Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning A Cross Country Road Trip

Gene and I have traveled across the country twice before, back in the summer of 2010. It was hot, we were miserable, and we just wanted to get to our destination. I wrote about it briefly here. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you'll know we recently drove back east to drop the doggies off with their grandma and grandpa to foster while we are gone, to visit Nan one more time before we head to Okinawa, and then turned back to make a stop at the PaleoFx Symposium in Austin, TX.

Planning this trip was been no easy task. We "google mapped" from Fallbrook, to South Carolina: family stop one. We looked for an interesting way to break that down: What if we went from Fallbrook to Phoenix, to Albuquerque, to Oklahoma City... no Clarksville maybe? ... No, Oklahoma City, to Birmingham, to South Carolina? ... No, Look here, how about Olive Branch, Mississippi? Wait, what if we went from Fallbrook to Winslow, to Amarillo, to Conway, to Talledega, to South Carolina? That works, right?

We'd stay a few days in South Carolina and then make our way north to Virginia to stay with Nan for a few days. From there, we would need to make it to Austin, TX for PaleoFx. We thought about going from Norfolk to Knoxville to Memphis to Austin, but then we thought "Hey, let's drive from Norfolk to Nashville, spend a day in Nashville, then drive from Nashville to Austin!" Each of those two days on the road would have been about 13 hours, without stopping! Back to the drawing board: let's get Florida in (since I've never been) and New Orleans (never been there either)! Both would have made for long days on the road!

We decided on Virginia, to Atlanta, to New Orleans, to Austin.

Then it was a matter of getting home! Could we get from Austin to Fallbrook in 2 days? Should we make it three? We decided we would go from Austin to Albuquerque, NM to Flagstaff, AZ then home.

We've almost made it! It was a whirlwind of a month and I have so much to share with you all! #TYRFarewellAmericaTour has almost ended... first we just have to get in The Grand Canyon and Sedona, then I think I'm sleeping for a week!   

Friday, April 11, 2014

Everyone’s Competing For A Love They Won't Receive

I guess it's a sign of the times that I'm not as young as I used to be, friends. A few months ago, I heard the magical voice of Lorde singing "Royals" and I fell in love. Remember that post? I bought the EP "The Love Club" and listened about once through, not overly impressed.

The radio picked up her next big hit "The Team" from her album "Pure Heroine." I heard it once or twice and didn't even bat an eye at it. I knew it was destined to be nowhere near as good as "Royals" was. Yet, I couldn't escape it! Every single station was playing it multiple times a day, almost hourly! This young girl was catchy, and soon I fell in love.

My first thought was "Golly, where is she from? She sings about no postcode envy in "Royals" and here she is singing about cities you'll never see on tv, living in ruins! She must be from the New Zealand equivalent of Detroit!" Gene just laughs, but I wonder!

My next thought is "What in the heck is she repeating a million times at the end of that first verse? The Courthouse Inn? The club I was in? The cult I was in?" No, she's singing "send the call out" about 10 times. 

It's catchy, right? I've officially been converted, bought the album, and listen to it all the time. I'm not yet sick of throwing my hands up in the air and rocking out to it when it comes through the speakers in the car. I don't think I'll ever get sick of this kid, no matter what ghetto she grew up in!

What do you think of Lorde? I'm not saying I'll be at her concert, but gosh, in the privacy of my car, I sure do belt her songs out!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting My Birth Certificate...

When Gene got orders to Okinawa, one of the first things that I knew needed to be done was getting a passport. Not too long ago, going through boxes, we saw my birth certificate. We thought that we would be heading to Okinawa so we set it aside, somewhere safe where we wouldn't lose it. Somewhere that when the orders came through, I would be able to go to the post office and apply for my passport. Somewhere we now can't find it.

No big deal, right? We'll just right off and order a few copies! So I found the Virginia Department of Vital Records information online and printed up my application to get it. I filled it out, put it in an envelope, and mailed it off.

As I was sitting in the house a few hours after putting it in the mailbox, it hit me! I'd been putting it off, and putting it off, and decided "NO MORE!" and mailed it without thinking that the reason I'd been putting it off was because I needed a photo copy of my ID to send with it! NO! Just as I was putting on my shoes to go get it, the mail man pulled up and drove away with it.

