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Sunday, October 11, 2009

The 2009 Road Trip that Left me Husband-free for 3 Weeks!

Do you have a dream to travel the world? I do. It involves airplanes, 5 star hotels and fabulous food in Paris, Italy and Japan. It also involves museums, shopping and the most famous mom and pop restaurants all across the United States. You know, the kind where all the locals go and people come from all around the world because what they serve is the definitive best of whatever it is be it a hot dog, fried oyster sandwich, burger, ice cream, deep fried artichoke hearts etc...

So when my hubby set out on a 3 week tour of North America, in his Saturn, driving 10-12 hours almost every day, I knew for the health and sake of our marriage the best thing would be to let him go alone. In a couple of weeks our two year anniversary is coming up and I know him, and myself, well enough to know that this isn't the kind of thing you go along with and pretend it's going to be fun. A 3 day trip, sure I could have sucked it up and let him have his kind of fun for 3 days, but not 3 weeks. Three weeks had "not a good idea," angst and motion sickness written all over it in 10 foot high neon letters.

Add to this the fact that he is not an adventuresome eater, and you all know how I love my food. He would send me Google Map pictures from his iPhone that showed he was eating lunch at McDonalds or Wendys and dinner at Applebees. *I'm pausing to let that really sink in.* Three weeks on the road and no sense of culinary adventure. You know me, I'd have planned the entire trip around where and what I was going to eat!

All he needed were some clean clothes, his ipod, and camera and he was good to go.

LOL he reported to me that none of his friends really thought he would go on this trip, or if he did he wouldn't get far before turning around and heading for home. But I know him, so I knew he'd do it and knew he'd keep to his Google Maps schedule no matter what.

Day 1

Leaving San Jose, CA.

There were only two days in the U.S. that he would stop driving to sight see for a day at a time in Washington D.C. and NYC. The rest of the trip he would stop and see a thing or two then jump right back in his car to head out on the highway in search of a Super 8 to stay at that evening. He loves Super 8's now.

Here he was the morning of his departure heading off into the sunrise. That gave me three weeks of feeling almost single again. I reveled in it. Eating dinner almost 2 hours earlier each evening, watching less tv and doing more to clean up our house and yard. I got a lot accomplished while he was gone including something he was adamantly against:

Getting the cat a new, lower, safer cat tree.

One of the first pics he posted online was this car full of aliens in Baker, CA.

LOL check out the baby alien in the car seat in back. Apparently Baker, CA. has famous "alien fresh beef jerky." I'm sure he didn't buy any because as I mentioned, he is not adventuresome when it comes to food. When he woke up this morning he said they even offered him a free jerky sample at the Cyber Cafe, but he declined.

At the end of Day 1 he was particularly proud of himself for snagging the last vacancy at this motel. The caption in his photo album read:
You see the illuminated "NO"? I did that. The next people in line behind me got turned away. Suckers.

Day 2

Destination #1 was Hoover Dam, pictured here. He did go walk around the dam and got lots of pictures from different angles.

Second stop was the Grand Canyon. He did not take any tours here but simply parked his car, took some photos and left.

Destiantion #3 was Meteor Crater. His caption for this photo is "A big hole in the ground."

This was the funniest picture from his entire trip. My husband, the billionaire, was buying a 46¢ postcard with a $46 billion dollar bill. Here he was waiting for his change back. LOL

He said the cashier tendered that he gave her 46¢ then accidently drug the barcode of the postcard over the reader so it added the bar sku to the amount tendered. He asked both the cashier and the cashier's manager for the change displayed and reported that neither seemed very amused, they just wanted to void the sale as quickly as possible. LOL

Day 3

This was an all day driving day to arrive at his next destination on time.

Day 4

The Saint Louis Arch was his next destination. He did take the tour and got some great photos from the top of the arch. I have to give him credit, he was out there living his dream, making it happen.

Day 5

The fifth day was spent on the road driving non-stop except for gas and food, etc. He probably drove 12 hours that day. It was also the only day that he sounded discouraged when I talked to him on the phone that night. He takes a 3:00 coffee break each day so on the road he planned to have coffee at 3:00 each day. This particular day Google Maps led him to a location that allegedly had coffee but turned out not to have a coffee shop. He drove around in vain looking for any coffee shop before giving up and heading back to the HWY.

When he arrived in Washington D.C. that night Google Maps led him to where a Super 8 Motel was supposed to be. But when he arrived after battling the rush hour, D.C. traffic there was no motel to be found. So he kept driving. Suddenly he realized he was no longer in a safe neighborhood but he had no clue as to where he was. Eventually he found a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Virginia.

Day 6

The Capital

This was one of the highlights of his trip: Washington D.C. where he could spend the day walking around on foot taking lots of photos. I will admit that I would have liked to have seen Washington D.C. but I'd rather fly. LOL and if I never make it there then I guess it wasn't meant to be.

The Washington Monument

The White House

The Lincoln Memorial

President Lincoln

The Washington Monument with Duck Butt

This little dog sculpture was part of a Theodore Roosevelt sculptural scene. He saw so many great and famous buildings that day. I'd post more photos but there were too many. Suffice to say he had a great time and was particularly thrilled that he found a free, all day parking lot on Google Maps that his tour guide didn't even know about.

