Sorry I've left you all stranded in New Mexico for so long. Who knew Albuquerque would be so enthralling. I apologize to anyone who lives/has lived/or actually likes Albuquerque. We arrived in the dark, and my room overlooked a truck lot and a freeway. And the drive out in the morning did not improve my impression. But on with the show. Get your compression socks on, because we are in for the long hauls!
Engine Mileage: 220809
Trip Mileage: 1154.1
Albuquerque, New Mexico to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
We decided to leave Albuquerque early (7am). It was going to be a long drive. I estimated a bit over 8 hours. And so we continued heading east on I-40. Not much to see. A bit overcast, a bit cold, and a bit windy. I had given up on trying to play any music on the ipod nano through the cassette tape player adapter thingy. Can't enjoy tunes when all you hear is static. I'm bummed because I spent time compiling playlists and moving songs on or off the ipod, and deciding what I could subject my father too without assaulting his ears. So I plugged in my other ipod nano (I just have way too much stuff to fit on just one) and we listened to podcasts. We started with season 1 of Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell.
A bit of who Okla and Arkie are. We first met them in the late 90's when they came to be pastors at the church my family went to in San Jose. They have a daughter my age. Finally someone my age to play with. Too bad we were both in college, her in Oklahoma, and me in California. They were missionaries in Brazil before, and before that, pastors in Oklahoma. Okla is of course from Oklahoma and became fast friends with my mom. Arkie is, as figured by now, from Arkansas. He and dad also became good friends and confidants. Epic card games would happen at each others houses. They vacationed together. Spent many wedding anniversaries together (only a week or so apart). Through thick and thin, while they were pastors in San Jose, our two families were there for each other. Often showing up unannounced at the door, and just in time for whatever was needed. A hug, a cry, comfort, support, or companionship, or just a game of cards. It was difficult saying goodbye when they left and moved back to Oklahoma to become a District Superintendent in the church. My mom even drove their car out to them when they moved. Who wouldn't want to drive a convertible across four states! When mom passed away, they both came out and spoke/helped lead her memorial service. The loss of them moving away deeply affected my parents, and of course the loss of my mom was devastating to Okla and Arkie. But life continues on, and so do friendships.
Okla made us breakfast. Delish, and I got my coffee! We chatted around the breakfast table and then it was a game of cards. They then took us out and about town to fancy places like Auto Zone and O'Reilly's to try and find chains for the Infinity. No luck. It doesn't snow enough in Oklahoma City for them to stock chains. Even in the winter. We then went to Best Buy to try and find cassette tape deck cleaners. No one stocks them anymore. Not even sure you can find them on the internet anymore either. We were hoping to clean the heads so the music could flow. Oh well. I gave them directions to a quilt shop and made them experience what visiting quilt shops are like.
Engine Mileage: 221336
Trip Mileage: 1681.7
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Gallatin, Tennessee
I put on my compression socks. Okla and Arkie said goodbye to us and the Infinity, and we were on the road by 7:15.
A note about who the Hotard's are and why it is acceptable for me to call them this: I met them online in a fan message board for a little TV show that no one has heard of in 2007. There are four of us that make up the Hotards. (pronounced Hoe-tards) These two crazy ladies currently in Gallatin Tennessee, a crazy Jewish New Yorker, and myself. We met online, and became fast friends and met in person for the first time when myself and the really crazy half of the Tennessee duo flew to New York for the very first New York ComicCon where the actors from the little show we were crazy about were going to be. It was a crazy 48 hours of my life. We found each other in the Newark airport and we just knew. Ever since the first in person meeting, we try and get together somewhere every few years. We've been to New Orleans, back to New York for crazy Jewish New Yorker's marriage to a CATHOLIC, Nashville, to me in California, they went to Rome without me, Chicago (twice), and we're currently planning our next trip. We call ourselves Hotards because when we went to New Orleans, there's a bus line called Hotards (pronounced hot-ards), and every time we'd see a Hotard bus, we'd scream HOTARDS (hoe-tards). This is the nice picture I took with a Hotard bus in New Orleans in 2009. I won't subject you nice people to the other one.
Ok, that was more than a little note. On to day 9! But later. This is taking me forever to write. Sorry this will be in three parts instead of two. But we made it to Tennessee! Almost there!