the road. (general notes)
day 1>> sd >>grand canyon, south rim -lotsa desert driving, lotsa landscape, the most incredible sunset and sunrise over the grand canyon.
day 2>>grand canyon>>page, az- lots more deserty landscape and tons of native american trading posts along the way, horseshoe bend was nuts, saved a stray dog (whom we named wylie coyote) which re-routed us to flagstaff, az instead of heading to antelope canyon. i tried to convince whit to take him all the way to nashville with us.
day 3>>flagstaff >>sedona>>phoenix- goodbye to the most amazing people who took in our stray pup, the most epic views//scenery through sedona, crazy trading post//native american shop filled with skulls and skins and stones and jewels galore
day 4>>phoenix>>las cruces, nm- stayed at an unreal airbnb with pups and horses and goats at the foot of a valley off the beaten path
day 5>>las cruces>>white sands>>marfa- we intended to stop at white sands but it was closed due to weather when we got there so we went on to marfa, tx. marfa is the coolest conundrum. it's podunk and charming and out there, but has all these hip restaurants and hip people living there. dying to go back to el cosmico and stay in a teepee.
day 6>>marfa>>austin, tx- this was one of my most favorite days-it was my birthday and we got into austin just in time to meet the adorable house pig and chickens that lived on our airbnb's property. we went out to dinner then found a supremes cover band playing in a local venue- hotel vegas -and danced the night away. well i danced, and whitney watched and laughed at me. it was a good birthday.
day 7>>austin>>houston>>nola- stopped in houston for lunch with the babeliest shelly bishop, got into nola pretty late so we went straight to dinner then walked bourbon street to soak it all in. got my tarot cards read by a street lady name deb and teared up over what she had to share with me. headed back to our airbnb and stumbled upon a high school band playing jazz//band tunes just a block up from our place. a dance party ensued in the middle of the street. it was epic and everything was right in the world for a moment. people of all ages and races and genders were all just so joyful dancing their faces off together. whit and i had the biggest smiles on. i think this was my most favorite memory//night.
day 8>>nola>>mississippi>>alabama>>nashville- this was a long day but it was also such an exciting day. stopped in hattiesburg, mississippi for lunch and records, stopped in birmingham, alabama for coffee and finally rolled into nashville and up to whit's new place pretty late. TENESAYYYY. we were finally there.
i honestly don't think there's a better way to experience places than to just get in your car and drive there. yes planes get us there faster and of course, you gotta take a plane to get overseas, etc. can't drive through the ocean, acourse :)
but there's just something different about being on the road, about being right up in it; driving through small towns where you keep asking yourself, "why on earth would people settle down here?" simply because it's so different than where you might choose to live your life. you drive and drive through cities, and mountains, and then nothingness, and then you don't see another car for miles and all of a sudden you're at the south rim of the grand canyon, or in marfa, tx. and you've seen so much already on the drive, that you don't mind only getting one night in each place. because really, it's the journey that takes your breath away, not just the destination.
road trips, i think, make you realize how small you are and how huge the world is. they give you a sense of adventure that you can't get as much from flying in a plane.
you can get out of the car, and stop places you would normally just fly over; places you don't think twice about. places that are hard to get to by plane. like page, arizona or las cruces, new mexico. places i had never even heard of until this trip. mind you, geography is not ma gift :) but still, if i hadn't gone on this trip, i never would have experienced these towns where people are doing life day to day just like i am in sunny southern california, but in a different way, and with different means and resources and environments and quality of life.
but that's just it, they are still doing life, right alongside the rest of us. and sometimes, it's really good and completely necessary to be reminded that you are not alone in this world, that your day to day reality is your own life experience, but that you are absolutely not the center of the universe because it's just way too big and vast out there with too many people living and breathing and rejoicing and struggling with you too to be that self-absorbed.
this trip grew me in many ways, and i entered my twenty-seventh year while on it too, and it had me thinking a lot...
i think what i took away most from this trip was that there is just so much beauty to see in this world and i have no idea how i'm gonna see all of it, but i'm gonna try like hell to see of much of it as i can.
i learned that flexibility and grace and understanding are SUCH important elements to living a happy life. shit's gonna happen you can't predict, and you gotta just roll with it.
and i learned that i'm really lucky to have a friend like whitney to do life with. and that friendship is unconditional love and mutual acceptance.
and also, that my problems, however big i think they are, are not that big of a deal in the grand scheme'a things, especially after experiencing these places where so many people are also making it work.
i am healthy. i live near family who support and love me. i have really good friends who back me and make me better (and hopefully i do the same for). i have two businesses that i've hustled for and am proud of and are growing and teaching me every day. i have two dogs i can take care of on my own (with help from that same family from time to time-thank goodness). i live in a house less than a mile from the beach. i will eat tonight and i know i have the means to eat again tomorrow. i have the financial ability to take such a road trip with one of my best friends to help move her to her next adventure. i am grateful and i am alive and it is as simple as that. the rest is just gravy.
be grateful for the simplest things you have each day.
oh, and get out there. there's so much to see and it will completely floor you.