SPREAK! Arizona Bound

Thursday night, I was a complete mess. One more half day until the official start of my Spring Break – fondly called SPREAK by everyone on campus. I was excited. I couldn’t wait. I was positively giddy.

And I was a complete mess.

Clothing littered my floor, underwear and bras strewn across the couch, mixed with socks, shoes, and blue jeans. In one pile, I had a tangle of power cables, snaking their way around each other and forming a knot of potential electricity.

iPod charger?
Kindle charger?
Phone charger?
Laptop charger?

Check, check, double check.

Shove them all into a plastic bag and resolve to untangle them later.

My laptop sat in the arm of the couch, whirring away. I had a linguistics assignment due on Friday morning. I hadn’t started it and it was due in T-10 hours. I rabbited back and forth from task to task. Do I start working on phonetics homework, or do I try to gather everything I could conceivably need for my dog in the next seven days?

And what the hell was I forgetting? I knew I was forgetting something.

By Friday at 12:30, everything had somehow been accomplished. My bags were packed, my assignment was handed in, dog food was purchased. Craig was at my door, and off we set for what is the first REAL vacation I’ve taken in three years.

Now? We’re Arizona bound.

(I forgot my tripod. I knew it was something. Luckily, where we’re going, there will be rocks. Lots of big rocks.)

At this moment, I’m sitting in the passenger’s side of a rented Nissan, listening to The Goo Goo Dolls and staring out that the immense Arizona landscape. We crossed the border, and not too long ago, we went past Wilcox, Arizona – the tiny town in which I saw the fourth Harry Potter movie. A town I NEVER thought I’d see again. The dogs are settled in the back (don’t tell Hertz) and Craig is valiantly driving onwards… primarily because I’m not old enough to legally drive the rental car. (What kind of a fracking rule is that? I can drink. I can vote. I can smoke myself to death. I can fight in a war. I have a license. But I can’t drive a rental car. Sometimes the laws in this country…)

However, these silly laws give me the opportunity to take approximately seven thousand blurry pictures from the moving vehicle (and a few decent ones), point out every cow, road sign, mountain, car, water tower, bird, and UFO we see, blog, do crossword puzzles, sing, check on the dogs every three seconds to make sure that hey aren’t killing each other in the back.

Cooper, by the way, is thoroughly confused. He’s never been on a road trip, and doesn’t understand what the hell I’m doing to him. He keeps giving me that “WTF Mom” look. You know the one.

But Craig, God bless the man, yesterday he started at 4:30 in the morning, went to work, and then put in 10+ driving hours. We covered Austin to Las Cruces, New Mexico yesterday, and finally arrived at the hotel just before midnight… Mountain Standard Time. It was already after midnight where we’d come from, but we decided that didn’t count. We’d made it to New Mexico… BEFORE SATURDAY!

What you see here are two people who are absolutely exhausted. We stopped for dinner somewhere in The Middle of Nowhere, Texas at about 9:00 (yes, I’m sure that’s the name of the town. It was the only one around. And we were hungry. But the cheese sandwiches were good.)

We’re exhausted, but cute. What you can’t tell from this picture is that I passed out COLD about fifteen minutes later and didn’t wake up again until El Paso. It was a real relief to finally make it to Las Cruces.

Now, we’re only a couple of hours outside of our destination and I am most definitely excited. And terrified. Meeting the boyfriend’s parents? That isn’t at all scary. But I’m sure it will be great. And what will follow will be even better… hiking, canyons, photography opportunities. A real vacation.

It’s crazy. I didn’t even bring my Russian books with me. But you know, I think they’ll wait.



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