Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Last Road Trip of My Mom's... Car Part I: Let us Pray

It all began long ago on a dark and stormy night in March. No it didn't. I decided to buy a new car. An all electric car. It only took three months to actually get said car, and a whopping six days of ownership to wreck it. But that's not the point of this story. I talked with Artist Nephew about my old car. I asked if he wanted it. He had been driving my mom's old car, an Infinity, ever since she had her first surgery on the tumor in her arm. After she passed, my dad transferred ownership of the Infinity to Artist Nephew. So he's had this car for over three years now. But it is old (2001), is a land yacht by millennial standards, even Gen-X standards for what it's worth (or a Grandma car), and takes premium gas. So it's expensive. My old car, on the other hand, is still old (2004), is an economy, compact, stripped down, nothing fancy, cheap gas, and most importantly stick shift, Saturn Ion. Which means, it is cheaper to maintain and fun to drive. Artist Nephew weighed the pro's and con's of both vehicles, and chose to accept my gift. Now Artist Nephew does not need two cars AND two motorcycles. So, what to do with the Infinity? Flying Squirrel Nephew piped up and asked if he could have it. Flying Squirrel Nephew is in the Army. He jumps out of planes and hopes his shoot opens. He's also stationed in North Carolina. We're all in California! And so the planning began. Mostly during Christmas when Flying Squirrel Nephew got leave to come home for the holidays. Our options were to sell the Infinity, and give money to Flying Squirrel Nephew to buy a cheap car in North Carolina or drive the Infinity out to him and fly home. But would it make it out there? Can we get it there... in winter? Do we want to spend more money than the car is worth to get it up to shape and out there to him? The answer: hell yeah. Let's do this!

But first a little background on the Infinity:
Back when it was time for mom and dad to get a new car (almost two decades ago), the only requirement from my mother was that it needed to be comfortable and a good road trip car. Color? Didn’t care. Make and model? Didn’t care. New or used? Didn’t care. Now to be a good road trip car, it needed comfy seats, cruise control, and a good stereo system. And so, the 2001 Infinity was purchased. Mom took that car on countless trips. It went to Wyoming and back who knows how many times. Arkansas and back at least twice. Up and down the west coast, and even to the east coast and back once. She loved that car. She made many a road trip CD. After she had her elbow replacement surgery from the tumor, she was looking forward to being able to drive again. She never did get enough use out of that arm, and so was never able to drive again. She hated that. She loved to drive, and drive, and drive. That was a freedom painfully lost. And so the Infinity sat in the driveway. As her cancer worsened, getting in and out of the car became more and more difficult. And so it sat even more in the driveway. Trips to the hospital and doctors were done in the truck. So that the car would get used, she asked her grandson (Artist Nephew) if he wanted to drive it. He gladly took it on. He called it his grandma car, when his friends would make fun of it. He was proud of it. It’s a great car! Now that Artist Nephew has my old Saturn Ion, it was time to take the last road trip of moms Infinity. The last great road trip car.

Let us begin.

Day 1:
Engine Mileage: 219655
Trip Mileage: 0.0

Dad did his normal routine of checking everything twice. Clean this, check that, fix this, did I pack that routine. Steering wheel cover, and seat covers were installed (because the car is old and the leather interior is decomposing), all while I gave my kitty's a last scratch behind the ears and snuggles, and washed my sheets for Artist Nephew who will be taking care of said kitty's while dad and I are away.
We finally start down the road at 11:30, after I figure out how to take a selfie.
I need more practice obviously. Dad starts us off down the road. We don't get very far before we need to pull off to check one more thing.
Then it's, "where are my sunglasses"? I plug my ipod nano into the cassette tape adapter player and begin the road trip with Jack Johnson... a very static-y Jack Johnson. We continue down the road. Highway 152, over Pacheco Pass and past San Luis Reservoir, and onto I-5.
We trade off after a glamorous lunch at MacDonald's. Continue on over the Grapevine to the 210 Freeway to the slow crawl of traffic. Once past San Bernardino, on to surface streets around and about and up the mountain to Oak Glen steeped in fog. We make it to our first layover stop of the trip. As I put the Infinity into park, it revs its engine. Hmmm. Dad is concerned. I turn it off and turn it back on, just like you do with computers. It seemed to work. It idled at a normal RPM. Phew.

