Friday, February 27, 2015

What I learned traveling out west

Recently I traveled from Columbus, Ohio, to Pasadena, California, with a husband, a big white van, and a load of furniture for two kids starting out their young married life. I learned quite a bit along the way...
empty living room

Don't take any exits off the freeway in St. Louis without prior knowledge of the crime rate.

Each day I checked the weather channel. It was all Boston, all the time. It's almost like Boston's 100 inches of snow was more important than my trip. But we did go from Ohio to California and back without any snow or ice or sleet or hail or rain along the entire trip. That was quite unbelievable. Sorry, Boston!

Apparently, I can get sunburned at the Grand Canyon when it's 27 degrees. And it might just be the only place on earth with 18 mph speed limit signs. I also learned that "Wow" is a universal language.


husband even goofier>

panoramic iphone setting>

I am OCD in a hundred ways, but I didn't make him turn the van around if I missed the "welcome to" or "thank you for visiting" signs. I just used it as a form of exposure therapy.

more of these would have helped>

Rest stops in the West are 100% better than in the South. All of them. And rest stop apps are awesome, but that just could be my age.
Rest Stop in Arizona... not kidding...

I was excited that Illinois had a large print map. Again, that could be my age.

When I told people I was from Ohio, I heard "where's that?" far more than I wanted.

The Oklahoma City Memorial is a MUST VISIT for anyone who remembers that tragic day 20 years ago.

I guess a big white panel van with no windows is suspicious at the California-Arizona-New Mexico border with Mexico. 
Homeland Security + Border Patrol = Unnerving

I can sing the Soundtrack from "Rent" across the entire state of New Mexico and my husband won't leave me behind!

Speaking of the husband, he is a walking trivia fountain of knowledge, including a tidbit about Needles, California. As we are driving through he wants me to know that Snoopy's Cousin Spike lives there.
He knew weather information, rock formations, mountain ranges. He even knew exactly where the Continental Divide sign was going to appear. He knew history, geological time lines, and practically every Indian tribe along the way. I felt like I hadn't even paid attention in school my whole life!

My iPod has 16.7 days of music, and I feel like I listened to almost all of it. I didn't. But I told myself that I did.

I saw animals in the wild that I had never seen before: a golden eagle and a red fox. I wanted to see an armadillo in Amarillo, but it just didn't happen.

I saw baby zoo animals that made me smile... my favorite were twin chimps in the Albuquerque Zoo. So much cuteness!

No matter how far you go, people from home are nearby. Chris and I decided to go up the tram to see the Sandia Mountain in New Mexico. Of the 24 passengers, 8 were from Columbus.