It’s been 10 years since I packed up my belongings which I had in storage, tossed what I didn’t want, loaded the car and hit the road to go from Portland to Atlanta. If there’s a change in my life, I’m someone who looks for the adventure and opportunity. When I was younger, I needed more stability but now I want to travel and explore, so with that in mind, I loaded up the car and am making another cross country trek. I’m heading to Orlando but am making a few stops along the way. I figure at the rate I’m going I’ll make it there by the middle of June if I stay firm and don’t stay in any one place too long.
I think my family has whiplash because I keep changing my mind on things. First I’m going here, then I’m going here. My long term goal is this, now it’s this. For me, the hardest thing is to be in between. Once a decision is made, I usually go with it. But for some reason I’ve changed my mind a lot lately, due to circumstances and opportunity. It’s the whole infinite possibilities issue. I’m not tied to any one idea so that when something comes along, I’m open. Which means my mind has been wandering and changing because there are so many possibilities. One thing that’s definite is, I’m on my way to Orlando. That became definite, the day before I left, nothing like keeping my options open, LOL.
First stop on my cross-country trek was Portland. I know, only 3 1/2 hours from home (if I had left when I was supposed to, instead it was 5 hours) but I can’t leave without spending time with Linda, plus, I knew I would be exhausted from the days leading up to my move. I was running late and Linda had plans for us to go to a girls night out dinner party with the neighborhood ladies. I am also one of them, having lived in the area briefly 10 years ago so it was fun catching up with everyone. By the time I got there it was 8pm so I parked at Linda’s and walked to Jennifer’s. I wish I had taken pics of the dinner, it was delicious and gorgeous. I had forgotten how much I love the area that Linda lives in and the people who live there. After we got back to the house we stayed up a couple of hours gabbing in her gorgeous kitchen and sampling some of the fun chocolates she has. One thing I love about Linda, she has all kinds of fancy foods and toys but she doesn’t buy them for looks, they are to be eaten and used. So of course, I’m always trying something different at her house, even when I’m already stuffed. I’ll definitely have to find my way back soon in the not too distant future. Since I don’t have a pic from dinner I’ll share a pic of one of my favorite pics from when I lived in the area.
The next morning I hit the road for Reno, a 9-hour drive. One of my favorite things about Oregon is that they pump your gas for you and the gas isn’t more expensive due to that fact either. I love it! Getting gas is so easy, yet it feels like a chore. So the lazy Asian loves when I can get others to pump my gas for me. I kept seeing signs for diesel as I was looping around the Flying J gas station. The attendant came running after me and I finally asked him where’s the regular gas? They all were, they just also sold diesel. Seriously, I’m smarter than I seem sometimes. As he was pumping gas, I ran inside to go to the bathroom and grab some water. Normally this is the point where I would also grab funyuns and beef jerky, my road food of choice but it was early in the day and I was eating the strawberries and cherries Linda gave me. So I grabbed water and a 5 hour energy drink (I don’t drink coffee). Big mistake as I soon learned.
We live in a time where we rely heavily on our phones for directions, I know I do. I even use it to go to places I’ve already been, just in case. I bought a great car mount for my phone specifically for this trip. I always wonder how people do the videos and pics from their cars, now I know. I totally wanted to keep looking at myself thru my phone camera while driving but instead I kept the map on while I drove. How very conscientious of me. It was wonderful because I no longer had to look down and pick up my phone to figure out where I was going. While I took a screen shot of my route, in case I lost phone access, I didn’t pay attention to it so before you know it, I’m crossing the mountains. A beautiful ride even tho most of it is only one lane which sucks when behind uhauls, and wide loads carrying mobile homes. Mia, I promise to take pics the rest of my trip. Sorry! The problem was, by the time I wanted to eat, I was in the middle of nowhere. I’m used to riding along freeways, mainly I-5 that has stops every few miles and lots of rest areas. So not the case on this leg of my trip. Well, a more pressing problem was the bathroom situation. I had to pee. Not bad, but eventually I had to really go. The first rest area I passed didn’t have any signs leading up to it so I passed it as I read what it was. OK, not in dire straights but not pleasant either. By the time I finally found the next rest area my eyes were swimming. At this point, I had to pee for over an hour. Whew, I feel so much better!
Next up is food! I’m hungry. I didn’t eat breakfast and lunch time is passing me quickly. Arby’s is one of my favorite road trip destinations, ham and cheese with horsey sauce is amazing. Problem was, not a lot of choices when cities came into view. By the time I decided I would just eat whatever, I was past civilization, high in the mountains, hanging with big foot. I don’t like to be hungry. I love to eat. But when on a road trip, I don’t like to make a lot of stops, want to get to my destination. Hence, the lack of photos and food.
Sadly, I had no idea I was leaving OR so I didn’t get one last pump before I left. I did pass a deli/market and saw a sign shortly after that that said no services for 50 miles. I made a u-turn. I’m getting me a sandwich dang it! Pull up to the market and nope, the deli closes at 2pm and it’s past 3pm. That’s right, I’ve been on the road since 9am and all I’ve eaten was some strawberries and cherries. I am a hungry Asian! The problem is, as far as convenience stores go, this one was sorely lacking. Not only did they have Pepsi products, I had to get a Dr Pepper (I’m all about fountain soda, and I wanted the ice, my water was warm) but there wasn’t much in the way of food. No bananas or pre-made sandwiches. I grabbed a small bag of funyons and my soda and got back on the road, after sending Nancy a text letting her know I was wasting away. And my soda cup wouldn’t fit in my cup holder, had to pull over and pour it into my tervis cup since I forgot to switch over before I drove away and it was sitting inside my arm rest. Oh and insult to injury, no public restrooms. Of course, I had to go pee again, I’m a girl!
By the time I make it the next gas station (an hour later), I have to go inside to pay and get the bathroom key. I couldn’t pay outside. I grab the key and decide to pump before I go to the bathroom, well a gas pump that doesn’t take cards also doesn’t have a kickstand to hold the handle so I’m doing the potty dance while filling my tank up.
When I return the key, I ask where the next fast food place is. She says 67 miles towards Reno or I can go backward. Well, I’m not going back so I buy a king size ice cream drumstick and hit the road again. Luckily, I’m listening to Susan E Phillips DREAM A LITTLE DREAM which is my favorite book by her. I used to re-read her books every year but since I don’t read as often as I used to, it’s been years since I’ve read it. Other than starving and having to pee, I’m enjoying my drive. It felt rusty at first because I haven’t done a long road trip in awhile but I hit my stride.
When I got to a town that had food, I kept driving. At this point, I was worried if I ate, I would be too full to eat dinner at Barb’s and that was a higher priority. As much as I was enjoying my book, by the last hour of my trip I was getting tired so I called Nancy to keep me company and the last hour flew by. I got to Barb’s about 7pm so more like a 10 hour trip after all of my stops.
I love being at Barb’s because her home feels like a resort. She has a gorgeous view, a small pool and an amazing home, perfect for entertaining. We came here last year to enjoy 4th of July.
Once I got to the house, Barb got dinner ready (pineapple chicken and rice, loved it) and then we went to the house behind us which is where her best friends live and had dinner. Thin mint ice cream is a thing and it’s amazing. We sat around the table eating until midnight. One minute it was 10pm, the next it was midnight. I am having a blast catching up with everyone on this trip. Where am I heading tomorrow? Stay tuned to find out!