Day 2: At Shiny Happy People's
You may remember Shiny Happy People (SHP) from the previous road trip blog in Tallulah Mae, the RV. We've known and been great friends with SHP since before I was born. They are the type of friends that you may not see for years, yet when you do actually get to see each other again, it's like no time has passed. And if something bad happens, they are the first to respond and be there for you. The day mom passed away, they got in their car and drove up to see her and be with us. They were with us when she took her last breathe. But on to this visit. Dad and I slept in (8:30am) which is really late for SHP. They normally get up at 5am. Yeah, they're insane. I get a cup of coffee. Ahh. Dad and I bring in the gifts Artist Nephew made. They had commissioned Artist Nephew while on the maiden voyage of Tallulah Mae, for six more mugs. He had made and given them two mugs while on that road trip. Artist Nephew got to work and made six new mugs. He didn't like how they turned out (typical artist) and made six more. These he liked. He had also made a vase, a beautiful vase, and wanted to give it to them as a gift.

Well they were a HUGE hit. Lady SHP was almost moved to tears. We then show them the two bags full of oranges Sis picked from her tree for them. That didn't warrant a picture. They then take us to Riley's Farm for breakfast.

We forget that it's a Friday and the place is loaded with school buses and elementary school kids getting educated about colonial America. Our waiter is dressed in colonial garb, and we watch the school kids learn how to march and shoot rifles (long sticks) from the window.
We chat, and chat, and chat. After the third refill of coffee, we decide it's probably time to leave. We head off down the mountain to Kaiser where gentleman SHP needs to get a shot and pick up his prescription. While the men wait at Kaiser, lady SHP and I head over to Toys R' Us to try and find Rook cards.
We were unsuccessful, but did find her favorite store, Tuesday Mornings, and walked the isles, and picked up a few things.
We decided we'd better go pick up the guys, and so went back to Kaiser. Found them sitting in the waiting room, still waiting to get his shot. Apparently they close that station for lunch. So we sat. Didn't take long once they were open again, so back up the mountain we went.
We ate snacks and played cards (plain ole playing cards since our hunt for Rook cards was unsuccessful). Soon it was time for dinner. We went to the local Mexican restaurant, and on the way watched the sun set.
It wasn't bad, but I get better Chili Relleno's back home at our favorite place. Of course our stay wasn't long enough. SHP's place is like staying at a retreat. Relaxing, comfortable, and never long enough.

Day 3:
Engine Mileage: 220051
Trip Mileage:  396.9
SHP make us breakfast. And we chat for as long as possible. We decide we have to leave by 11:30am. We have SHP take a picture with the Infinity. We have to document with whom and where it went on it's last road trip.

The lady in my phone navigates us to the I-10, and away we go to Phoenix, Arizona. I forget to get a picture of the Arizona State line. So here's the picture I took of it from Tallulah Mae last year.
Just imagine it being 20 degrees cooler. We stopped at a Love's Travel Center for lunch (they had a Subway Sandwich inside). We are such gastric adventurers. Dad took over driving, and away we continued.
We had traveled this route before with Tallulah Mae. And just like before, we missed the on-ramp to the 202. The lady in my phone told us the wrong lane. No matter, just like before, we turn around and get it right the second time. Arrive in Queen Creek at Big Bro's gate at 6:00pm. I text him for the code to get into his "community". We wait, and wait. Someone finally pulls up behind us and uses their fancy gate clicker, and we drive on in. We pull up to the house just in time for my brother to finally text me the gate code. The Lover of Derivatives Nephew and Sis'n'law were the only ones home. Big Bro was out shopping, and Big Red Nephew was at the mall with friends ( he got his license recently and just like every other 16 year old on the planet just has to drive somewhere because he can). Apparently Big Bro thought that when I told him we'd be there by 6pm, figured I didn't calculate for the time change. Silly Big Bro, such a doofus. I spent 9 years in college, I think I can calculate arrival times in the correct time zones (also, the lady in my phone told me). Anyway, Lover of Derivatives Nephew made us all dinner. Yeah for 20 year old males knowing how to cook a meal! After dinner he showed us how to play his favorite game, The Sheriff of Nottingham. We chatted some more, watched some mind numbing tv, then went to bed.

