The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the road again...

So, guess where I am! Go ahead, think about it. I'll wait. No really, take your time. I'll just hum the Jeopardy theme song in my head. Take all the time you need. Oh, wait, need a hint? How about this?

Pretty huh? Do you know where I am? San Diego! I know what you're thinking, with all I have to do before the big move, what am I doing in San Diego? Am I on vacation? Has the pressure finally gotten to me and I've snapped and run away? No, no, neither of those. Though I have come dangerously close to the second on more than one occasion in the last week or two. Actually I am in lovely San Diego to ship my sweet Ulrika Von Nordland to Germany. This isn't her, but it's a very similar model and in the same color:

I love her. I am NOT too sexy for my Volvo. In fact, I think I'm just sexy enough for her. She's zippy, good looking, comfortable, roomy and has lots of cool bells and whistles. Tomorrow I have to take her to the shipping place and hand her over. They'll load her onto a boat and she'll cross the ocean to Bremerhaven, where she'll be loaded onto a train and then taken to Mannheim where I'll be able to see her again. She probably won't be there until mid-November at the earliest. I'll miss her! I'm afraid she'll think I've abandoned her. Stay strong Ulrika! Stay strong.

The drive out here was just a hair under 500 miles. 500 really interesting miles and guess what? I forgot my camera! Can you believe it? Gah!!!! I saw some really cool stuff too. I'm so sad I can't share it with you in pictures. I'm flying home, so I doubt I'll pass that way again any time soon. The first hundred or so miles were pretty boring. I did pass through 2 border check points. Being blond and pale enough to make a piece of paper look tan (M's words) I was merely waved through, while other cars were pulled over and searched. Oh, at the CA border they DID ask me if I had any agricultural products with me. If you do (raw fruit or veg or plants) they will take them away from you. Isn't that weird? I have this insane urge to smuggle in a package of starwberries and chuck them out the window and spread the "rest of the US" plague. California thinks it's so special!

Just after I crossed into CA, the landscape changed drastically. The desert went from hard packed dry scrub dotted with huge, many armed cacti that is so typical of the southwest into rolling sand dunes and occasional palm trees. I kept expecting to see Lawrence of Arabia coming riding across the sand at any moment. It was so cool! Well, actually it was quite hot (well over 100), but you know what I mean. It was really beautiful in its own way.

I also got to see "the fence." That great big, incredibly expensive fence on the US/Mexico border that doesn't really seem to deter illegal imigration. There were tons and tons of border patrol along the fence. They looked so bored and hot. I hope the gov't pays them well. I thought the fence was interesting, but maybe I'm just a dork.

The sand dunes eventually went flat before giving way to massive (massive!) boulder mountains. I really wish I had remembered my camera. These mountains were absolutely amazing. You know how in cartoons and old Star Trek episodes (the ones with Capt. Kirk) had big boulder mountains that look all innocent, but then suddenly stand up and are these weird boulder creatures? That's what they looked like! I kept expecting an army of boulder people to stand up and pick up all the cars like toys. Maybe I just needed some sugar.

Eventually I came through a national forrest and mountains with incredibly steep inclines and declines. I came through 2 more checkpoints (I was really close to Mexico) and a strange little town called Alpine. I had to stop for gas and noticed that there were several little Swiss chalet looking buildings along the mountains. It seemed so out of sync with the Spanish style homes and buildings I'm used to seeing.

I finally got to SD and it is lovely! I've never been here before. M and I lived in Monterey when he first joined the Army, but we were poor back then (seriously) and couldn't really afford to travel around much. I'm staying near the airport in an area called Hillcrest. It has a great vibe. There is a cafe/bistro/deli/small family owned restaurant on every corner and sometimes smashed up against each other. Small boutiques, art galleries, jewelers, and gift shops, all with charming and kitchy awnings or signs above the store fronts make up the rest of the streets. There were people out walking or dining at outdoor tables at 9:30 at night! Man, I miss city life.

Well, it's late and I have to get up early to give Ulrika one more good bath in the morning before I turn her over. They won't take a dirty car, but when they give them back, they're filthy! Covered in salt water and bird droppings. My poor Ulrika! She deserves better than to be on an open deck. She should have her own cabin! Okay, I'm tired and getting weird. Good night!


Susie Harris said...

Girlfriend... you are too funny. Enjoy that trip!

Self Confessed Lamp Tramp said...

I love San Diego, such a beautiful city. Are you all going to Germany?

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