Sunday, October 16, 2016

Road Trip to Virginia: Days 2 & 3

Evening of Day Three. I think; we're now officially two hours ahead of California time, and my body is oh-so confused about what time it actually is (although I would still much rather handle the time changes gradually like this, rather than have jet lag from moving straight there).

We're approximately halfway there. Three days down, three more to go.

The last two days have been rather slow. To be honest, I had forgotten how boring and, well, desolate some of these long stretches of I-80 can be. Much of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming are unaccountably dull, especially at this time of year. Everything is dry, the grass is all dead, and there's not really much to see. Maybe we're just driving through the boring parts? I don't know. There were some cool parts. The salt flats are interesting, for a little while. I enjoyed some of the rock formations in Utah. But it seemed like most of what we were passing was endless grassy plains, with occasional softly undulating hills.

It's not like we're interested in doing many tourist-y things anyway, or even stopping any more often than is strictly necessary for bathroom breaks and eating. We do have the cat with us, after all, and while I think he's getting to be a better traveler every time he's forced to make a long trip--he is quiet for long stretches now, and really only meows when we're stopping somewhere--we obviously can't leave him in the car by himself for more than a few minutes at a time. And we can only even do that when it's cool enough outside that we don't have to worry about the car rapidly heating up. (Hint: That was not today.) So the last two days have just been driving, driving, driving.

Here's the seating arrangement: D is driving, because he likes driving, while I'm in the back entertaining Bug, who is in his car seat, while the cat is in his travel carrier on the other backseat. We did our best to travel light this time around; with every move, I get better at figuring out what's actually essential for the drive and the first few days in a new place (since it'll likely be a few days before our pod with all our other belongings can be delivered to our new home, once we have a new home). So the trunk is full, but not so full that we're dependent on the mirrors to see what's going on around the car. There are blankets shoved under the cat carrier, and my leg room is severely impeded by my purse and the bag of books/coloring books/activities that I am using to entertain Gregory.

Not surprisingly, the front seat is also being used to hold stuff, mainly food-type stuff. Our current car is a 2014, and it's got all sorts of newfangled safety features, including some kind of weight sensor in the passenger seat that tells the car whether or not to turn on the passenger airbag while also causing the car to beep incessantly if the passenger seat belt is not buckled. We discovered yesterday that we are just shy of that weight limit. Every now and then, if we go over a bump wrong, the car starts beeping at us, and D has to rearrange the things on the seat to convince the car that there is not, in fact, an unbuckled passenger in that seat. And when I say we're almost at the weight limit, I'm not kidding; if D so much as puts his phone on the seat, it starts beeping. It's ridiculous. I'm sure there's some way to turn it off (or maybe we should just buckle the darn seat belt), but we don't have the time or energy to figure it out by the time we reach our hotel every night.

By the way, Bug seems to (hopefullycrossyourfingerspleaseplease) be over his stomach issues. His appetite still isn't 100%, but his energy is high, his mood is cheerful, and there's been no sign of vomit for the past two days. (In case you're wondering, though, we did buy a puke-catcher-bin after the last incident, just in case). All is progressing normally.

Food. We've been eating breakfasts at our hotels, although I've got to say that continental breakfasts are a little boring for me as a vegan... thank goodness plain oatmeal is usually an option! We've been eating PB&J in our hotel rooms in the evenings, to save a little money, so we're really only eating out for lunch. Today was fairly decent Mexican food at a little restaurant in Sidney, Nebraska (I had veggie enchiladas, packed with veggies and beans and sans cheese, of course), while D and Bug had burritos. Yesterday, though... yesterday, we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall sandwich joint in Salt Lake City called Buds, which we found through Happy Cow (in case you've never heard of it, it's a website--and app--that helps you locate vegetarian/vegan/veg-friendly restaurants wherever you are). And oh my goodness. I had a vegan "cheesesteak" sandwich, with some kind of sliced/seasoned faux meat (which, if you know me, isn't normally my thing, but I do make exceptions on occasion) and an amazing cheesy sauce on thick, crusty bread. SO GOOD.

And now we're in Nebraska. For some reason, one my last road trip to this area, I remember Nebraska as being the most boring state ever, but this time around it's actually refreshingly pretty compared to the last few states. There are trees--trees!--and bodies of water and interesting landscapes. And now we're halfway through! Today was an easier, shorter day, but tomorrow we'll be putting our noses back to the grindstone.

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