So I called them to see what to do and find out if I could just resubmit it. So the next day we made a copy of my ID, filled out another application, and mailed it off once more. A few short weeks later, I had two envelopes in the mail from the DVR!

One, of course, was my birth certificates! I can now apply for my passport! Hopefully I get it in time!

The other one was HYSTERICAL! Not only was it a letter explaining that I needed a copy of my ID, with a list of the acceptable IDs, but also that I needed to write my address on my check. We move every few years. We never write checks, so we just have our names and phone number on them, as to not waste them once we do move. Awkwardly enough, they sure cashed the check with the proper paperwork without an address on it. Doesn't matter now though! Once more thing is crossed off the list :D

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We Danced All Night In The Best Dream Ever!

A few weeks ago I had one of the most vivid dreams I've had in a long time. One of those dreams that seems to go on all night long. I was at a camp type thing, but it was more like the food court of every mall in America. I had one of my girlfriends with me, but if you asked me I couldn't tell you who it was! There were a few people in the cast of this dream though, and I do know the others: Harry, Zayn, Niall, Liam, and Louis... of One Direction. Don't even think for a minute I didn't have to Google their names, but in my dream I knew them, they knew me, we were... friends!


They were performing, I guess at this food court camp place, and my friend and I were in the front row. We were singing and dancing and having a grand old time. When the show was done my friend and I went over and were having lunch, when Liam came over, bear hugged me, and sat down with us.

I remembered the feeling when I woke up! It was an overwhelming friendship, like we knew each other all of our lives and had pictures of us running in the backyard in diapers or something. You know, the friendships movies are made about? That was us! We sat there talking until the other guys came over. We ended up running through the mall (kind of like in The New Radicals music video for "You Get What You Give"... Did I just COMPLETELY age myself?).

Also: As if "Best Song Ever" wasn't one of my favorite songs at the moment, I REALLY love the music video for the song. Those crazy kids... They even pull off the synchronized dance moved towards the end without looking like a bunch of toolboxes.

I'm a grown woman, but it was maybe the best dream ever... Then I looked these KIDS up on wikipedia. Seriously- Harry is TEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME. Liam is only nine years younger.

Cougs for life? I don't mind it. Also, we saw the c.d. at Walgreens on Valentine's Eve, and I seriously told Gene he could get it for me for Valentine's Day (do people still buy actual discs?) and he laughed like I was joking... I wasn't. I then promptly downloaded the album and loaded it into the iPod for the road trip.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting Hit By Rocks On The Freeway

A week or so ago, I was driving down the freeway, minding my own business, when a rather large rock was kicked up and smashed right into my windshield. Sure, little pebbles here and there have hit the car before and some I thought for sure were going to crack the window, but never have. This one was one of those rocks where you legitimately cover your eyes because you just know the whole windshield is going to smash in on you, in millions of pieces.

Well, that didn't happen either, but I did get a decent size ding in the windshield. I called Gene and left a message "Hey baby, it's me! I'm on the 5 and have been hit! If you get a minute can you call USAA and ask them if windshield damage is in our policy? A ROCK! I'VE BEEN HIT BY A ROCK, NOT A CAR!" I guess I should have said that up front, but I wasn't thinking. When I got to where I was going I had a little bit of time to make the phone call myself. If it was just a crack and could be repaired, we'd be covered! If it was bigger and needed replaced, it would fall under our deductible.

USAA uses SafeLite for their glass claims, so I set it up for someone to come to the house between 1 and 6. I got an e-mail from SafeLite with a picture and the name of the technician who would be coming out which was super awesome in this day and age of scammers at every turn!

The technician was super awesome! He talked me through the process of what he was going to do and showed me how it worked! They took this machine and sucked the air out of the ding, then filled it with a resin, that they heated under UV lighting! While we waited, he was polite and we made small talk- not awkward small talk but good conversation. He was there about an hour. He washed our windows down and vacuumed the seats and carpet inside the car! I didn't know flash detailing was part of the deal, but I liked it!

Luckily, it was a repair, so we didn't have to pay anything for it! I can honestly say though, that if anything happened to our windows and we had to pick a company, I would go with SafeLite again! It was such a painless experience when it really could have been horrific!

Have you ever had your windshield crack? This was a first time for me, and I'm not hoping for a repeat anytime soon! 
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