So, now that I've had a day to recover from the cross-country journey, here's the obligatory summary post about my trip. Overall, it was great. Before we left, I had assumed that by the end of the trip, I would have that this-was-fun-but-I'll-be-somewhat-relieved-when-it's-over feeling I generally get towards the end of a vacation, but it didn't happen at all. I was wishing that I had more time and we could extend the trip up to Seattle or down into Mexico. We were really lucky with the good weather and the fact that the only car trouble was the trunk malfunction. Not even a single speeding ticket. Caro, Eri, and I got along perfectly, and Boomer behaved himself quite well, probably because he spent 90% of the trip sleeping in pillbug position. We were on interstates for most of the trip and didn't stay in any one place besides DC for more that one night, but we did get to see a lot of the country. It seemed like everywhere we went was even more scenic than the last place. For example, I loved New Mexico and thought it would be my favorite part of the trip, but as soon as we crossed the border into Colorado, we passed a babbling brook with deer leaping through a clearing in the woods; it was eerie, almost like it was staged. Then, of course, the Grand Canyon, and after that we drove through Sedona, AZ at dawn and saw the famous red rocks glowing in the sunrise. San Diego was a blast, and it was tough to leave the beaches and warm weather to head back to Boston in January.
Here are some observations I made during the trip:
-Forget baseball, football is America's national pastime.
-Arkansas is a very poor state. Hard to believe Clinton came from there.
-People in the middle of the country really dig Jesus.
-Just because it's a chain restaurant doesn't mean that the bathrooms will be nice.
-When you order squash in western Virginia, it may come deep-fried.
-The people who did Best in Show and A Mighty Wind need to do a movie about men's figure skating.
-The best way to get to know a city is to visit people who live there.
-Native Americans definitely got screwed in terms of land; Indian reservations are in the driest, bleakest areas of the country.
-Bob Barker was right about people needing to spay and neuter their pets.
-New Mexican food is my all time favorite. Mmmmm...sopapillas. Mmmmm...chile.
-The Albuquerque Isotopes is the best minor league baseball team name ever. So Simponsesque.
-After 9 days in a car, with recreational activities consisting of eating and drinking, you will feel like a big, fat slob.
-Despite the presence of Sonic in some areas of the country, the drive-in restaurant is a concept whose era has passed.
-The IHOP-Waffle House dividing line is easier to determine than the Mason-Dixon line.
-Taking a long, hot shower after spending two days in the same clothes is a wonderful feeling.