Since several people had asked about it, I realized I hadn’t really said very much about the drive from California to Georgia. So, here it is:

Kim and I spent the last night in California with Todd and Cindy. We were planning to leave very early the morning of November 2nd (we voted earlier by absentee ballot), but we’d overpacked the car just a bit too much, so we had to spend the first part of the morning sending a few things off through the post office.

We made it to Las Vegas by mid-afternoon, checked into the Monte Carlo (our room was very nice, and one of the least expensive on that side of the street, seeing as how we’d cleverly planned our trip during the week of Comdex). We took the monorail from Excalibur down the strip, then spent the rest of the evening moving between Casinos, trying to decide whether or not to watch a show (we didn’t), and trying to win big on the small change slots. We didn’t do that either, until the very end of the night, when Kim sat down at a nickel Monopoly machine and sent it into a crazy awen of music and bells and cut-scenes. She ended up winning back almost half of what we’d spent in Las Vegas altogether, including food and the room. We figured that was a good sign, and cashed out.

The next morning we left early for New Mexico, of course eating at McDonald’s for breakfast. (I say “of course” because Kim and I were playing the Monopoly game there, too, and we had this idea that if we went to a lot of different McDonald’s in a lot of different states, we might have a chance of getting a winning piece.) We stopped to take a few pictures of the Hoover Dam, and then made the first long drive of the trip, to Santa Fe. Along the way, we were going to stop at the Asteroid Crater in Arizona, but they wanted $14 apiece for a viewing. To look at a hole in the ground! I was very disappointed, to say the least. At least we had the brochure, so we got a helicopter view of the crater, even if it was a glossy press-kit photo. After a lesson in patience at Denny’s where our server was more interested in grabbing a prize in the crane box, or sitting down for half an hour at another table, and spent 25 minutes picking out a slice of pie for Kim, we got some sleep.

The next day’s drive was a lot shorter, and to Kim’s dad’s in Colorado Springs. We stopped not-quite-on-the-way at Littleton to visit my great Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Bob, and they took us to eat buffalo burgers at Ted’s, and on the way back we drove by Columbine. It was an impressive high school, building-wise. It almost looked more like a new business park, and it backed up to a rather large park. Then we turned back to Colorado Springs and spent the night with Kim’s dad.

Since Kim’s dad had to work the next morning, Kim and I went to the Garden of the Gods (which was sort of like a miniature national park). It’s at a spot where the plains of the northern MidWest and the deserts of New Mexico butt up against the Rockies, and a slab of red sedimentary rock was pushed up sideways through the ground. It’s fairly pretty, and I’ll post pictures in a month or two when I set up my computer. We were planning on staying a second night with Kim’s dad, but the long drive through Kansas scared us, and we left that evening and drove a hundred miles or so to stay in Colby, Kansas.

We really shouldn’t have been so scared of Kansas, because it was beautiful. I had expected flat and uneventful, but from Kansas on, the drive was scenic – rolling hills, green grass, rivers, a huge sky, and rows, stands, copses, and even small forests of trees. But because we’d bit off a chunk of the Kansas drive, we made it into Missouri while it was still light, which was good, because I strayed from the directions and had to drive by my nose to get us back on track. We made it fine, but the trip was a little more … scenic. We arrive at Kim’s friends’ house (Dave and Miki, and their daughter Moya), and stayed with them for three nights.

We had a good time there, but that’s more Kim’s story, so you can ask her if you’d like.

Tuesday the 9th, we left Kansas City, Missouri, for Nashville. Like Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee were beautiful. Nashville was confusing. That was a long drive, and it was dark by the time we got there. The city was doing a load of street and highway work around where our hotel was, so confusing directions we made nearly incomprehensible, and we almost missed our exits a dozen times. By this time, we were pretty deep into a bad cold (we think we got it in or just before Missouri), so we didn’t get great sleep, but we got enough to put us our our way to Atlanta the next morning.

And that was it. We arrived Wednesday the 10th, Mom was waiting for us, and we’ve been settling into Atlanta and trying to get over the cold ever since. Pictures will be up eventually!

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