Man it would suck to drive this route backwards!

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I’ve finally arrived and (quasi) settled in to Culver City with my new roommates, but first you probably want to know all about the last day of our trip. And, well if you don’t want to know, then you shouldn’t┬áhave clicked to read, sorry, your fault, not mine.

So day three started with my dad and I planning what time he wanted to eat breakfast. See, despite the fact that I am not model-skinny, I really like to workout and a day without it makes me crabby. And I lucked out – our second hotel actually had a room for the three machines, good job, Utah. The hotel was actually really nice, I would recommend Hampton Inn to anyone, nice hotel, actual free breakfast and fitness room and good prices. So we woke up at 5:45, I went to workout and then we met for breakfast in the little kitchen area which was filled with Home Depot employees, the entire trip was filled with Home Depots which was super funny. You don’t expect the orange sign to show up at every rest stop or in the middle of a mountain but there it is for your every day hardware needs.

We drove through the rest of Utah, stopping at a Starbucks where my dad told me everyone was staring at my outfit – sometimes I forget that what I want to be comfortable in looks ridiculous, but oh well, I doubt I’ll see those people anytime soon.

After that we unexpectedly drove through Arizona for 30 minutes and BAM there were cactus and palm trees, 29 minutes later BAM casinos and cheap buffets – entering Nevada!

So we were deciding where to stop in Nevada and my dad wanted to stop in Vegas but at some side restaurant, that wasn’t my plan. Las Vegas is my favorite place on Earth and stopping nearby when I could see the strip would have been a tease. I remembered a little strip mall on LV BLVD with a McDonald’s and Fat Burger and had an inkling we could park there – woo hoo, I was right! $5 parking was fabulous, we walked as fast as possible to New York, New York (my favorite hotel) because we hadn’t stopped to pee in 4 hours, seriously doubt anyone has power walked the strip like that, but it wouldn’t be my dad if he wasn’t walking at a cheetah speed.

Arrived at the hotel, and ate lunch in the little NYC deli and headed to the slots – after about $40 in the wrong machines, my dad found the wheel and won $150! I told him we had to stop playing after he lost the initial $20 so we cashed out, had a funny experience at a Wizard of Oz machine and were on our way back to the car. On the way I made us stop at a photo booth outside M&M world and we had $5 worth of fun and sent my mom the picture, then had the most amazing self-serve soft-serve at the Tasty Di-Lite by the car.

Including gas & food (both of which were necessary), we actually came out ahead – best 2 hours of the trip!

Back on the round for the 4.5 hours remaining, which was a slew of long super fast roads and a few mountains, pretty, but if I had to hear my dad say, “California has mountains, too” one more time I was gonna take a sleeping pill and leave him to talk to himself and Julie (my SYNC system voice) alone.

So here’s the thing – my dad and I made it the whole trip without arguing or yelling – which is crazy considering we are the most stubborn people alive – that was until 30 minutes in LA where he became “travel dad.”

If you’ve never experienced travel dad, you’re lucky, but if you ever plan on being on a trip with him, beware, travel dad likes to blame people, roads, states, computers, weather, insects, pretty much anything on the fact that he’s slightly uncomfortable driving on a foreign highway. Completely understandable, but not a fun person to be sitting with!

I texted my brother about that and he said, “don’t let him yell at you.” Probably in reference to a trip in LA 10 years ago where Michael got super “travel dad”ed. Anyways, I lucked out, I wasn’t driving and Julie was navigating, so I just sat back and realized that for the first time since I decided to move I was actually nervous about this. Probably not what you want to feel sitting with travel dad, but luckily I told him to stop being nervous/crabby and just listen to Julie.

Finally we made it out of traffic and to the apartment where Cynthia was waiting to let us in! Unloading was pretty quick (since all my crap is still on a truck somewhere in the midwest), but it was nice to know we made it. We went to dinner in downtown Culver City, which I have already fallen in love with, and then I drove him to the hotel he was staying at, and during that 20 minute drive I was very glad I didn’t drive any of the 33 hour trip, “passenger dad” is 10x worse than “travel dad.”

He stayed at a super fancy hotel, which made the others seem like a shed in the backyard, and we said goodbye, with, of course, he giving me a $20 – makes him feel better about leaving, that would be called “classic dad.”

We did mention the entire time that this trip kept getting better – from boring Iowa to crappy Nebraska on day 1, to beautiful Colorado and hospitable Utah on day 2, to amazing Vegas and actually reaching palm tree-filled LA, who would ever want to drive the other way, you’d probably land in a snow-filled ditch on the final day, be depressed, freezing and incorrectly dressed.

So now I’m here, living in 70 degree sunshine and figuring out what to do. I was able to get two job leads, so at least that’s something to hope for right now, I deep cleaned the kitchen, organized the fridge, bought an antenna so we get NBC now(!) and have attempted to unpack most of my stuff.

Unfortunately I don’t know what to do today now. Feel free to send suggestions.

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Never do this by yourself! Do What? Drive across this country.

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So yesterday was exactly what Nebraska and Iowa are known to be, slightly boring but generally what you assume, and today was the same – but Colorado and Utah are actually interesting!

From the first 5 minutes over the border to “colorful” Colorado, we were entertained by the scenery and gigantic mountains, it really is amazing what other parts of the country look like.

We ended up stopping at a scenic rest stop that was pretty amazing – pictures will be online soon.

There are some funny signs in Colorado, one for Colorado style pizza, which I would love to know about – is it snowy on top and hot on the bottom? Is it uneven in heights?

My FAVORITE sign was: Correction Facility, do not stop for hitch-hikers

Traffic kept switching on us and my dad’s comments made me laugh, first he kept saying, “how are we stuck in traffic in the middle of nowhere?” but a few hours later, “where the hell is everyone?”

So we are in Utah now, went to dinner at 7:45 and my dad ordered a beer and was told he couldn’t have one until 8 because it was an election day – so funny, he thought she was kidding.

Overall, 10/10 for Colorado and 9/10 for Utah, just because it’s pretty bare and really the mountains were sub-par to the Rockies.

Last day of the trip tomorrow!!

 

You know you’re in Nebraska when the Top 40 station is playing Gettin’ Jiggy With It

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On the Road! 1st stop – Nebraska!

First day of 11 hour drive = success! Only two more days to go and I’ll be in a brand new city, state, lifestyle – can’t wait. My little Fiesta is doing great.

Of course, we got a little bit of a later start than expected, but then again, was the estimated time of departure really believable to anyone?

Took a little over 11 hours, but we made it – just with super sore legs and a few pit stops.

My dad said, “It’s 93 degrees out and I don’t even have shorts on. It’s supposed to be chilly this time of year.” No dad, you don’t have shorts on because I told you I’m never going in public with Jorts again.

 

Also, note on Nebraska – feel free to go to dinner in your jammies, because everyone else is in them too… but I actually think that’s their dinner clothes – also, don’t go to Applebees, even if you think it’s ok in Nebraska, it’s not.

Tomorrow starts at 5:45! Cuz really there’s nothing else to do in North Platte. And the “fitness center” is in the lobby, that’s even too embarrassing for ME to use!

G’night!!

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