Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Woman in her Thirties Makes the Best of a Roadtrip

I've always wanted to drive across country, and our recent move to Pleasantville finally afforded me that opportunity. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I thought it would be like the millions of trips to Southern California I've taken over the years, complete with drive-through BK and writing notes to boys in passing cars (why did we think that was a good idea again??). But, as all women in their thirties know, things tend not to work out the way you expect them.

Part I: Reno
I've watched enough Reno 911 to be fascinated with the biggest little city in the world. L and I had planned on spending the night there, maybe try our luck at a couple of craps tables, and have a good Japanese dinner. Upon rolling up to the hotel I'd picked from the AAA guide, we began to rethink our choice.

Here is a picture of L talking to a cop. The cop told us he thought it would be a better idea to continue heading east because, well, Reno sucks. So we did.

Part II: Lovelock
A few years ago I went on a school field trip to Guilin, China. Guilin is arguably the most beautiful part of China I have ever seen, minus the Great Wall. As part of that field trip, I climbed to the top of a hill that has a long, rusty chain with about a billion locks on it (Amazing Race fans will remember when this was part of one of the challenges in China). The locks were left as a symbol of unbreakable love between two people.

As we drove through Nevada, we came across a town called Lovelock. My AAA book told me that they had a similar chain like the one I'd seen in Guilin. You can imagine my excitement. And if you know L, you can imagine his.

'Let's go lock our love! Oh please, please! Come on, please!' (A woman in her thirties should not have to beg to lock her love with her husband, but I'll give L a pass on this one and assume his refusal to get excited as I was had to be due to exhaustion).

One of us more reluctant than the other, we pulled over. These signs lined the street:

I walked into a general store to buy a lock, ready to hear some sort of ghost story about how the town was named after the mysterious chain that was found in the area, and how the symbols of love go back thousands (I would have even taken hundreds) of years. Sadly, when I told the cashier that I'd been to a place in China that has something similar, she simply replied, 'Yeah, we took the idea from China a few years ago'.

The chain of love in Lovelock is small. It's new, but someday it will be old. Here is us making our contribution:

Part III: Winnemucca
By this point in the drive, I'm fairly certain L was regretting letting me have the AAA book. I discovered that the town of Winnemucca, Nevada has a huge Spanish Basque population, due to an influx in immigration of sheep herders from the area about 100 years ago. When it came time to making dinner plans, we had our choice of an array of fast food establishments, or a traditional Basque dinner.

A woman in her thirties chooses Basque.

The food was served family style, and not in the lazy susan kind of way. In the Basque country, you eat at a table with whoever else pops up in around the same time, and you share as much salad, beans, and giant corn as you can eat.

When our neighbors sat down next to us, the man who took his place next to L said, 'Well, guess I have to sober up now.' (He did not). I knew it was going to be an excellent night, and it was.

Part IV: Salt Lake City
I didn't start watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives until very recently. I am not a foodie, unfortunately for L. But I did hear of a place called The Red Iguana from that show, so we made a stop in Salt Lake City. Allow me to share some highlights:

Chicken Tacos-- oh Lord....

Carnitas Burrito-- oh my...

Red Iguana= Awesome

Part V: Wyoming
Wyoming is a simply beautiful state, with lots of this: And this:

We drove through Wyoming as the sun set behind us, and I thought long and hard about life, and love, and all kinds of things that weight heavily on the mind of a woman in her thirties. For that reason, I will always equate Wyoming with solitude, deep thinking, and a desperate need for a glass of wine.

Part VI: Nebraska and Iowa


Part VII: Pleasantville
We pulled up to our new house last Thursday. L carried me over the threshold (and didn't break his back-- my hero!) It hasn't hit me that I have a real kitchen to cook in, a real lawn that needs to be mowed, and a real neighborhood I am now a part of. But a woman in her thirties has time to let that sink in, all the time in the world. Her journey is just beginning when she's found a place to stop for awhile and make a home.


  1. This post made me laugh out loud several times. Brilliant!

    I love that L carried you over the sweet. Kind of makes up for his grumbling about the whole Lovelock thing, huh?

    Pleasantville: also brilliant.

    Oh, and thanks for the food porn! :)


  2. This was a great post! The part about locking your love made me laugh out loud and sounds like something I would say. Congrats on the new place!!

  3. AS I recall Pleasantville is eerily familiar to Iowa. Send pics soon!! And really a trip through Nevada demands a stop in Elko!!

  4. I can't believe the three first paragraphs ALL took place in Nevada. Who knew there was so much to (not) do there?

    I want to hear more about the Wyoming epiphanies...

    So glad you made it safely. If that whole "love-lock" thing works out, Tage and I may have to venture out that way. ;)

  5. Great post, love the pics. :)Can't wait to see pics of the new house/neighborhood!