick Hotel is the old Club Twilo space. The set design was super cool. Make sure you hit the candy room, twig labyrinth, ballroom, bathtubs, and closet where my friend Carrie gave a BJ back in the late 90’s.

10) There will be nudity. I’m not saying who. But Gawker is. Here’s their guide to maximizing the skin exposure.

Pre Game at El Quinto Pino

The Band

Masked Cousin Julie!