Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Trek: Part 1

As the entire premise of this blog suggests, I am not native to this city of Chicago.  In fact, I originally grew up in a wonderful place called San Diego, where I am convinced time stands still--the radio stations still play the same music from 10 years ago, all of my favorite places still stand, and many of my high school friends are still there and when we get together I know why I've always called that place my home.  I'm actually almost positive San Diego is like that little Irish town from that old movie that disappears into the mist and only comes back every 100 years or so, completely untouched by the rest of the world and thus unchanged. Anybody?  No?  I'm not sure what it's called, either.
Anyway, I'm not from here.  I'm a born and raised California girl at heart, and when the Beach Boys sing that song, I puff out my chest and smile proudly, then do a little dance that can only be done to catchy Beach Boys songs.  Thus, when my now fiance told me the news that it was Chicago or bust (rather than UCLA, our mutual alma mater but unfortunately not as high in the business school rankings as U of Chicago), I sighed, packed up all of my things, and said farewell to California.

[This will be a two-part post because frankly, I don't know how interested you'll be in reading all of it at once, and my OCD nature prevents me from leaving things unfinished...thus, for you fellow people who feel the need to read it all, I'll break it up.]

We started our drive at the end of August and laid out our 4-day journey to the pinnacle of Mt., that's a different journey, now that I think about it.  I digress.  Our journey from San Diego to Chicago could have gone along the northern route (stopping in Colorado, going through Wyoming, and hitting up Kansas City for BBQ), or the southern route (Arizona, New Mexico, then curving up through OKC and St. Louis).  We ultimately settled on the southern route because it meant each leg of our drive was 8 hours or less, and the simple idea of having to be in a car for 13 hours or so (San Diego -> Denver) made me want to punch out a window.  It was definitely a good call.
I should clarify: my then boyfriend (now fiance) and I lived in different cities for the entirety of our relationship.  I'll tell you our love story in a bit, but suffice it to say, coordinating moving his stuff and then my stuff across the country...not an easy logistical task.
Most of our things were packed up in a Pod (they are these boxes you pack yourself and other people drive them across the country for was the cheapest option we could find); first his things, then mine a few weeks later.  The rest went into my Corolla, with Professor X (my wonderful dwarf hamster) strapped into the middle seat (literally), and nestled in between two dining room chairs.  Yes, we drove two full-size chairs across the country in my backseat.  I crafted a sunshade for the fine Professor, as obviously a hamster should not be sitting in the sun all day.  After a few tearful goodbyes (on my end), we were off!

The first leg of our trip was from San Diego to Sedona, AZ.  Have you ever been there?  It's lovely red rock country.  I've never seen land like that before...California gets rocky sometimes, but doesn't have that brilliant  ochre contrasted against the blue sky.  It was unbelievable.  It was basically a one road town with a lane in each direction, and one long, curving road that took us through all the pretty scenery.  We stayed at some little hotel (with Professor X comfortably on the dresser) and reveled in finally being in the same city.

You know how at Disney's California Adventure they have the new Carsland?  

Yeah, this whole place looks like Radiator Springs.

That brings us to the end of this part of the journey!  I feel a little like Tolkien, riding out a long and complex story in multiple pieces...I don't think I'm aiming for a trilogy here, but if I put enough pictures, maybe that'll be necessary!  Additionally, less walking.  Especially less walking than The Two Towers.  
Also, no lembas.  I definitely packed a lot of snacks, but they were mostly of the beef jerky and trail mix variety.

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