Saturday, October 07, 2006

Back in Philly

Well, we survived, the truck survived and all my stuff seems to have survived. I don't entirely know, since it's not all out of the truck yet. :) I haven't quite figured out where I'm going to put it all.

So, the trip ended quite hectically. We drove from Nashville to Winchester, VA which is just on the VA side of the West Virginia border. We were hoping to push on all the way through to Philly, but it wasn't going to happen. It was raining so obnoxiously for hours. I just couldn't keep driving. I was so tense from not being able to see and fighting with the wind off the trucks. We stopped at a nice little Holiday Inn Express. Then Friday morning we finished the 3.5 hours left in the trip. We got back to my grandmother's house around 1pm.

So, there are several highlights from the trip that I haven't mentioned yet. I'll have to get most of them from my mom, since I can't remember them at the moment, but here's a funny one:

As we were headed through Arizona towards the Grand Canyon my mom was driving. She started telling me that she couldn't get the truck to go into overdrive. It's got a fourth gear that it throws itself into when it needs to get up a hill or go faster quickly, called overdrive. She said she had the pedal to the floor and it wouldn't go faster or go up into overdrive. I started getting kinda worried that something was wrong with the transmission or the radiator or something. I started thinking of all the possible things to check that I might know of. Mom looked to see if she had left the parking brake on, but that didn't seem to be the case. Just before the turnoff to Grand Canyon there was a rest stop, so we pulled over. I went over to the driver's side and looked around. I pulled the floor mat back and looked around. I popped the hood, looked around and didn't see any obvious problems. I wanted to drive to see what was going on. I got in the truck and it was fine, I had no problems and it was going right into overdrive.

So, yeah, remember the part where I said "I pulled the floor mat back...". Yep, the floor mat was stuck under the gas pedal and it wouldn't go all the way down. hehehe, oops

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

nearly Nashville, TN

This is going to be a quick update because I am very tired after almost 12 hours on the road. We are about 20 miles outside of Nashville, TN. We traveled about 650 miles today. We got started this morning around 9:15am. We got going a little late because I realized that the truck was a teensy bit overdue for an oil change. We happened to stop at a hotel right next to a MEGA Wal Mart. So, first thing in the morning I ran the truck over to their Lube Express and got the oil changed. While they were taking care of the truck I went back to the hotel and got ready and mom and I went to breakfast at Waffle House. It's a very good thing that there are not any Waffle Houses close to Collegeville, because I love Waffle House. I don't like waffles, but their hashbrowns are great.

We stopped at an Oklahoma winery on our way across 40, but it turned out that none of the wine had been produced from the grapes grown in Oklahoma yet. That wine was all still in the process of fermenting. So, that was a little lame. The wine wasn't particulary good either.

Lunch today was kinda fun. We were in Arkansas and found a cute little place called Feltner's Whattaburger. It was right across the street from Arkansas Tech University. The burger was good, but the best part was the sweet tea and the chocolate milkshake. mmmmmm........

We just ate dinner a little bit ago, because lunch was late. We found a place to sleep and then looked around for food. We didn't get close enough to Nashville for there to be much for options, so we ended up at McDonald's, YUCK! I had chicken nuggets (which are good, but leave that bad McD's grease aftertaste) and one of those new fruit and walnut mixes. The fruit and walnut thing was really pretty bad. The yogurt was not very good and the fruit tasted chemical-ly. The walnuts also seemed sugar coated or something, which was gross. Oh well, that's what you get at McDonald's.

According to the sign at the Best Western there's a continental breakfast, but I don't have much faith in it being anything more than coffee and maybe donuts, which will probably be stale. So, maybe we'll get on the road and find something. We have about 800+ miles to cover before Philly, so we may or may not get that done tomorrow. Probably not, but we'll see how ambitious we feel. On our last journey cross country my mom and I had a 900 mile day, but that was also the one day on our last trip that we got into an argument. So, yeah, not really looking forward to trying to do a full 800+ miles tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oklahoma City, OK

OOOOOOklahoma, where the waving wheat... etc.

