What a relaxing few days in Tucson! We had a great time playing lots of pool volleyball, eating good food, and catching up with Kim, Donna, and Grandpa Jim.
We also got to work building our coffee table! Dad and I did lots of sawing, drilling, and assembling. Ian turns out to have a knack for filling the cracks in our lumber with resin. And apparently, he “has a steadier hand after a couple of beers”.
And the humans weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the pool! After taking notes watching Roobie and Gus (his Bergstrom pack), Bandito made quite a few trips into the pool himself to wade across the top step.
Once, he slipped off the step and swam his way back up and out of the pool… then celebrated by bolting back and forth across the backyard. Tucson is so much fun!!!!!
We arrived Wednesday around lunch time, and enjoyed a homemade pasta salad a la Dad. So refreshing after all of that truck stop food! We played frisbee, made a beer run, and saw good friends for dinner. Ian and I collapsed in bed exhausted Wednesday night, so proud to have completed the first leg of our adventure.
Thursday morning I woke the boys up early to visit our truck in the parking lot up the street. We were happy to confirm that all of our belongings remained securely in place after over 1700 miles on the road. We unloaded all of our bins of winter coats and sweaters (all marked “I”, “M”, or “B”) and packed them away in the crawl space, which my mother cleaned out recently and is thrilled to have filled with storage for her favorite daughter, son-in-law, and grand-dog.
We headed to Pegasus for our favorite breakfast on earth – breakfast burritos smothered in green chili with a pancake for dessert – and miraculously ran into the one-and-only Barb Brown, who stopped to chat with us while we ate our incredibly delicious breakfast. Such a treat to see Barb Brown, one of our very favorite Coloradans, two meals in a row!
Next we stopped at Home Depot to buy more fencing in order to continue to fortify the prison yard backyard. The short story: my parents’ house (and entire subdivision) is suffering a mule deer infestation.
While at the giant orange mecca, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw, on an end cap (always the end caps!) a stack of beetle kill pine lumber. Having a flashback to my Ikea coffee table abandoned on the sidewalk in New Jersey, I announced (to my dad’s utter delight), that I would like to build a beetle kill pine coffee table.
Later on Thursday we hosted a subset of the fantasy football league for an evening of catching up, playing yard games, and devouring Schmom’s delicious pork chops.
Friday, Ian headed downtown for his football draft and Dad and I embarked upon our new mission to build a coffee table. We found plans online, made a shopping list, and stopped for lunch before plugging a lumber company into our Google maps that supposedly carries the drool-worthy beetle kill pine which we intend to transform into high class DIY furniture. For any non-Coloradan readers, a breed of beetles has infested and killed a sweeping number of mountainous Colorado pine trees over many years. While the beetles are devastating for our forests, they leave behind a blue-grey stain in the outer rings of the bark that is uniquely beautiful and very special to Colorado.
Anyways, the lumber company was in the middle of nowhere…. plus a little bit farther. But look at this view!
We tried to play it cool and tell the lumber guy what we were looking for, but I ended up admitting (while Dad was in the bathroom) that I had never made furniture before and showing him our plans for his help. We left with a truck full of planed lumber that we fully intend to miraculously transform into an epic piece of furniture.
After a great few days in Colorado, our alarms are set for a bright and early wake up tomorrow to head to our next stop… Tucson!
Another great day on the road! We have been #blessed today by beautiful weather and a much swifter pace.
We left all those “I” states behind while fueled by a couple of chocolate frappuccinos in a jar (crack) and way too many nacho cheese doritos. Yes, my stomach hurts.
We stopped for lunch at another truck stop and dined with all of our fellow truckers.
Mr. I-Will-Never-Listen-To-An-Audiobook enjoyed a few hours of a Neil Gaiman book. I guess that’s what marriage is – being willing to try something you don’t want to and being willing to admit when you like it. Like how I’ve come to enjoy golfing, snorkeling, exercising, and egg sandwiches with mayonnaise. I guess another piece of marriage is not rubbing your victory in your spouse’s face, even when you notice every time he appears to be enjoying the book on tape.
We stopped for the evening in Ogallala, Nebraska. Our hotel is next door to a great little Mexican restaurant. I’m currently munching down a taco salad, and I sadly realize that this is the healthiest thing I’ve eaten all day. The food is great but the service is a little slow… lets just say if we were driving as slowly as these servers are serving, we’d still be in Pennsylvania.
Time to get out of here and to the hotel – we’ve spent the entire day looking forward to snuggling up next to Gary tonight… Gary Farrell, that is – a fantastic bottle of wine from Patrick and Keeley. Cheers!
After a great night sleep and a hot breakfast, we were ready to hit the road for Day 2! It was hard to relax knowing the entirety of our possessions was outside in the parking lot, but a bottle of delicious French wine did just the trick. Plus, every time I woke up I could look out the window to confirm the truck and car were, in fact, still there.
Our first stop of the day was to get our hands dirty (literally) filling up the tires and checking the oil. At this point we have convinced ourselves that we are hard core truckers… the kind that get so excited their hands are dirty that they stop to take a selfie.
Ohio was a breeze. We stopped for lunch at a meticulously maintained rest stop and ate a pair of whoppers, french fries, and onion rings… gotta work on those beach bods, ya know!
Indiana has been a little less pleasant. Since lunch Ian has navigated us through sheets of rain and almost constant construction zones. We’re feeling grateful that Bandido is not here to suffer the terror of the windshield wipers… he caught a flight with Schmom and is waiting for us in Colorado.
And yes, that’s our entire wine collection sitting between us in the cab. Priorities.
It’s our last night in New Jersey and we’re spending it in a hotel, since our truck is already half loaded (including beds!)
How quickly after a nervous move to New Jersey over three years ago we came to love the state. We love Summit… walking to town, the beautifully landscaped lawns, lots of great restaurants. The intense efficient attitude quickly grew on us and we don’t even mind the Jersey left turns on rts 10 and 22. We made lots of great friends here – including but not limited to all of the dogs in our neighborhood who go on morning walks around 7 or 8, guys from Ian’s Saturday morning hockey league, and our wonderful neighbors at Kent Court (Ellen & Flynn, it hasn’t been the same without you).
Our favorite places in town include the local Paper Source that keeps dog treats behind the counter, eating outside at Winberies and the Committed Pig, the muni golf course, and the epic church Christmas concert. I spent hours upon hours at Nissan World of Springfield during my monthly oil change – I probably wrote half of my dissertation in that waiting room.
Enough of our feelings on NJ for now… time to rest up. That truck will not pack itself tomorrow! And the adventure awaits…