Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Just Finished Vacation

My wife and I, and our dog, drove across the USA for a vacation. From SoCal to New Hampshire, and back. We drove around 7000 miles.

What I'd like to do is give a few observations.

First, I have a new appreciation for truckers. God bless those guys. Trust me, if you travel like we just did, you'll have an appreciation for truckers too. It's these guys who help make America work, and it seems like a pretty thankless job.

I was very impressed by our nation's infrastructure. There was never a worry about getting something to eat, gas in the car or a place to sleep. It's something we take for granted in this great country. But speaking the same language, clean running water, electricity, internet access, clean restrooms, was standard fare in our experience.

I had preconceived notions of what parts of the country are nice and those which aren't. My mom was in Kansas around 55-60 years ago (my dad was a military guy) and she always said Kansas was ugly, flat and boring. When my wife and I drove though Kansas, via the 34 freeway, we were very impressed by its beauty. One of the things I learned is that I know I have preconceived ideas that are just flat out wrong. And if I'm wrong, no matter what the issue, I want to always have the courage to admit it and move on.

I hate to say this folks, but I'm going to write this: Of all the states we drove through, (now you must realize that in coming home we took interstate 40 and 15), California was about the ugliest drive. In fact not "about", it was the worst part of our experience. Usually when we fly back home, we're always glad to be back. Though we love our home and appreciate it, we know there are lots more beautiful places in this country than here.

Internet access. It was so cool to go to any hotel and get access to the internet via the hotel's wifi network. It was very easy, easy I say because my wife showed me how to do it. My wife also has broadband service with Verizon. For me, if there is one company's customer service and phone service who I rave about, it's Verizon. Anyway, sometimes the hotel's wifi wasn't so good and my wife got better service via her Verizon phone. It was also pretty cool that once on our trip, going down the highway, my wife had her computer hooked up to her Verizon Blackberry and was watching reruns of "General Hospital".

I don't know if you're like me, but if so, you're always wondering where you would really like to live. In my early 20's, I hitchhiked from Seattle to San Diego, than to Houston up to Maryland. I decided I wanted to make Long Beach my home. Now I live in Brea, but I wonder if we'll move in the future. I'm sure some of out trips that we take will be with that in mind. Again, what I learned about Kansas made me realize that preconceived notions may be wrong. It's like going to a movie that everyone raves about, and my wife and I come home, and I say to her, "I just don't get it", I think I'm on the wrong planet or something in that we find the movie sucks.

But there is much I love about SoCal. I love it's choice. There are many places to go see that are quite varied in such a short distance. IE Downtown LA, Las Vegas, Big Bear, Catalina, Palm Springs, San Diego, etc. And so many cultures. We have Little Saigon, Korea, India, and Chinatown to name a few. And the restaurants. And the greatest reason, the weather--it just can't be beat. Also the one thing I noticed too, we don't have as many bugs.

By the way, one of my highlights of the trip: I went to buy a beer at a convenience store. I got carded (she asked for my ID). I asked her if she was serious, to which she said "yes". Then upon handing her my ID, I asked her if I could give her a kiss, to which she said "no". I would have been even happier if she had her "Yes" and "No" backwards'-)

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