After a hectic few days of last minute preparations, Brandon and I hit the road on a Tuesday in the late evening. I was so anxious to get going, I was vibrating with anticipation. The city made me feel claustrophobic and trapped and yearning for wide open spaces and fresh air. Though it was only going to be a short stay before heading home to San Clemente, I was still extremely excited. We drove deep into Arizona, as I stared out the passenger window with childlike wonder at the meteor shower I had nearly forgotten was taking place. We listened to Modest Mouse and I smiled to myself feeling so content to be exactly where I was with the boy I love. Every so often, he would reach over and squeeze my hand, or affectionately brush the hair out of my face and I would just smile out the window wondering how I got so lucky.
We finally stopped somewhere around two am and drowsily made our way to our (dog friendly) room with Monroe by our side. We spent a half hour or so flipping through channels and laughing at cheesy late night TV before cuddling up face to face and welcoming some much needed sleep. The next day we were back on our trek once again. We drove through some beautiful areas- mountainous with deep green forests -and stopped for sandwiches in a small town along Route 66 (that looked like a place out of a movie); right as the sun was setting and the sky looked like a pastel water color painting. The meteor shower continued that night and I lost count of how many stars I saw. I know it was hard for Brandon to stay focused on the road with me squealing and gasping at every trail of light that caught my eye but he saw a few good ones himself and got us safely to Albuquerque a little past midnight. We ran into a couple very sketchy, very foul mouthed locals when grabbing a quick bite at the waffle house, eagerly finished up and rushed back to the safety and warmth of our room. I don't even remember falling asleep that night- there was no slow progression. Just straight into dreams as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
The following morning we both had trouble getting ourselves up and ready for another long car ride; but we reluctantly pulled ourselves from bed and hopped back into the truck to continue our journey. We saw snow in the high desert and some beautiful landscapes, but slowly the scenery became more and more monotonous and we were both ready to call it quits. We must have listened to 20 cds, and were both feeling very thankful when we finally reached our resting point somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma. All the 'acceptable' (and by acceptable, I mean not McDonald's) food places were closed. So, we got a bag of sunchips and an apple and headed to our room to crash. I woke up feeling refreshed, but our room was so warm and comfortable, it was painful to venture out into the cold morning. Oklahoma was beautiful, and so was our drive through Missouri. I love big open fields and seeing wandering horses and endless trees. I lost track of how many times we stopped for coffee, and by nightfall we were both feeling quite restless and anxious to reach our destination. Monroe was so sweet and well behaved and slept for most of the trip, every now and then resting her head in one of our laps looking for some attention and reassurance. Brandon made the decision to drive through the night so that we would arrive in Owosso by early morning. We stopped for food at a diner somewhere in Illinois and received strange looks from both the staff and customers. One man even mumbled 'Friday night, bringin' the freaks out'. We just laughed to ourselves and finished our dinner.
I did my very best to stay awake for the rest of the ride but I dozed off a few times; in very contorted and uncomfortable positions I might add. Around seven am we finally pulled up to Brandon's dad's house in his hometown; and though I was still half asleep and crabby, I was blown away by the beauty and tranquility of the area. So peaceful and still; trees and water all around. We slept until 5 pm, woke up and got ready, and had our first real meal in days with his dad and step mom (who were both so kind and made me feel so welcome). The rest of my time was spent relaxing and watching movies, going for long walks along the river, making friends with chubby squirrels, cuddling on the couch, waking up late and having coffee before Brandon had to head to work, and getting food and drinks with his family (who were all so nice and hilarious and even more amazing than I had imagined they would be). I'm back home in San Clemente now missing him like crazy. The distance is hard but we will be together again (very) soon, and many adventures await us in the not so distant future. I feel ancy and restless and ready for another journey, and I can't wait for what's next.