Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 1: Pasadena to El Paso

I'm pretty beat, so this might be a little short. I was totally fine until the last 20 minutes of the drive, then I was just really glad that I was in Texas and less than half an hour away from my hotel.

As I had previously mentioned, I'm extremely lucky that I had family in Pasadena for the eight years I was working at UCLA. Ab and Janet graciously put me up last night.

After a yummy dinner at Outback with Carol, we zipped by Quilters Dream for a visit, then I got to Ab and Janet's at about 7:30. We caught up for about an hour, then watched Breach (which was pretty good), then went to bed.

Ab made me an offer I couldn't refuse ... pancakes for breakfast to send me off on the right foot. It was a wonderful special treat and a great way to start the morning. Wanna see the chef in action?

Like I said, very yummy! :)

I was on the road shortly after 8 am Pacific Time, which was on par with my "master plan." After a quick jaunt from the 210 to the 57, I got on I-10, where I will spend the next large chunk of my life.

We made a quick stop in Palm Springs. 15 minutes at the outlet mall to get a second pair of my favorite jeans. (Levi's outlet. Woo-Hoo!). The one thing that has always freaked me out about driving to Palm Springs is the field of windmills. It's ginormous and very distracting. Roaming Tigger was fascinated!

(It's quite easy to snap a quick pic with the digital camera. I promise, I was really careful while taking all of the in-motion pictures ... basically propped up RT, got something that looked about right in the large LCD screen on my camera, then snapped off a few frames. If it came out, great, if not, that was OK.)

It felt like it took a dog's age to get out of California, but at about noontime, it finally happened:

Arizona wasn't particularly exciting. There was plenty of scenery, so it was light years better than the drive on I-80 through Nebraska when I took the UCLA job. Once I hit Phoenix, it got slightly nostalgic. Remembering all of my trips to Arizona and ASU with softball. The day I backed into a classic car in the parking lot of our Tempe hotel after we were rained out and heading to Tucson early. The trips where we lost in some goofy way in Tucson then drove up to Phoenix at 10 pm. The year (2001) where we got to Phoenix, then had a 90-minute team meeting at the hotel that started at 1 am, etc.

I really thought about stopping at one of the Dairy Queens between Phoenix and Tucson in honor of my softball team. After we beat Arizona this year, we tried to stop on the way up to Phoenix, but they closed 15 minutes before we got there. I decided that I didn't need ice cream and since I was on a roll, it was better to just keep moving.

I knew that there was going to be construction in Tucson, but everything I had read said that I-10 would be open, but all of the Tucson exits would be closed. LIARS! The freeway was entirely closed for the entire stretch of the construction. Booooo!! It took forever to get through Tucson, but the good news is that once I got back on I-10, I was able to find an NPR feed and listen to the bulk of APHC. Roy Blount, Jr., was one of the guests, as were the Carolina Chocolate Drops. A fantastic broadcast, as usual!

My co-pilot enjoyed the drive as well.

He wants everyone to know that he was wearing sunscreen and that the AC vent kept him nice and comfy on the drive. He's a very good traveling companion, as are his brothers.

Here we are entering New Mexico. I was surprised at how "narrow" New Mexico is. Just over 160 miles of I-10 from border to border. No photo of the Texas entrance sign. It was dark and I didn't want to mess with it.

*The current episode of "This American Life" which I caught on about 5 different NPR stations
* Three episodes of Wait Wait from my iPod. I hadn't realized how far behind I was. Yikes! Thank goodness for Podcasts!
* The recording of the BNL concert I went to last December with Bill at Gibson Ampitheater
* The BNL concert from December 2005 at the Santa Monica Civic Center

* Four states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas)
* Just over 800 miles (yikes!)

OK, so everyone plays this a little differently. My rules are that a state's plates don't count if you're in that state, and trucks don't count either.
14 states down. In the order in which they were spotted: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Montana, Hawaii (enter Arizona), California, Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington, Virginia, New Mexico, Idaho (enter New Mexico) Colorado

Didn't get any new states while driving the first 25 miles into Texas.

Also "got" two Mexican plates: Sonora and Chihuaua.

Off to bed. I'll be checking in from outside of Dallas tomorrow night. All Texas, all the time!

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