Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vacation Recap (part 2)

Our first day of driving was south on I-5 to get to I-40, which pretty much meant being in CA for the entire day's drive.

I get a bit nostalgic over windmills because of the GTMO windmills and the scenery was gorgeous.

We stopped for dinner at a BBQ place.  I utilized lots of urbanspoon and yelp to find places to eat that weren't fast food chains close to the interstate.  This place was definitely a winner.  I couldn't eat all of my food and we got a box, but ended up leaving the leftovers at the hotel the next morning.  Oh well.

Apparently, there was a super moon.  It was crazy bright.  There was definitely no need for street lights.

When we came out of Death Valley, this was the price of gas at the first exit.  WTF!
We opted not to get gas here and moved on to the next exit where gas was more reasonably priced.

We tried to stop in a larger town to find a hotel the first night, but we were unlucky.  There was some river festival thing going on and every.single.hotel was booked solid.  We checked at least 4 different hotels for availability and were only disappointed each time.  We hit the road again, overly tired, and went to the first hotel we could find.  A super cheesy Route 66 hotel with the super awesome Route 66 theme as well.  The bed was so hard, we could have probably slept in the bed of the truck and been just as comfortable.  Since we didn't arrive till almost 1am, we didn't make it a goal to get up early to get on the road.

We had breakfast at The Roadkill Cafe, next door to our hotel, where the sizes for all the things were enormous.  Since I knew we would be driving and we hadn't picked up snacks, I consumed all the foods again, not knowing when we'd be stopping for lunch/dinner.

That is a quart size mason jar full of soda.
This explains so much about America.

Gettin' my toe tan on.

The first time I was allowed to drive the truck.  I just moved it up to the pump, but still, HUGE deal.

Teh Sister had requested that we make a stop for her in New Mexico if we took I-40.  She's lucky and spoiled.  We stopped at St. Clair Winery to restock Teh Sister's wine collection since this winery isn't allowed to ship to NC for some reason.  We also had dinner there since we were already there and they served food that Teh Sister said was pretty good.  We started sitting outside, but when I heard thunder and saw lightning, you can bet your ass we moved inside.  This girl doesn't play.

9 bottles of wine later..

Brownie dessert = NOMNOMNOM

More super moon.  It was hella big and the cloud was cutting it in half.
It only got better.

We left Albuquerque, NM and kept driving.  Mr. Mystery wanted to make it into Texas, but I talked him into stopping at a town a little bit before the border.  Our hotel wasn't Route 66 themed, but it was still pretty sketchy.  Whatevs, we were just tired and needed a place to sleep.

We got gas before heading out the next morning and I spotted a silver Yurtle!  Yurtle's were few and far between the entire time I was on vacation.  I told Teh Roomies that Finding Yurtle was a better game than punch bug.

We stopped for lunch in Amarillo, TX.  Mr. Mystery had wanted to get tacos in NM, but we had failed at that mission.  I think that Joe Taco definitely hit the spot.  Or at least it was good for me.

2 pork tacos and 1 mushroom-spinach taco.

After lunch we got back on the road, determined to make it to Little Rock, Arkansas that night.

The cleaning cart was just sitting there, no one was cleaning.
It was like the gas station was trying to deter people from using the restrooms, although from the state of the bathrooms, I could see why.

Cool sculpture in Oklahoma City.

We stopped at a brewery for dinner just outside of OKC.  I had looked for somewhere more interesting on yelp and urbanspoon, but we were tired and just wanted to eat and the brewery was right there.  It ended up working out nicely because there was an ice cream place right down the road and we got milkshakes for the road.

I asked Mr. Mystery to get a pic of me and the first sweet tea I was able to order since I started vacation.
He said beer was more important.

But seriously, the sweet nectar of life is imperative to this southern girl.

Nomnomnom, steakkkkk.
This was the same steak that ended up leaking out of the box and got on the uniforms that were hanging in the back seat.  I freaked out!  I was doing emergency stain removal with water with my ass in the air while I was trying to reach things in the backseat.  We definitely made a pitstop at Walmart that night before we got to our hotel for some Shout in efforts to not have 2 sets of stained uniforms. 

We stayed at a decent hotel in Little Rock and it was much needed after the crappy beds we'd endured the prior nights.  Apparently, neither of us wanted to get up, because when my alarm went off at 0630 or 0730 or whenever it was, I told Mr. Mystery and he didn't really rouse, so I snoozed it and woke him up again when it went off.  Then I turned off the alarm, thinking that his alarm would go off in the next few minutes.  Nope.  I woke up at 0820 and informed him that we had overslept.  Coincidentally, his alarm started to go off within moments of me informing him of my revelation.  I just giggled and giggled.

Our driving goal was to reach home, home, NC, which was going to take 10ish hours plus stops. 

I'm not even sure who came up with this gas station name, but the perv in me always giggles when I see this.

Remember that one time when I was all like, I'm moving to Millington, TN?  Yeah well, we passed through Memphis and gave Millington the finger.  It was full-o-win.

Name that skyline:

Thank Allah this wasn't the end of the roadtrip!

Teh MD Teenage Roomie made sure to ask me how the 1.91" of snow was in TN.  I definitely sent her back a sad face photo.

We stopped in Memphis for lunch and we opted to eat at a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives restaurant called Three Angels Diner.  It was pretty delicious, but there were other restaurants on urbanspoon and yelp with better reviews. 

On the way to the diner we saw this.

Pinup girls in the women's bathroom.

And the record wall, which was pretty awesome.

After lunch, we got back on the road and booked it to home, home.  We stopped in TN for some adult beverages since we knew the stores were going to be closed when we got to NC.  Mr. Mystery got a good laugh at the guy running the register who was a redneck with a full southern accent.  Mr. Mystery had pointed out the MoonPie Moonshine sitting on the counter and the guy commented that it tasted like shit, but then added, if your moonshine didn't taste like shit, it wasn't good moonshine.  We walked out laughing and I almost tripped over the guy sitting at the door in his rocking chair smoking a cigarette.  We got out of there quickly.

We made it to home, home by midnight and I quickly realized that I was locked out.  /sadface.  I had left my keys in MD since I knew I wasn't going to need them.. except that Teh Dad's house key was on my keyring anddddd he was out of town visiting Teh NY Family which meant that all the doors were locked, even to the garage, which was my backup plan for getting in the house (we go into the garage and get the house garage door opener from the car and get in the house that way). 

So at midnight, I called Teh Dad unable to get in.  I was lucky he even answered because historically, we don't have cell phone coverage where his family is from.  He informed me there was no hidden spare key.  I'm not even sure who this man is anymore.  We always had a hidden key.  ALWAYS.  2 people had keys to Teh Dad's house.  The first person I tried apparently sleeps like the dead and didn't hear me banging on his door and he turned his phone to silent at night (which I can't even fault him for).  The 2nd person was Teh Dad's neighbor and he said that he hadn't even been asleep yet.  Nonetheless, I apologized over and over and over.

Mr. Mystery and I finally got in the house.  He made beverages for us and we decided to melt off our skin in the hot tub that Teh Dad insists needs to be kept at 1 million°F.  Unable to stay awake any longer, we both finally called it a night.

CA to SC adventure!

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