Day 4: At Big Bro's
We lounged about.
Dad fussed about the car, so Big Bro and dad drove it around a bit and went and got transmission fluid and filled it up. It was having some high idle issues. I went with them to Home Depot for grass seed and fertilizer. Big Bro fertilized his backyard and spread seed around in his dead spots. I watched from the comfort of their lounge chairs on their patio. We went for a walk around the neighborhood (the loop he takes the dogs on).
Dad's not doing Tai Chi, he's just talking with his hands. We sat around some more. Big Bro called in to work and got someone to cover his shift (he works nights), so we got to spend more time with him. Aww. We all went to dinner at a place called Oregano’s. Came back and hung out around the fire pit in the backyard.
Then we played cards. Big Bro won. Bastard. But maybe justice was served, since I sat on my ass and watched him tend his yard earlier.
We completely forgot to get a picture of them with the Infinity. Sis'n'law was already in bed asleep because she was sick (always sick when you work with preschool kids) and had to get up early and go to work the next day. It was dark, so excuse their rabid racoon eyes.
We said our goodbyes to Big Red Nephew that night too because he had to go to school early the next morning. Big Bro and I ate our dinner leftovers and chatted and watched more mind numbing tv.

Day 5:
Engine Mileage: 220411
Trip Mileage: 756.9
Dad and I get up, Big Bro and Lover of Derivatives Nephew get up long enough to feed the animals and see us off. They both probably went back to bed after safely seeing us depart at 10:30am. The lady in my phone told us how to get to I-40 from Queen Creek, Arizona. She got a bit upset when we turned right into a gas station instead of left where she wanted us to go. She got persistent about following her route. She can get quite the attitude.
We tootled along northeast up to I-40. We climbed and climbed up into pine forests and snow!
Our first glimpse that it's actually winter. We drove through Navajo land. Got depressed.
Since I was driving, dad was in charge of using my phone to take the picture of the New Mexico state sign as we crossed the border. He fretted about it, but he did get a picture taken of the sign. Five, in fact. Two of which were actually decent, so go dad!
We stopped in Gallup for lunch and gas. Maybe this was the day we ate Subway... I can't remember. We switched, and dad drove us the rest of the way to Albuquerque. We crossed the continental divide along the way.
Sure didn't feel like we were that high. I turned the lady in my phone back on, and she got us to the hotel for the night. Sis had made the hotel reservation, and she got us two rooms. I was expecting to share with dad. He said, when he travels with sis that they get separate rooms, so okay. That was an unexpected pleasant surprise. Go sis! We settled a bit in our rooms then headed out for dinner. We live it up a little and eat at Applebee's (yeah 2 for $20 dinners). Our waitress thought we were nuts to drive all the way to North Carolina. She said, she'd pray for us. She must have, because we did make it obviously. I was able to connect to the hotel wifi with my phone, but not my laptop. 😞 Dad didn’t have any problems. Why me? So I used the wifi in my phone to get on the internet with my laptop and quickly downloaded the phone photo’s I sent myself and the portion of the blog I had already written so I could work on it offline. I didn't figure out the airdrop function till much later. I guess me and technology still have some issues we have to work out. I slept good. Dad did not.
The end.
Just kidding. Who plans a trip to Albuquerque? We aren't even half way through the country yet.

Part II coming to you soon... I hope.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Right in the Feelz – Not cool

Apparently I am horrible at labeling my own blog posts, because I couldn't find what I was looking for, and finally had to resort to a word search through the entire catalog. Finally found it only to discover, I never really talked about it much. I thought I had. Well, I'm doing it now! Also I have a lot of dead links to fix.

First off, I had been kicking around in my head for over a year now a post about a few "rock" band singers that usually scream or otherwise distort their voice that actually have beautiful singing voices. Muse front man, Matt Bellamy, Disturbed's David Draiman, even James Hetfield of Metallica before he blew his voice, and then of course the one and only Chester Bennington, the main singer of Linkin Park. He was going to be front and center. I say was because he committed suicide last Thursday (July 20th, 2017). There have been quite a few celebrity/famous deaths recently (famous people are always dying, just like the rest of us), but his hit me hard. Really hard. I was utterly shocked. I didn't want it to be true. I couldn't listen to any of their music for almost a week. I couldn't bring myself to do it. His death hit me more than Robin Williams did back in August of 2014. I wrote about that a bit here. Celebrity deaths don't really bother me too much. Carrie Fisher's was hard, but hers wasn't a suicide. But Chester... I don't know... god, I loved his music. And thinking about his wife, kids, and his friends/band mates just makes me even sadder. I have briefly talked about the band here before. That's what I was searching my blog for in the first place. Here and here.

