Saturday, August 22, 2009
So They Loaded Up The Truck And They Moved To Berk-e-ley
I had never received so many astonished looks than when I told people that yes, we were going to drive to Berkeley, CA to move Matt to grad school. Then after we got back, people were more inclined to tell us that we were nuts when we told them that we had done the drive in 3 days. From Atlanta to Berkeley. And, no, we didn't break any land speed records in the process.
What we found was that driving on I-40 is not an interesting trip, even though I had never visited most of the states we drove through. I'm sure that all of these states have their lovely views, exciting cities and interesting attractions. We just didn't get to see them.
We saw some weird stuff though. Near Conway, AR is Toad Suck Park. We saw the sign for this sometime late in the afternoon during the first day, just when we were starting to get punchy. My traveling companions laughed in merriment, while I wondered why they would give what was probably a perfectly nice park such a revolting name. Later in the day, we met a very nice Starbucks lady in Little Rock who told us that she used to live in the city we just moved to. Small world!
Amarillo, TX boasts The Big Texan, which describes itself as a steak ranch. The big draw here is that they'll give you your meal free if you order the 72 oz. (that's four and a half pounds, for all of the mathematically challenged) steak and eat all of it. And all of the sides that come with it. Oh yeah, one more thing, you have to finish it in ONE HOUR! Neither Mark nor Matt was up to the challenge, so we travelled on.
One place along our route that I would have liked to visit is The Freshwater Pearl Museum. It sounds wonderful -- a guided tour, lunch and a jewelry showroom! I was driving at the time and was soooo tempted to pull off the highway, but I decided to save it for another time. It's not too far away from home.
By day three we were in the desert and it got seriously hot. Yes, our car thermometer said 105 degrees. We were somewhere in California when this picture was taken. The desert is pretty fascinating at first (Look! A cactus!), but after about 10 hours you find yourself wishing for the cool, green mountains of North Georgia.
And another bit of interesting info? When you enter California, you have to go through California Customs! Ha Ha! They actually stop your car and ask if you have any fresh fruits, vegetables or plants. We had none of the above, so we didn't get to find out what would happen if you did. Would they confiscate your apple?
You can only imagine how happy we were to arrive in Berkeley on Sunday night. It truly looks like Matt's kind of place to live. I predict that he'll be happy and successful there. Even though we'll miss him, both Mark and I are glad that he found a good place to live and learn for the next 5 (?) years.
We'll be visiting the beautiful San Francisco Bay area again for sure, but next time we'll be flying the friendly skies.