Friday, June 13, 2014

2,227 miles. From 91,207 to 93,434.

I drove they trusty gray-green Ford Focus westward to Palm Springs on Thursday.


 I arrived at Legrand's house and spent the afternoon hanging out with him in his beautiful pool. Unfortunately, the pictures I took of that afternoon did not turn out well (my camera is getting old).

The next morning was spent reading and being lazy until it was time to pick up Matt at the airport. We got home and climbed in the pool.

Homer and Matt.

When Legrand got home, he joined us.

With Legrand.

Miss LeiLei was very excited to have company. She really liked Matt.


Legrand took us on a ride to see a place out in the desert.

LeiLei liked the ride.

On Sunday morning, after Legrand and Matt attended church, Matt and I drove to Las Vegas to stay with George and James. We went to a Mexican restaurant and had margaritas. Ted and Mark joined us, and it was so nice to meet them.


Afterward, we went downtown to Fremont and wandered amid the tourists.
Homer, George, and James.

The next morning, James served us Cocoa Puffs. I was excited because George fixed my phone, which had stopped working.

Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs.

I demanded we go to the Springs Preserve- a science, gardening, and history center.

I think this is Arizona Ash.

Matt loved the sustainable concept house and gardens. I admired the interactive history exhibits.

James and Matt take a trip to the past.

Afterward, we went downtown and visited various casinos and saw some very sedate architecture and boring decorations.

This is rather bland, don't you think?

There is a giant Ferris wheel but it is way expensive. Plus I hate heights.

It is huge. And we were outside and it was way hot. 

We had lunch at a nice restaurant but for some reason I don't remember what I ate [pizza and salad!]. We saw the water show at the Bellagio, which was well done. As we were walking back to the car, Mark texted us an invite to come play in the pool. Of course we said yes.

Mark and Homer.

Warning, many pool photos ensue:

Matt and George.

Matt and Kylie.

Little wet dog whose name I forgot.

Homer and James.

George, Mark, James, Ted, and Matt. I told them something naughty to make them laugh.

On Tuesday morning while Matt breakfasted with an old friend, George and James made me a delicious breakfast. Then Matt and I headed west to California. But first we drove through west-central Nevada and saw several brothels on the way, out in the middle of nowhere. Who goes there?


This trip was Matt's first experience with deserts. I think he was fascinated by it and by the human use of water in this environment. Lots of waste going on.

This area looked lush.

A road trip is a good way to get to know someone. Matt and I shared stories and laughs. We agreed that we travel well together.


Matt hasn't been camping since he was a teenager. He was slightly apprehensive about camping out in the middle of nowhere, and my pointing out various places that were campable (basically, drive down a dirt road and pull over) made him even more nervous. Luckily, we found a nice spot in a campground in the Inyo National Forest, a few miles outside of Yosemite National Park.



Matt was very excited to see snow. His snowball did not hit me.


The water was icy cold, I saw a seagull grab a fish out of the water. The gurgling of water and the trees and it was just so pretty.

I am happy.

Matt was creative with supper- crackers and spray cheese and fruit.

Dinner Adventure.

He played guitar as the sunset.

Night arrives.

We climbed inside the tent. I need another sleeping pad. The thick blanket on the ground was not thick enough, I did not get much sleep. We watched Blue Jasmine in the tent, who knew you could watch a movie while camping?

Camera is malfunctioning.

I awoke with a terrible stomach ache. I have been having digestive problems. The first bout started on Friday and concluded on Saturday. On Tuesday we had lunch at a historic hotel in a town whose name I forgot  (grilled cheese and french fries) [Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah] or perhaps the crackers and cheese, caused the second bout of problems for the trip.

This is what I look like when I am sick.

We drove through Yosemite and I tried to admire the views. Finally I asked Matt to pull over and proceeded to stumble over to the largest tree I have ever seen and promptly barfed behind it. The rest of the drive was alright, but let's just say I was glad there were plenty of rest stops available.

Yosemite. I will have to go back again and see what I missed.

We arrived in Richmond and went to Matt's friend Steven's beautiful house, full of Buddhist, Native American, and African art. I promptly lay down and slept for two hours, completely out of it.

The view out the living room window.

We took Rumi dog to the park to chase balls and I got to see the ocean close up, the first time since 2009.

Matt and Steven.

Steven made a beautiful supper for Matt and I and his roommate Kendon, and Matt did a good job helping out. I slept soundly that night, despite the continued digestive problems. 

On Thursday morning we were up early, had a berry smoothie and a piece of toast, and then drove to the airport where I wished Matt goodbye. I drove back to San Francisco and visited with Jeff for a while, it was nice to catch up and see a long-time friend, before driving back to Palm Springs (10 hours!). I slept like a log and woke finally feeling normal again.

Palm Springs windmills.

5.5 hours to get back to Tucson, mostly at 80 miles per hour. It is 110 here and my house is hellishly hot. We put the window-mounted AC unit in and the cats are sitting in front of it. My adventure is done, and I miss Matt and Legrand and George and Jim and Ted and Mark and Steven and Jeff, but who knows, I'm sure I will be seeing them again sooner rather than later.

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