Secondly, I am going to totally nerd out now about Linkin Park. You've been warned. Apparently you either love them or hate them. I was/am a lover. I was first introduced to them back in my college days at HSU by a friend. I was a passenger in her car, where we were going, I don't remember but she was playing their first album, Hybrid Theory. She was totally excited and in to it. I think she was even screaming along with Chester. I could be wrong though, my memory is a bit fuzzy. I remember not hearing anything like it before. They blended rap with hard rock with hip hop and electronic/synth stuff. It was just really cool and dark and edgy. And I was hooked. So thanks Crystal for that car ride to wherever and sharing them with me. I do also remember them being played on the radio A LOT! And so I bought their albums, first on CD because back then, there was no itunes, only napster. Remember napster? Dang, that was a long time ago. Dear god, I'm so dating myself. When did we get OLD? I currently own all their albums: Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns, Living Things, The Hunting Party, and One More Light, and a few singles: What I've Done and New Divide. Which is all their studio albums. They have done (which I don't currently own) remixes of a few albums (most notably Reanimation, which is a remix of their debut Hybrid Theory and Recharged, a remix of Living Things) and more recently they released two albums of both instrumentals and acapella versions of Living Things and Hunting Party, which are pretty interesting. Weird, but interesting. They also did a collaboration with Jay-Z, but I don't like him, so yeah. Oh and some live concerts. I realized today that they are the only music group that I "grew-up" with. What I mean is, they debuted Hybrid Theory in 2000. I was a senior in college at HSU. The band members and I are pretty much the same age. Everything was new and exciting and our worlds were expanding at the same time. We were on a journey of self discovery and all that stuff. Too corny? I don't care. As they matured and evolved and experimented through the years, I had been too. We grew-up together. We were suppose to grow old together, too.

These past weeks since Chester's passing, I've been listening, downloading, and watching a lot of their stuff. They really are a bunch of crazy talented, a little nerdy, compassionate, funny, and genuinely nice group of guys. They started and/or funded many charities, started a recycling company in Haiti, performed countless charity and fundraising concerts. They all can play multiple instruments and program/sample. Joe Hahn, the DJ, is also a video and film writer/director, and visual artist. Mike Shinoda, the rapper/singer, is also a songwriter, record producer, and graphic artist, and has another band, Fort Minor. And Chester had another band, Dead by Sunrise, fronted Stone Temple Pilots for a few years, and had some movie credits as well. They rode the wave of digital and social media like masters. They are amazing. There's even a Linkin Park game app you can download! Check out their website and youtube channel. There is so much there. It's a blessing in a way that they filmed and documented so much of their life as a band. I have certainly spent many many hours watching their LPTV videos on youtube.

So all of this about Linkin Park and Chester to say, Goddammit. I've said here before, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I suffer from depression. I am not medicated for it as of now. I also suffer from anxiety and can/have had panic attacks. I am fortunate to have inherited depression from my mother and anxiety from my father. Thank you so much. Not their fault really. One who suffers from diseases like these can listen to Linkin Park and say, "they get me", "these guys understand what it's like". I can choose countless songs from them over the years to play for you as a demonstration. The things that go on inside of a depressed head can only be understood by another. Chester had demons, he had no shame in admitting to them and was very open about his struggles. Music was his cathartic outlet. You felt it when he sang. I certainly did. Why is it that so many of the most creative minds are also the most self destructive?

(It has taken me three days just to write this. I need to do it. I just don't want to. Keep having to stop to cry.)

I've been trying to work my way out of my own destructive mind for a good while. I got into a slump and then just kept slipping down further. I had some bottom light bulb moments, and would vow to change and do the ole pull yourself up by the bootstraps thing, and then days and then weeks would go by. During this time I had gained all the weight back that I had lost. I outgrew all my clothes, because I had purposely donated all my old "fat me" clothes. I have one pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts, and about 7-8 shirts that fit right now. I have refused to buy new "fat me" clothes. I heartily believe I am crawling back out. First was that I spent two weeks in the field monitoring archaeological sites where dead and/or hazard trees were being logged. I didn't want to go out there. Remember me talking about anxiety earlier? But it was me, or no one. So I went. The two days before and the first day were not fun for me. It forced me to be outside. It forced me to interact with other humans. And it made me realize that I don't fit into any of my field clothes. I was doing good. I got some much needed vitamin D and socialization. I got home from that job, turned my laptop on, and got suckerpunched. I've felt horrible ever since. Thank you to my hiking buddy though with whom we had already planned a hike for the weekend. The hike, again forced me outside and to socialize and not hole up in my room all weekend in a ball. And then I did the miraculous. I put my running shoes on and ran. Everything hurt again. Feet, ankles, knees, hips, even the boobs flop around too much, and their small! And then I ran again, and again. And again.

