Sunday, May 11, 2008

California...or Bust!

In February, we had the opportunity to go to California. Not like normal folks --since we are NOT normal. A friend of ours had purchased a classic car (Alfa Romeo) over the internet. The car was located just outside San Diego in Vista, CA. He didn't trust the car haulers to get it to Tallahassee safe and sound so he opted to pay my husband to go pick it up for him. Our friend knows we are slightly crazy and LOVE spontaneous adventures! (Last year we drove to Houston, TX to pick up a classic Porsche for him.) We found out about this opportunity on the Tuesday before Valentine's Day. Since the whole family was working at the florist shop until Thursday (V-Day), we decided to leave on Friday morning, Feb. 15. When I say "we", I mean my dh, my 16-yo dd, and me! We LOVE riding/driving and seeing new things --and who can resist an all-expenses-paid road trip for the whole family?

To be perfectly honest, which I really try to do in this blog--since it is for posterity. I must note right here that dd did NOT want to go. Not that she didn't want to go on a trip...but during the trip she would miss TWO club volleyball practices! Ohhhh NO!!!! She tried desperately to come up with a plan --staying with friends, etc. -- to allow her to stay at home and not miss these practices. Although, a rare thing, the parents put their foot down (or is that feet?) and decided that her staying home was NOT an option. We would have been miserable seeing all these new things without having her along --just for the educational opportunities!! (Yeah, right.) We would have missed her wayyyyy too much! So, the three of us were off to see California and I would keep a journal to remember the 'little' things from our trip.

Our mode of transportation would be our friend's brand new, 2008 Ford F-350 Super-Duty King Ranch truck. (Whew! That's a mouthfull!) Inside, it had four big Captain's Chairs made out of saddle-leather and every gadget known to man. My husband said "it will do everything but wipe your butt!" It was a real pleasure just to ride in such luxury. We could take all the time we needed as long as we had the truck (and car) back home by the following Friday (since the owner would be heading down south on Friday and needed his truck).

At 5:30 am, we pulled out of our driveway pulling another friend's car-carrier trailer bound for the west coast. Our first day was not very noteworthy. We had traveled to Houston, TX many times so we weren't seeing anything new. We did note that storm damage from Hurricane Katrina was still very evident through parts of Pensacola, FL and Mississippi. Houston, TX during a very rainy rush hour was a nightmare. I was so glad, dh was driving (and he was too! LOL!). We drove on until about midnight ET and checked into a very nice Days Inn in Kerrville, TX --just west of San Antonio.

Saturday morning was spent driving through west Texas. Wow! The scenery had really changed! It was very different from what we are used to seeing in Florida. The mountains were small, rock walls were
cut through for the interstate. The rock is almost white and all the trees are short and scraggly.

We went through a large area that had obviously been burnt by wildfire. We loved that the speed limit was 80! We loved this sign!! You can really cover some miles of interstate at that speed.

During the afternoon we stopped at a Texas rest area just west of Sheffield. We weren't really thrilled to see a sign that said "Watch for snakes!" where we would be trying to go to the bathroom. Oh, joy!

The next picture shows windmills if you look really hard! There were a bunch of them through this area of Texas. We were talking to a local man in Bakersfield, TX, and he said these windmills have 300' towers and each blade is anywhere from 100-120' long! He said the new ones they are putting in are bigger than that. We didn't get a picture good enough to show how many of these there were. According to the man, there were THOUSANDS!!

This Texas scenery reminded us of every John Wayne western we've ever seen. We half expected to see him come over the top of one of these hills with Indians chasing be
hind him!

As we drove through all this vast landscape we kept thinking about those hearty pioneers who rode horses and wagons through this country {oh, my aching back} ! The interstate is much more convenient and much smoother....

Tomorrow, I'll talk about southern New Mexico and Arizona. Here's a small taste of 'purple mountain's majesty' from New Mexico.

0 Click here to Comment!: