(No picture to upload at this time. Next post hopefully.)
Dave and I had planned to drive to Cali in September. So when the opportunity to drive with Erez came up, I naturally turned it down. How could I do this drive without Dave? I just wasn’t feeling it. But as the days went by I realized that this opportunity could have been coming to me for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, I am supposed to be in Cali for something. Either that or it’s just a friend needing help driving to a coincidental place. Whatever the reason, I’m on my way to Cali.
After helping him stuff an unreal amount of belongings into his vehicle, Erez and I left Toronto on Monday around 3:30 p.m. – not the best time to exit the fourth worst city for commuting in North America. It began with GyPS taking us down the backed-up-to-a-stop QEW towards Niagara. We caught on a little too late and had to turn around and get back over to the 427 to get up to the 401-W. We chided GyPS for her error and fixed the settings so no further mis-routes could occur. Along the way to the border we spoke a bit about the day’s journey and what Tuesday would entail. Erez would have to work nearly the full day on Tuesday and we probably wouldn’t be able to get out of where ever we ended up until about 5 p.m. So be it. We would figure it out and get to California one way or another. What was really on our minds, however, was the completely stuffed Hyundai Tuscan, complete with stuff strapped to the roof, that we would be driving across the border. Best case scenario – one hour at the border. Worst case scenario – three hours. We tacked that onto our travel time and hoped we could make it to Chicago that evening.
When we got to Sarnia we paid a $0.60 toll and found there were zero cars in line at the border. Erez handed the agent our passports (and his greencard) and he asked our nationalities.
(He looked at the packed car.) Where are you guys going?
Erez: Back home to California.
How long are you planning on staying in the US?
Me: Two weeks. I have a return ticket.
Well that rules out a whole line of questioning. This makes it a whole lot easier. How do you two know each other?
Oh, are you guys going to Perris?
I must have jumped there about 1,000 times. I used to live there. Are you two dating?
Both: No, noooo, Nope. No.
Are you sure she’s safe to drive with? Like what if she’s an axe murderer?
Erez: I’m sure she’s fine. I could handle it anyway.
Are you sure he’s safe? It’s a really long drive. You sure you want to do this drive?
Me: I’ve never done this drive before. I can’t wait to go through the mountains.
It’s a real long drive.
Erez: We can handle it. I’ve done it three times on my own.
Well, (handing back our passports) You two are good. Good luck on your drive. Enjoy.
While we were stunned for about an hour, we continued our drive towards the Chicago area, arriving sometime around midnight.
The next day Erez had to work so I basically hung out in the hotel lobby after check out time and worked on some writing and communication skills – aka facebook. The front desk clerks kept looking at me wearily, but I just kept plugging away on my MacBook, occasionally switching to my crossword book. Erez finished work around 5 p.m. and we set off for Des Moines. On the way there we realized it would be too late to get any award winning pork (and we were still full from our Hardees mushroom-swiss burgers from earlier) that we continued on to Omaha, Nebraska. The lightning storm and rain on the way was at times intense. Forks were lighting up the sky and at times providing a great excuse for hitting the rumble strip. We got into Omaha at about 1 a.m. and got a room at a Motel 6 (not rated on the star system.) I slept until just after 7 a.m. having realized Erez had been awake since about 5 a.m. and was just being polite and letting me sleep. Our neighbours, however, were not so polite and were screaming at each other for one thing or another. Apparently trying to carry two bags and hold a coffee between your teeth can result in dropping the coffee all over oneself. So then we were off on our journey again.
That brings us to today. Today we are sitting in a friend’s living room whilst they are sitting in their office on the phone (having yet to exit and see us – he works from home.) But the good thing is he has wifi, and the other good thing is that sushi may very well be on the menu for dinner tonight. The sad thing for me, though, is that Dave really wanted to get to Denver. Whilst he was in Arizona this winter he met a bunch of people from Colorado and it was one of the places he really wanted to visit on our drive west to Cali. I really wish he was here. I always wish he was here. I’m thinking of him a lot on this drive. I mean, Erez is good company, but I still wish things were another way. Anyway …
Eighteen hours to California… I think.