Day 7

Nex stop was the steps of the Philadelphia Museum because these are the very steps Sylvester Stallone ran up in the movie Rocky.

He even took a tour of Independence Hall.

His caption on this painting read:
A picture showing the signing of the Constitution. You can tell its the Constitution and not the Declaration of Independence since George Washington is standing there.
Um, yeah, OK. I doubt 99% of Americans could make that distinction.

This is the actual room the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in. And that is the actual chair that George Washington sat on. Pretty cool.

He also saw the Liberty Bell.

He tried to meet up with an online friend of mine who lives in New Jersey. She offered to come down to the Historic District but she never made it due to a traffic diversion off the only route she knew to get there. Once she was thrown off the bridge she normally uses she apparently spent the next 2 hours driving aimlessly about until finally admitting defeat and calling her father in law to come lead her to his house. She scored though, missing lunch with hubby by the Liberty Bell turned into a nice home cooked dinner with her in laws.

Day 8


Hubby told me that the three top tourists destinations in NYC are: The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and the Apple Inc. store on Fifth Avenue.

He couldn't have been more proud since he works at Apple. As the Head of Macintosh Desktop Software for the iPod Division he was even given a special behind the scenes tour of the Fifth Avenue store. It really made his day. The entrance is this glass cube. The entire store is underground.

The Statue of Liberty

I have to hand it to him. I've been to NYC twice and have not seen the Statue of Liberty. I have been to the theatre district, Central Park and was on the TODAY show, but I haven't seen the Statue of Liberty, any museums or any of the other normal tourists destinations.

Day 9

The Old State House

Boston was his next destination but he only stayed for a few hours before hitting the road for Canada.

Days 10-15

Parliament Hill, Ottowa, Canada

Days 10-15 were spent in Eastern Canada with family and friends. You're probably thinking "Ah, finally a break from all of that driving." Silly you, he traveled to 6 different Canadian cities in 5 days: Ottawa, Quebec City, North Bay, Orillia, Toronto and London. Because it was raining, and maybe because he's from Canada, he didn't take a lot of photos while visiting there.

Days 16-18

It took three days on the road to get from eastern Canada to Spokane, Washington before heading to his next destination, Trail and Fruitvale, British Columbia. On the night of the 17th he called me to let me know it was snowing in North Dakota.

Days 19-20

This was the second to last stop on his trip. Hubby was born and raised in Fruitvale, B.C. so he went back and for two days was a guest speaker at his old high school in nearby Trail. Originally he had planned to speak to one class to tell the kids to study hard and stay in school and maybe some day they too can become software engineers in the United States at Apple Inc.

Instead he ended up speaking to 6 classes including the Journalism, Information Technology, "Navigator", Planning and Wood Shop classes. Not sure what the segue was between being a computer engineer and wood shop but when his old homeroom teacher saw him in the hallway he brought him in to speak to his wood shop class. LOL

I asked him what kind of questions did the kids ask and he said "They wanted to know what kind of car I drive and one student in particular asked if I drive a Porsche." LMAO ROTF. He said no, he drives a Saturn but recounted the day that a co-worker who does drive a Porsche rear-ended his Saturn in the Apple Inc. parking lot. LOL. Hubby's Saturn was fine but the Porsche sustained some damage under it's front bumper when it got caught on top of the Saturn's rear bumper.

Day 21

Upon leaving Trail he hit the road for his final destination: Seattle, Washington to catch a comedian friend of his, Jim Short, performing at the Comedy Underground. He made the drive in one day, stayed overnight then first thing the next morning took off for home. He had planned to visit a friend in Portland but she wasn't feeling well so he skipped Portland because he didn't want to catch whatever she had.

Day 22
In total his trip was 3 weeks and one day. He returned home last night and we both agreed he had more fun (and I had more fun) by not taking this trip together. Who said that husbands and wives have to spend every vacation together? I know many of my friends were surprised that I didn't go but at the same time they didn't blame me. In fact I said I'd consider going if we could rent something larger then his compact car to drive in. I was thinking a small Winnebago or camper, anything with a bed in back where I could take naps when I got bored or tired. But he said no, the dream was to drive around the country in his own car.

He's already planning on taking another road trip in five years. Anyone want to join him? Because I won't be going :)


  1. I'm always happy to meet up for lunch! Sounds like a nice 3 weeks for both of you. Great summary & pix, thank you.

  2. haha. That's so funny. And YOU married a crazy man! Thanks for sharing the story. John went to some cool places and took some great pictures too. Maybe I will join him for the next one! (We would have to negotiate the eating locations though)


  3. Thanks for the comment PhotoGirl! He did a great job with the photos.

    I know RIch. He came after me with the same relentless determination he showed on this trip. :D

    As for the food negotiations. Good luck with that. I'm in your corner.

  4. You and John are so funny! I don't like road trips either, just the thought of being in a car for 10 to 12 hours almost everyday gives me a headache already. I like to get from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time. Seems like John had a great time. It's amazing how many places he covered in 22 days!


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