It has been one crazy couple of weeks. I've seen more beauty than I could have imagined, and I've learned many things about myself. The best part is that this adventure isn't over yet.
Friday, August 3, we headed to Boston (my entire life in tow- in the back seat of my car) to enjoy the city for the day and to celebrate Christa's birthday at Axis that night. Our hotel had a great view of Boston, and I had an amazing time dancing to psylab and bass nectar.The next morning, it was on the road. I didn't really stop much along my southern route to Tennessee, mainly because I'd driven it several times before, but mostly because I wanted to get back to Dixieland (the south will always run in my veins). The best surprise was that the city in Pennsylvania we randomly stayed the night in was only 20 miles from Gettysburg, so we woke up early and decided to check it out. It was such a dense place... dense with the gravity and the history behind it. It was certainly a town that had not let go of the death surrounding it.
My heart jumped as soon as we crossed the Mason-Dixon line. Dirty south, ya'll. How I'd missed it, crazy conservatism and all. Once in Tennessee, I realized how comforting the heavy blanket of humidity feels. Seriously, I knew what I'd been missing. Now, that is what I call summer. We rolled into Nashville Sunday evening, and I spent the next couple days reveling in the amazingness of my mom and catching up with all my friends. I got to visit the Parthenon in Centennial Park again, which is always a treat. For those of you who don't know, it's a full size replica of the Grecian Parthenon complete with 40 foot statue of Athena (gold plated), and casts of the Elgin Marbles.
Tuesday we left Nashvegas (or should I say Cashville) with the crazy idea to see Graceland. We got there after it had closed (which is alright by me), snagged some pictures, some postcards, and other Elvis paraphernalia and made our way West.
Traversing I40, we crossed the Mighty Mississippi after sunset, making it wonderfully lit, and certainly mighty. We spent the better part of the evening and the next day making a straight cut through Arkansas (having been advised that there was nothing much to see). We spent the night in some random town there, and headed into Oklahoma the next morning. The scenery was more interesting, and I started missing the hills as the land became flatter and flatter and the vegetation shorter and sparser.
We crossed into the Texas Panhandle, expecting the same old thing, when to our surprise we come across signs pointing us in the direction of the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere!! Enter Groom, Texas. You've got to love the Bible Belt.
As if I weren't getting enough kicks, we realize shortly thereafter that we are driving along historic Route 66. I proceeded to exclaim, "I'm getting my kicks on Route 66," as many times as possible. I also wanted photo documentation.
As the sun was setting, we entered New Mexico. My favorite at that point. We took in the scenery, the amazing architecture, and spent the night on Route 66 (yay!).
The next morning we hit up Old Town Albuquerque. It was deserted that early, so we headed toward the Rio Grande, a very beautiful, very red river, and to the National Petroglyph Monument where we hiked a mile into the desert to see some pretty awesome petroglyphs.
We headed back to Albuquerque once it was 'open for business,' and I met a retired school teacher who runs an antique and folk art store in Old Town. He spends a good part of his time traveling to Mexico and Peru, meeting local artists and finding local art, then he transports it back to New Mexico to sell. There were many Oaxacan pieces that were very beautiful. I picked up a Dia de los Muertos wooden dance mask for a friend. I also found a hand carved horn hair clip, and an Incan tiki fetish carved from stone from the Incan ruins in Peru. The man who ran the store was super nice, and the idea of running a business like that really appealed to me. Who knows... Anyway, if you want a unique gift, check out johnisaacantiques.com.
Leaving Old Town, we realized we were en route for the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Why not? So, we spent the afternoon/ evening inhaling the absolute gorgeousness of the National Park.
To Be Continued...