Monday, February 8, 2010

5 States down...

Garrison and I are safely in Tulsa, OK. I didn't get a chance to blog the last few days because once we left our house, we've been busy!

Saturday morning we were up very early with rain STILL falling, but we had to load up the car and this was departure day! All of the last minute to-dos drive me crazy. Put out any remaining trash. Wash dishes. Wipe down counters. Clear off kitchen table. Write up Casa Fairview care-taking directions. Make sure EVERYTHING is loaded in the car. Ugh.

Garrison knows when we're heading out somewhere... and not just for coffee and potential park time. And that throws him all off. So he didn't eat breakfast and hopped up in the car during one of my loading moments and stayed there. He refuses to be left behind. Ever since he was 4 months old, he would happily sit in the front of the car... doors wide open for up to an hour... just so that he wouldn't be left behind.

I had everything loaded and took off. Said goodbye to my AM/PM coffee friends while getting my cheap coffee, drove through Del Taco for the egg and cheese breakfast burrito and got on the highway, all the while my brain flitting through the packing and planning ahead for the duration of our trip. OH CRAP-A-DOODLE!!! I forgot the kibble bin. No kibble for the Gman. Not acceptable. I got off the freeway and had to return to Casa Fairview. Ugh.

I knew I'd feel better knowing the boy had his regular kibble. But I also knew this would make us late to our Valentine Fun Match.

Rain + Los Angeles drivers = lots of traffic early on Saturday morning.

Our Fun Match was out in Menifee and it took me almost 3 hours to get there. 90 miles. 3 hours. UGH. But it was a great event because of the indoor location at the Briarcliff Pet Resort. We had a nice turnout and it's always fun to see so many Bouviers around each other.

Our match ended, we had our board meeting, and the Gman and I set out for our big ole massive road trip-o-rama. Garmina wanted us to take the 10 through Phoenix on our way to Flagstaff and I told her she was crazy. She didn't say anything other than, "Recalculating." I called my father (aka The Navigator).

The question: "Why would Garmina want to send me through Phoenix to get to Flagstaff?"

The answer: "It's only about 15 miles further going through Phoenix."

The next question: "Why do I not want to give up my original plan of going through Barstow and I-40?"

The answer: "I don't know. But I do know that via Phoenix you'll have about 10 miles of potential winter weather driving. Via Barstow you'll have about 30 miles of potential winter weather driving."

I decided to drive to Flagstaff via Barstow. The drive was easy going. Of course there was some rain along the way - it had lingered over my house for a day and a half and was finally moving on.... to Flagstaff and beyond. And as elevations get higher rain turns to..... snow. But I hadn't seen any snow. When Garmina was telling me I had 35 miles to go before my exit in Flagstaff, I hit a patch of fog. My mom called to see how the drive was going. I told her I had fog... and things were fine. We hung up quickly because I wanted to keep 2 hands on the wheel. 5 miles had passed by. And I noticed snow on the side of the road. Then there was snow ON the road. LOTS of snow. The remaining 30 miles had me thankful that I lived in Chicago for 4 years. Driving in snow and inclement winter weather is much like riding a bike. You don't forget.

And when I finally arrived in Flagstaff, I called my father to let him know I arrived safely... and he was right.

Garrison wasn't sure about the whole "snow" thing when he jumped out of the car. He had such a confused look on his face! He wanted to check it out some more... kinda. He also wanted to pounce and play in our hotel room. After a little romping, tuggling, and then cuddling on the bed with all 4 paws in the air, the Gman settled in front of the door for the night.

The next morning, I awoke to people talking about how they didn't know how to drive in snow and they should have ordered pizza the night before in order to have a box to scrape snow off of their cars. Our Honda Element had about 6 inches of snow on top! It blew off as we set out on our next segment to Albuquerque.

The drive to Albuquerque was pretty painless. As I started to approach my exit, the storm that had escorted me since California was greeting me in New Mexico as well. Snow, sleet and rain pelted us for the last 15 miles to our exit. It wasn't nearly as intense as Flagstaff, though.

And voila... we were in Albuquerque to watch the Super Bowl with Steve Smith and his family!

(to be continued...)

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