We drove from Moriarty, NM to Oklahoma City, OK today. Yesterday was Tusayan, AZ to Moriarty, NM. We stopped and saw the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in Arizona. It was my third time there, but mom's first. She was glad that I convinced her to go check it out. It's really neat. We got to Albuquerque around dinner time and went into Old Town Albuquerque to look for something. We really couldn't figure out where to go. Then, as we were walking around, we saw a nice looking guy standing outside a gallery. We asked him for a recommendation and he gave us a couple suggestions. We ended up at Church Street Cafe, which was very good. It was a mexican style place. Mom had some really awesome fajitas. I had a burrito that was okay. We left there to try and find a hotel and ended up driving all the way out to Moriarty to a Holiday Inn Express.

Today we just drove. We saw some interesting things on the road, including a motorcyle towing a trailer that was a child size coffin trailer. Very strange. We also saw several trailers with racing companies on them. Tonight we got to Oklahoma City around dusk. We found a fun little downtown area called Bricktown and tried to find a hotel near there, but no gots. They were all totally full with conventioners. So, we went over to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It was really amazing at dusk. The lights came on underneath the chairs. It was really pretty. I will try to put some pictures up when I have more time. I'm not sure where we'll get to tomorrow, but hopefully I'll be able to update.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tusayan, AZ

The subject of this post is the town we are spending the night in this evening. Tusayan is about 2 miles south of the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. My mom has now seen the Grand Canyon and I've seen it a second time. :)

Mom got into town on Saturday morning and we took care of a couple of things as far as running around town. We also went to Tony Caputo's for lunch. Awesome Italian sandwich place if you ever end up in Salt Lake City. Then we packed up the truck, which was a fiasco, to say the least. We couldn't quite fit everything, so some things ended up in the car. All things I don't entirely care much about, because the car shippers don't take responsibility for any items left in the car. The poor truck is STUFFED to the gills. There is NO room for anything else, but it's okay.

After we got the truck packed up we both wanted to collapse, but we still had to run some books back to the library. So we did that and then went to dinner at an awesome Indian restaurant that I just finally tried in the last 3 weeks in SLC. Dinner was yummy and afterwards I called the trucker who was supposed to pick up my car. He had called earlier, so I had his cell number. I found out he was downtown and after that was headed to Sandy to drop off several cars at the big mall down there. Since that was on our way south out of town and since there are about 15 hotels across the street from the mall (seriously, not kidding), we headed down there and got a hotel room. We dropped the car off, walked back to the hotel and then zoned out on a movie for a little while before trying to go to sleep. Even though I was super tired from all the packing I couldn't fall asleep because my mind was racing with a million things. BAH!

This morning we got up, got breakfast at the hotel and headed out of town. The drive was pretty much a straight shot, headed as quickly as possible to the Grand Canyon. Since Arizona is goofy and doesn't agree with the rest of the country on the whole daylight savings time thing, we gained an hour when we passed into AZ. We got to the Grand Canyon around 5pm and began sightseeing. The first section that we saw was very smoggy with smoke from a prescribed fire that they were doing. We actually ended up driving through the smoke, which was interesting and good, because it put us on the upwind side of the fire, so the canyon was then clear. I have a bunch of pictures, but I don't have time or patience to upload them at the moment. I'm also typing this from the lobby of the hotel, cause that's the only place the wireless works, so yeah, no pics today.

We got to the Grand Hotel in Tusayan and didn't feel like driving all the way down to Flagstaff tonight. We decided that it would be nicer to get dinner and be able to have some wine with dinner. Dinner ended up being kinda lame, so note to everyone, the Grand Hotel's restaurant isn't very good. Very slim selection, the chili was totally bland and the kalamari cost more than $1.00 per ring, which was totally not worth it. That's all for now, hopefully tomorrow night's hotel will also have wireless and I can update again. For now, goodnite!
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