I will keep mourning the loss of the man who has had a huge impact on my life. Who finally silenced his demons the only way he could.

You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine
You woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind
I saw the evidence, the crimson soaking through
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose

And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless

I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end.
I'm left with emptiness that words cannot defend
You'll never know what I became because of you
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose

And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless

                                                  – Powerless by Linkin Park

I'll keep listening to the music. And I'll keep crawling out. I'm not done yet. I've still got some roads untraveled. And maybe I'll write that post about his voice someday.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tallulah Mae's first offical maiden voyage: Part IV

Our final destination was Cheyenne Wyoming. This is a special place for Tallulah Mae's inhabitants. It's like a second home. Sis has a unique bond, since mom and dad used to ship her off here during the summers of her youth. Sis and Grandma are tight, yo.  Grandma is now 95, mostly blind, lives in an independent senior housing complex, and is feisty as ever. She is also the mother of dad, his sisters (Aunt1 and 2), and brother (Uncle1). She shall be heretofore, Gutsy Granny.

First order of business was to move into our new home for our stay. We put dad in Aunt2's guest room, and sis, nephew2, and I slept in Tallulah Mae in Aunt2's driveway. Aunt1 from Florida, beat us to Cheyenne, so she got the prime spot of Gutsy Granny's guest room.

Floofy puppy loved trying to catch all the bunnies in Aunt2's neighborhood. They are overrun by bunnies. Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere.

Second order of business was a birthday party for everyone. Because when you're 95, you celebrate all things, all the time, so why not?

Gutsy Granny met floofy puppy and fell in love.

Later on in the evening, Gutsy Granny beat us all at cards, even setting her precious first born (dad). My streak was over.

We took Tallulah Mae to Uncle1's house so they all could meet her and we had a great time catching up.
Floofy puppy finally met his doppelgangers (other white floofy older puppies). Uncle1 and his lady AuntL have two white floofs.
Their son, Cousin1 also brought his BIG floof. His name is Little Bear. Floofy puppy loved that there was a big friend to play with, since the white floofs were not interested in playtime.
We had a great time eating brownies and ice cream and drinking coffee. We showed everyone Tallulah Mae. But soon it was time to leave. Cousin1 and 2 and the mini cousins needed to get back home to their crazy busy lives. Mini cousins aren't so mini anymore. Mini cousin1 just finished her first year of college and mini cousin2 is taller than everyone, plays football, and is not even 16 yet!

It was then time to visit with even more cousins at Aunt2's house. Her daughter, Cousin3 and her mimi cousins drove up from cow town (Greeley Co.) Her other half, UncleE took off of "work" (he's a volunteer) and came over for lunch. So nephew2 got on the riding mower and helped Aunt2 get the place ready... for the "severe storm" that was rolling in.
We were constantly watching the weather. It's not an official trip until you experience Wyoming weather! Even my phone was telling me about the "extreme weather" coming. It never did hit Aunt2's house.

Mini Cousin4 waiting patiently for sis to finish sewing the buttons on her new giraffe dress
We did what every family does: bond in front of the t.v.

UncleE went to back to "work", and after went to check on his horses and batten down his place. When he came back, he said there was a tornado that had touched down about 6 miles from his place. So of coarse we all go outside to watch.
Uncle1 calls to mach sure Gutsy Granny is with us, since Aunt2 has a basement, and Gutsy Granny doesn't. He also felt bad for us because we had no where to put Tallulah Mae to escape the hail... if it came. But that is what insurance is for. Uncle1 said he put his truck in his barn, and his cars were in the garage. Mini cousin3 didn't like the lightning and thunder, but mini cousin4 was outside with us crazies watching the clouds.

Aunt1, 2, and I discussed how you can tell a Wyoming native from everyone else. The natives are out on their decks, like us, nonchalantly gazing out at the clouds discussing the days events. Everyone else is in their basement worrying about their food stock and cars.

Mini Cousin4 sure loved floofy puppy!

