I love vacation. I love not having to go to work. I love traveling to new places that I haven't been to before. But, I don't love being out of my element. Weird, huh?
There's something nice about taking time off from your normal routine, but there's also something equally nice to come back to it with renewed appreciation. Vacations are great.
Nothing too bad happened while on this trip. It was a lovely 10 or so days of relaxing, driving, napping, eating, and sight-seeing. There were no fights (which is a new thing for me...imagine going on a vacation and not having a fight...it boggles the mind), no crankiness, no wishing I was somewhere else.
We did have a bit of of an adventure at a couple of points. Here is what the directions from MSN said...
71: Road name changes to (S) Kodachrome Dr [S Main St] 2.4 miles
72: Road name changes to Road 400 0.4 miles
73: Road name changes to Cottonwood Rd [Road 400] 43.1 miles
Notice where it says "Road 400". Not US Road 400 or State Road 400,just "Road 400". This would be an unpaved road in the middle of the desert with huge puddles, pot holes, and rocks in the middle of it. This wouldn't be a problem with someone who has a vehicle that, for instance, isn't a VW Golf. For us it was a bit of an off-road, pseudo makeshift 4x4 adventure. It took us 2 hours to travel the 43.1 miles of "Road 400" because we couldn't go faster than about 20mph for fear of seriously messing up my alignment and/or bottoming out going over the huge potholes in the road. Believe me, the warning sign they have about 20 (paved) minutes into "Road 400" that says "Unimproved road ahead" just might be the understatement of the year.
After having successfully navigated the deserts of Utah on "Road 400" we made the rest of the trip without incident...well almost.
Later that night, shortly after entering Grand Canyon National Monument (the park, not the canyon itself) we noticed a sign with a picture of an elk on it. We thought "Great this might be a chance to see some wildlife up close.". Sure enough, a few minutes later we spotted a small group off to the side of the road standing together. We slowed down and looked and then continued on. A little while later we saw another group, this time crossing the road. We stopped this time to let them all pass, not more than about 3 feet in front of the car. When the last one had safely crossed the road we started again, very slowly so we could still look at them. What happened next was kind of in slow motion. The last one climbed the hill on the side of the road, circled back and slammed into the passenger side of the car (where I was sitting). I saw the headlights reflect her eyes, saw her flip over the hood and roll up on to the windsheild. I remember seeing her fur pressed up against the glass of the windshield for a split second, I heard the crunch of the metal of the hood when she landed on it, and being thrown against my seatbelt as the car lurched from the brakes before she rolled off onto the pavement and darted across the road to the other side. She didn't even appear to be hurt! No limping, no blood, nothing. We, however were kind of freaking out. We had just hit an elk! After assessing the damage (in the dark) we assumed all was well because the car was still running and there was nothing noticably different...that is until I tried to get out of the car. The passenger side fender had been pushed in so much that it wedged the door shut. To get out, I had to climb out of the window all Dukes of Hazard style.
The third thing that happened to us was on the way home when we stopped in San Francisco. We had tickets to see Snow Patrol
at The Fillmore
so we wanted a motel
that was close by, not knowing that downtown San Francisco is NOT a place you want to stay if you're unfamiliar with the area. What the pictures don't show you on their site is the mildew in the shower, the holes in the walls, the old man smell in the room that was covered up with some kind of perfumey "air freshner", or the stains on the sheets. I don't ask for much when I stay at a cheap motel. If it's clean, I can usually deal. This one was so dirty we decided to sleep on top of the bedspread so as not to be nestled in with the questionable sheets and mattress (no fitted sheet). YUCK!!
We arrived home, tired from the drive, but glad to finally be home to sleep in a familiar bed, shower with no mildew, and not one elk within at least 10 miles.