The first words out of Michael's mouth as we set off on the 28-hour drive from Pleasant Grove, UT, to Luling (pronounced Loo-ling), LA were these:
"Are you ready for 30 hours of really annoying singing?"
After many a horror story about drives longer than 13 hours, I was prepared for the worst for our first day of driving, clocking in at a whopping 16 hours.
Especially with our car looking like this...
(If you can't tell, it's packed. And the bikes on the back don't help much either.)
After some tearful goodbyes (little Ike is a tender heart and he got all of us going... except for Michael), we were off. Coming up on Price, UT, we had our first real adventure. (We debated telling this story because I'm sure my dad would have had a heart attack.) You know those bikes on the back? Well, when we left at about 6:30 AM, the straps wouldn't snap on. So we hooked them to the bike rack with our locks and were on our way. Right about as we hit Price the road started getting bumpy and the bikes started jumping around. Both of us looked out the side-view mirrors (you can't see out the back with all the junk in the car) and watched one of the bikes fall off the rack. Luckily, no one was behind us and the bike stayed hooked to the car. So we pulled off the side and hooked them back up. This time it was warm enough to get the snaps to stay, and, boy, were we happy drivers.
Michael-n-Aly's List of Things to Do in the Car:
1. Read until your voice hurts. We've been working on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude since Christmas (it was Michael's Christmas Eve present from his dad) and we finally finished it, just about as we were pulling in to Louisiana. (Very interesting... maybe we'll do a combined book review later.)
2. Watch the bikes.
3. Look at the scenery.
4. Listen to the full soundtrack of Les Mis.
5. Talk politics.
6. Stop and get gas and fill up your tires. (We did a lot of this.)
7. Work on that Southern accent of yours. (Michael's loving adding the "ya'll" to every sentence.)
Gosh darn it, New Mexico is a boring state to drive through. At first, I took a picture every hour on the hour of what we were driving through, but the pictures started getting so boring that I ceased that practice. By about 8:00 PM, we were tired. Scratch that, I was tired.
(I'll apologize once for the nasty pictures that will follow on this whole blog... this is just the beginning. I'm sure many more will follow. But no more apologies; this is it.)
And Michael was just as happy as ever.
(Guys, it's a little creepy how joyful this human is. But it makes life good. Reeeeeeal good. 10 points for you if you can name that movie.)
We stopped for the night in Lubbock, TX, and planned on getting up at 6AM to start again. But it wasn't meant to be. Instead we slept in and went off at 9. The second half of Texas was beautiful. We Utahans and Idahoans are not used to the freeway going through the towns, so we got all excited about driving through many sleepy little towns (by the end, we weren't as excited).
If you know Michael and I, you probably know that we read Les Miserables together while we were dating and engaged (yes, out loud, and yes, the unabridged version). So when we heard it was playing in Austin, we pretty much planned our trip out around that. Austin is a lovely city, as is the campus of the University of Texas.We had a little ordeal with not knowing where we could safely park without getting towed (what would we do without a car?), so we had to stop at dinner at Jimmy Johns instead of something a little more fancy.
Les Mis was beautiful. The scenery was especially impressive and the lovely ladies scene especially raunchy (I think they added some nasties in there...). Michael hadn't seen it before (and I was in it in high school) so it was especially exciting for us to experience that together.
We stayed with the Whipple family for the first two nights, and are currently staying with Bishop Holmes and his wife Sonia until Tuesday when we get to move into our little studio apartment on the levee. More about that to come. We miss our families, but we have been well taken care of.
(Don't worry, I'm learning about blogging... much shorter and more interesting posts to come! Congrats if you made it through this one!)