Well, like I said, the storm passed us right on by, hardly any rain, and only one little hail ball. However, Uncle1's house got hit by 3" hail and took out his skylights in the kitchen and barn, steel gutters, his truck that was in the barn, the hot tub cover, irrigation system, and made his lawn look like the surface of the moon, plus a car plowed into the telephone pole outside his house. It plowed into the pole because the windshield got shattered by the giant hail balls from the sky. So they had an exciting evening. However, everyone in Wyoming has hail insurance, so they are covered. Their only dilemma is which insurance to use for the truck. The trucks insurance or the home insurance. Since the truck was in the barn (which is covered under the home insurance), do they use the home insurance for the truck or not.

The next day it was time for Aunt1 to fly home.
We hung out at Gutsy Granny's, ate food, played games, ate some more.
Gutsy Granny's complex has a pool table!
And so the days passed. Nephew2 got a hold of cousin5 (Aunt2 and UncleE's sons son) and he came by Gutsy Granny's and hung out. He showed us videos of him bronc riding. He rides for LCCC (Laramie County Community College), he also just finished his freshman year of college. You know you're in the "wild west" when the schools offer rodeo as a sport. He then invited nephew2 out to a bonfire. When nephew2 came back, he said they never made it out to the bonfire. Instead they went fishing at a pond by the side of a road, and then met one of cousin5's friends at a gas station and just hung out. Wow, the youth of Wyoming sure need a nightlife. But in his defense, his dad is a cop, and works the night shift, so the last thing you want is to get caught by the cops doing something stupid, who also happens to be your father. Talk about a double whammy.

Pretty soon it was coming time to get ready to head home. Nephew2 got his girlfriend Wyoming gifts, we got our house sitters thank you gifts, and nephew2 bought fireworks. You can buy fireworks in Wyoming 365 days a year, at least in Laramie County. I think it's state wide though, but I'm not a local. So if you hear anything coming from sis' house, it's just nephew2 setting off his blackcats and smoke bombs.

Dad spent our last two nights with Gutsy Granny which meant I got to move inside to the guest room! Woo-Hoo! I didn't have to wear my ear plugs for two whole nights! Sis snores like a freight train! We decided to leave really early since our first drive day back home was going to be 600 miles, and dad thought it would take us close to 10 hours to get to Wendover Nevada/Utah. East Wendover is in Utah, West Wendover is in Nevada. However the entire town has decided to stay on mountain time since Nevada is in the Pacific time zone and Utah is in the Mountain time zone. So we all packed up, and got over to Gutsy Granny's by 6:45am. Said our tearful goodbyes and vowed to see each other again soon. And before we knew it, we were off traveling west bound on Interstate 80. Past the tree in the rock, Lincoln's head, and Vedauwoo, and into Utah.

We pulled into the Wendover KOA at 4pm. Of all the KOA's, it was the least attractive. But it's hard to be a lush oasis in the desert salt flats in the middle of nowhere. Floofy puppy got a lot of stickers in his paws and didn't care much for the place. Despite dad's worrying, we made excellent time. So we set up camp, and watched some Tom and Jerry cartoons and The Adventures of Tin Tin.

Back on the road the next morning again on west bound Interstate 80. Through Nevada, over the sierra mountains that still have snow in June, and into California.
There's just something about crossing into your home state. Even though you aren't quite home yet, there is a comfort in knowing you're almost there. Floofy puppy was over the roadtrip. He was ready to be home and see his "sister" Sura. Got into Sacramento and turned left onto I-5 south and down to Santa Nella and hung a right onto 152 and home. We got into town just after 9pm and passed the long line of cars heading east on 152 for the weekend.

We unpacked the essentials and perishables. It was good to be home. I thought my kitties would be so happy to see me, I was happy to see them. But they were not. They were mad and a bit hesitant. I think I left them for a bit too long. They warmed up to me eventually, and I got to say, there's nothing like your own bed. I had the best sleep in weeks.

And so, Tallulah Mae's first official road trip was over. We survived. We still like each other.

A few other things of note:
We saw a bald eagle in flight in California.
Tallulah Mae has a few quirks like turning off her AC when you need it the most.
A bird flew into Tallulah's window while parked in the KOA.
Invest in ear plugs when you have to sleep next to a freight train.
Packing for an RV trip is different than packing for a car road trip.

And Tallulah Mae got her first bath!