Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crossing the country in a Kia Sephia

When I am in the garden, it is my time to think.
Well, that is if I am ALONE in the garden and there isn't a child asking for a snack, or a dog digging a hole.

Today while I was gardening, I took pictures of the most recent flowering plants.  Slowly but surely everything is starting to bloom.  Good thing because I was getting a little bit impatient.

While I was out there, a cross country trip that Mat and I took ins 2001 came to mind.  It was probably the best and most disastrous trip he and I have taken in our 21 years together.

Mat and I have lived in 9 residences, and 6 states.  And in that time we have had 3 children, 2 dogs and ZERO sanity.

That trip was before kids.  It was just he and I.  We were moving from Baltimore to San Diego where he was going to do his post-doctoral work.  It was right after 9/11 and we were both scared and excited about the move.  Moving 3000 miles away from a place we lived for 4 years and away from our family was going to be tough.

I cried a lot.
We made a 3 week trip across the county in our one and only car - a Kia Sephia.  This was a great little car, but now that we are older and wiser, I don't recommend driving over 3000 miles in a small car packed to the brim with stuff you didn't trust the movers with.

We had a lot of fun.  The trip was in November, and it started out cold, but as we traveled across the bottom of the United States, we were able to enjoy warm sun and pleasant weather.  We listened to books on CD as we traveled, and we planned the trip to stop every 6-8 hours and spend a few days so that it would be a true vacation.

This trip, however, was not without its problems.  Now we look back 11 years later, and laugh about those mishaps.

  I got pulled over in a small town in Mississippi because we were lost, made a turn down a pretty desserted street looking for a gas station and the local police man found us suspicious.  It was comical when he pulled us over when he and his partner got out of the car and came up to both of our windows.  Our back seat was full and we had Maryland plates.  We were "not from these parts" and pretty obvious to these backwoods cops.  The cop was very nice.  Called in our license while we were standing there (said I had swerved over the white line, which I did no such thing) and the lady could not spell out last name to save her life.  The cop rolled his eyes and let us go.

Our Kia wouldn't start in Oklahoma.  We were coming out of our hotel and nothing I did would get it to start.  The engine wouldn't turn over.  We had the hotel staff come out and take a look and then I remembered - the stupid car came with a stupid alarm that would turn itself on whenever it wanted, and when it was on, you couldn't turn the car over.  Grumbles and a few hours later, we were on our way again.  I am sure the hotel staff had a good laugh at our expense that morning.

We accidentally flooded our hotel room in around New Mexico (I am too lazy to go look up exactly where that gem happened).  The toilet had been running and running, but we thought nothing of it (we were SO smart, I tell ya) and fell asleep.  We woke up to a few inches of water on the floor.  Had to call to be moved to a new room in the middle of the night.  Sweet times....

And lastly - Mat accidentally deleted every vacation picture we took when we reached Arizona.  He was messing around with it and he did goodness knows what and boom, they were gone.  That is when I lost it.  I told him I wanted to go home and obviously moving to California was a big mistake.  He tried to make up for it by taking 100's (I mean 100's ) of pictures for the last few days of our trip.  Luckily we had bought a lot of postcards along the way.

The good stuff was the amazing things we saw.  The Oklahoma City bombing site.  The old houses of the south.  Arlington Texas - where we decided that is what we would name our first born.  The Grand Canyon.  The sand dunes.  On and on.  We spent Thanksgiving in a beautiful national park.  We relaxed and enjoyed each other's company.

And we did it all in a little Kia  Sephia that we held on to until we moved away from California several years later.
 And the move?  One of the best moves we ever made.  We loved every second of our life in California.  And how we got there was just part of the story.

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