I've been roaming it.
In the past two weeks I have been to six cities. Now, it may seem like less when you consider that one of them was me coming back home for three days, but it was only for three days. Enough time for me to rest, do my laundry and realize that there was no point in putting anything in the fridge because I was going to be gone again shortly.
It all culminated last night in an eleven plus hour, eyeball-searing drive back from Vegas to Tucson via Sedona. I stopped for about 45mins to change cars and then it was on the road again. 100+ temperatures were my constant road companion and thank God the MP3 player never failed me once. Sadly, the GPS did fail me once or twice, but we were back to being friends again by the end of the trip.
My family came to the States and in return for paying my way I was the chauffeur (plus, you know, they kinda love me). We hit San Jose, CA and Santa Cruz, CA, then back to SJ. Then it was off to San Francisco for a week - where I am SO pleased I didn't have to drive. That traffic! Also, we hired a car to take us from SJ to SF as we were warned that parking at our hotel was $53 / night. Beg pardon?!
Then it was on the plane, back home for three days. I know I left the house at least once, because there was no food here and I had to eat, but aside from that, I don't remember much of my return here except I exchanged the big suitcase for the small one.
After that, I joined a different family member in Sedona (3+ hour drive) for a night of fine dining, then we arose bright and shiny on Tuesday morning (all right, all right, it was 10am, but that still counts as morning) to eat a sensible breakfast, add me to the rental car agreement and drive to Vegas where we saw two shows on our 1 1/2 nights there.
Aside: Jersey Boys gets a big, fat HELL YEAH!, O was a spectacle of gymnastics, costuming, waterworks and optical distractions, but there was no emotional involvement - stunningly beautiful, yes, but I didn't leave the show raving and satisfied like I did with Jersey Boys.
A whirlwind stop in Vegas included very fine dining at Morels, shopping off-strip at The Galleria at Sunset (I was underwhelmed) and a two night stay at the incomparable Bellagio. None of that left me prepared to drive back for eleven plus hours yesterday though.
It was recommended that after the first 6 hours I stop in Sedona and stay at a motel. It's six hours because the first part of the driving experience that day was taking the fam. to the airport, and the second part of the driving experience involved getting lost.
Now, I mentioned earlier how my GPS and I were fighting on the trip, so when we got out of the airport, I didn't trust that she was telling me the truth. I blithely went on my way, ignoring her admonitions to turn around at every exit. I knew better.
I did not know better.
Fifteen minutes later, out of the hustle and bustle of the city I thought ... perhaps she has a point ... and decided to believe her. Wouldn't you know it? She stopped arguing with me and suddenly all the roadsigns made sense. I hate it when she's right. (Actually, I love it when she's right, I rely on her being right. I just hate it when she's righter than I.)
All that folderol added a stressful hour to my five hour drive back to return the rental car and pick up my vehicle. Most sane people would have put some value on their life, or at least limb, and stopped in Sedona to get a good rest, maybe even a meal, or sit off somewhere to revel in the joy of not driving. I, however, did a jig at the sight of my little, red car waiting for me in the parking lot of the Sedona Hilton and hopped in to fuel up and drive the 3 hours 49 minutes home.
At this point you're thinking, 'but she said it was an eleven hour drive?' To which I must add the 45 minutes it took to check in the vehicle and have the nice Hertz Rent A Car guy drive me back to my car. In addition, peeing and gas breaks must be totaled in to every long distance driving experience.
By the time I hit my apartment door my brain was mush. I could not form words, and every attempt at a coherent sentence was a joke. It didn't matter though. I was finally home. In MY own bed, with my own cat and even my own earplugs. Heaven.
I think I was asleep within 20 minutes of hitting the door. Within 30 minutes, I was receiving and (stupidly) replying to text messages. That was all it took to wake my brain back up. Four hours later I finally took a sleeping pill to coax my brain back into its blissful catatonic state. It only took another hour for my body to get the message and I slept 10 solid hours last night.
Today, I didn't drive at all.
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Self-pubbing short stories
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