Friday, September 25, 2009

Drive "Home" Day Four

This morning Dad and I got up and around nice and early and headed out over the Hoover Dam. The water level is REALLY low...kinda scary where all the water has gone to, but I'm not going to go down that path of save the environment....

Really didn't have a whole lot of excitement to discuss today. We left Hoover Dam and headed out to Flagstaff and then on to Albuquerque.

Diane commented yesterday that the drive to Albuquerque is really long.... I'd have to agree, it felt like we just kept driving and driving. There was a lot of beautiful scenery. Here in Albuquerque we checked in to our hotel and the weirdest coincidence is that last night we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in room 313. This evening we check into a Holiday Inn Express...guess which room they give us....yep... 313... A little eerie, huh? Sadly, as I sit here and type this I'm realizing that there is a heavy walker in the room above us and since we are next to the workout room people in there have decided to turn the television ALL THE WAY UP and yeah, we can hear it in this room as well....ah well, we are both tired enough that we'll fall asleep soon and just block it all out... I hope.

Tomorrow we will be making the final push on into Mom and Dad's in Cresson, TX.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drive "Home" Day Three

This morning I awoke and headed back into Yosemite Park and headed over the Tioga Pass... It was beautiful. I've decided that I like the High Sierra Mountains better than the the valley floor and Lower Sierra. For some reason it struck me as more stark and prettier. I stopped to put my feet in Tenaya Lake. There was a couple there pulling food out of their car in preparation for a picnic. I, of course, had to make a comment to the extent of "Thanks, but y'all didn't have to make breakfast for me...." They got a chuckle; I got cold toes as the lake was really cold, but lovely!!

I then got through the mountains and headed into Nevada.

I went to and down the Extraterrestrial Highway, and my Tom Tom even knew to call it "99 miles down the Extraterrestrial Highway" is what Daniel the computer voice told me what to do. Sadly, I saw no Extraterrestrials... I did see a couple of coyotes and a lot of free range cattle. The whole time I was traveling the highway, I was completely out of cell phone range, so I missed my Dad's call(s) when he landed at the airport in Vegas.

A couple of hours later, I came out of cell phone lock down and started my decent into Vegas. I had programed Tom Tom to find the airport and called my dad to let him know that I was about 45 minutes away and I'd be picking him up soon. Well, that's what I thought. It turns out that I had programmed Tom Tom to go to the wrong airport. (Who knew that there were more than one in Vegas.) I should have realized that I was not heading to the correct place as there were no planes in the sky heading in the same direction that I was heading and the fact that I hadn't seen any signs....Well, I show up at the VTG and that is when it dawns that I'm in the wrong place...I reprogram Tom, call Dad to tell him I'm still on my way, and head out...Only to get caught in a less than nice neighborhood in a construction zone.... An hour later, I show up at the correct airport and Dad jumps in the car and we head off to the Holiday Inn Express (how many of y'all come to Vegas and stay at the HIE?).

We check in and then walk over to a casino which is just on the other side of the parking lot and grad some there was no gambling, neither Dad nor I are big on that.

The thing that I noticed was the big difference in the sensory overload that I got at this small casino in comparison to the past couple of nights when I was in Yosemite and enjoying the sounds of silence and the stars within touching distance.

Tomorrow we get up and head out to Albuquerque.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Two - Yosemite Tour

Let me start off by saying that I woke up at around 2:00 this morning to go potty and detoured over to the window. I opened the curtains and saw a sky FULL of stars...I felt like I could just reach out and scoop a whole bunch up.... so beautiful!! Being out here where you don't have any light pollution really enhances the night sky!!

Okay on to the tour.... I got myself around decided to just grab some fruit and a muffin out of the snack shop and shovel those in while waiting for the bus to arrive. I somehow ended up being the last person to get on the bus (I decided to make a pit stop before leaving and didn't hear them calling "all aboard"). I got there and ended up having the front seat right behind the driver, which was perfectly fine for me. I was the only person traveling alone; everybody else were all coupled up which got me a little sad to start with because it was just one more thing that I was doing by myself without somebody there to share in the memories with....but I got over that as I was also able to do my own thing. In fact at one of the stops I was chatting with the tour guide and she asked if I was married and I said "no" and she said "I'm always impressed with women who have the courage and are brave enough to travel by themselves." I have to say to myself, "I'm pretty proud of me too."

