Settling In

La Jolla palm trees at sunsetSo things are starting to settle down here. We’re getting unpacked and getting acquainted with the surroundings. Since we have so much free time now that we’ve moved away from all our commitments in Boston, we decided to go to the beach last night after work. It was so great to just sit there in the sand and hang out. It’s like some of the places I used to go on vacation. The feeling is awesome when I suddenly realize that we’re not on vacation. We live here! I’m looking forward to just being here for a while and getting used to that. Check out the pictures that Dave took of the sun setting at the beach.

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We’re Home!

Some 5,500 miles later, we have finally arrived in San Diego!

We spent Saturday in Fresno, hanging out with family and friends. It was great to just chill and not have to think about getting food from somewhere or driving ourselves from Point A to Point B.

This morning, we got up early, had donuts for breakfast, bid farewell to my family, and then packed up the car for the last leg of our journey.

I’m happy to report that this afternoon in Southern California was a typical one. The freeways were congested and the weather was warm and sunny. We stopped for lunch at food court at the Westminster Mall in Orange County and it was packed with the kind of diverse population you only find in California.

We were exhausted by the time we got to our apartment complex in La Jolla, but we were excited to see our apartment! It looks great – we’re very happy with it. Once we get it organized, maybe we’ll post some pictures. Right now it’s just a big pile of boxes.

We bought a few groceries, got takeout from California Pizza Kitchen, then spent the rest of the evening reading the San Diego Union-Tribune. We’re too tired after three weeks of driving to do much work on the apartment tonight. The next couple of days will be more focused.

The Last Border Crossing: NV to CA

Lake TahoeWe slept like rocks in the bed in our room at the Best Western in Carson City, and it was delightful to wake up and not feel stiff and grouchy from sleeping restlessly and uncomfortably on the round. It was also wonderful to take hot showers in a private bathroom, as opposed to the showers in the shared restroom at the KOA. Although we woke up relatively early, we took our time, watched some coverage of Hurricane Frances on CNN, had some free continental breakfast, and then got back on the road.

We drove through Carson City and headed toward Lake Tahoe. When we caught our first glimpse of it, and we could see the mountains on the other side of it, I was so thrilled – here was California! Lake Tahoe is right on the border between Nevada and California, so we were on the Nevada side of it for 20 or 30 minutes. At one point we stopped to get out and take photos. It was very chilly, though, and we were dressed for San Joaquin Valley weather, not mountain weather. We took the pictures quickly and then got back in the car.
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The Longest Day: UT to NV

Campground in Salt Lake CityAs we fell asleep last night listening to the train horns blaring not-too-distantly, I wondered just how noisy this campground was going to be. Very noisy, as it turned out. The trains stopped sometime in the middle of the night, giving way to trucks, dogs, traffic in general… finally it was the flocks of birds chattering away in the tree just above our tent that made me give up on sleep around 6:30 this morning.

I was also ready to get up to take a shower, since we hadn’t showered since Sunday. (Too much information?) The campgrounds we stayed at in the national parks didn’t have showers directly at them, and when there were showers nearby there was a charge to use them. We did get clean-ish, though, at the Boiling River and in Jackson Lake. But we were definitely due for showers.
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Back to (Relative) Civilization: WY to UT

Dave and Jenn at Grand TetonI can’t believe it’s September! I guess our journey is really coming close to an end. We’ve had a hard time keeping track of what day it is – every day feels like Saturday. Today we had to keep asking ourselves, “What did we decide today was? Wednesday?”

When the alarm went off at 8 am this morning, we both got up right away, ready to get moving. Neither of us slept that great. At least it wasn’t as cold as it had been, but it was still pretty cold. And of course the ground was hard. I had expected the gravel underneath the tent to be relatively comfortable, but I guess I got it mixed up with sand. Instead of spreading a bit to conform to our bodies, the tarp and the tent did a great job of smoothing out the gravel to make it more like sleeping on asphalt. Oh, well.

We were surprised and a bit bummed to find that there was actually dew all over everything, most importantly our tent. It had been so dry here in Wyoming, we weren’t expecting any moisture. So we had to let the fly over our tent dry before we could put it away. Fortunately the sun was shining directly onto our campsite, so we maneuvered the tent around to the sunny spots to let the sun dry it out.
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