Anyway, on to the tour. We saw lots and lots of trees and rocks and mountains. We went to the top of Glacier Point and had our lunches...the food was nothing more than a turkey sandwich and chips, but the view was SPECTACULAR!!! We went to the valley floor and visited The Ahwahnee, nice hotel but I was expecting something along the lines of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining...not so much. It was nice, though. The waterfalls, except for Bridalveil Fall, were all dried up due to the late season and global warming. We saw three different teams of climbers climbing the face of El Capitan (talk about crazy). I took probably 150 pictures, which someday I'll get some of them posted so y'all can see.

Oh, and I have determined that the toilets in our national parks leave a lot to be desired.

I wish that I had come to visit Yosemite earlier and been able to spend more time here, doing some hiking and exploring (well, except I'm not really a hiking kind of person), but this is just one more place that I'll have to come back to.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up at the crack of dawn and heading back out through the park up and over Tioga Pass and into Nevada and along the Extraterrestrial Highway into Vegas to meet my Dad....

Hopefully, I won't get abducted....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Drive "Home" - Day One

Yesterday, I had a great crew of movers show up and do a fantastic job of packing up all of my worldly possessions. I used the Delancy Street Movers and would highly recommend them to anybody moving in the Bay Area...I don't know if they have locations in other cities. The Delancy Street Foundation helps pick people up when they have hit bottom (addicts, alcoholics, ex-cons, etc.). The guys show up and while the team lead is covered in tattoos, from the parts that I can see, and the others have prison tattoos and the like, they were all perfect gentlemen...very respectful of me and my stuff. I have complete faith that my belongings are going to show up in Texas with no issues...aside from the crappy job I did of packing my own things. As I told my sister when she called, "unpacking is going to be very interesting because I have probably 10 boxes that just have 'random' as their label, which means I have something from the bedroom, some books, and maybe a pot or pan in the box.

After the movers finished with me, I headed back to the apartment and "cleaned" until I was just too worn out and decided to just throw everything that was left away and be done with it. I drove down to my boss's house, where I was spending the night, we had dinner and then headed off to bed.

This morning, I slept in, as much as I can. Once I got up and got around, I rearranged my car, then headed out. I love my Tom-Tom that I purchased solely for this trip as it is wonderful in directing me where I need to go and I don't have to drive off the road trying to read my Google Map directions.

I arrived at Tenaya Lodge and thus far am very happy with my stay. I would love to come back to this place in the winter and actually take part in some of the winter activities that they offer like ice skating and snow shoeing. The people here are very nice and helpful. When I first pulled up the bellhop was exceedingly helpful and friendly without, I think/hope, expecting anything from me. I got up to my room and had to take care of some work stuff, but then went for a walk around the hotel and sat outside reading... In fact, I finished my book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies... Very cute book and since I've never read the original Pride and Prejudice I wasn't offended by having zombies and martial arts thrown into the story line.

5:30 came around and I headed off to one of the 3 restaurants that they have on site. I sat out on the patio and had a scrumptious grilled chicken picata with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, and squash. I topped the meal off with a Tiramisu.... yummy, yummy, yummy. I was joined at one point by a little bird that just sat on the table directly across from me and watched me eat... it was a little strange as I munched away on chicken....

Now, I am back up in my room reflecting on the past couple of days and watching Dancing with the Stars....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movers Have Arrived

I got up this morning at 3:30 with a full on panic attack thinking about my move...what if the movers don't show up...what if I can't fit stuff in my car...what am I going to do without my stuff for a month...what if I can't find storage...when they get here with my stuff how will I manage without my stuff for 6 months.... AARGHHH....

The movers showed up 30 minutes early and are almost finished going through and loading all my thing to stop worrying about.