We've been covering plenty of ground in the past couple days, partially because our clock is now ticking to get home in time for some friend's weddings but also partially because the wear of the road is starting to get to us. If my calculations are correct - which they never are - we've been on the road about forty-odd days now. That's enough to make a person start seeing things.
But we weren't seeing mirages at a rest-stop near California's "Grapevine". I'm not sure how long it's been since our faithful readers have perused the 25 cent machines - which are now mostly 50 cent machines - but this little oddity caught Tracy's eye:
That's right, fruity bubble gum isn't enough anymore. If it doesn't rap it ain't goin' in my mouth.
Meanwhile, Maisy and I took up a new addiction.
I've know they're bandits but I can't help but try to win a stuffed animal for Maisy. So far I've sunk at least two bucks into these darn machines and no luck.
As fascinating as the rest-stop area was we had to move on to Los Angeles where a few more friends were waiting to host us.
I knew we'd be best of pals with Eric and Silje when we first moved to LA and heard of their dirt biking adventures. Having been a "twist-of-the-wrist" addict myself back in high school, we immediately latched onto their company.
Being July in LA and with Silje expecting baby number two, we didn't get to rev any engines but one can still admire the plastic and metal.
LA was also a time for seeing old AFI friends as well including Josh - editor extrodiniarie who took us to some excellent Korean BBQ. While the food and company was wonderful the east coast was beckoning...
Here's Maisy and I celebrating the offical Eastward direction change.
Not pictured is Tracy, our loyal photographer. She did capture this nice moment:
Yuck. That's about 50 degrees higher than my preferred tempature. Palm Springs residents - I just don't get your attraction to desert living.
Passing through Arizona we spotted the most bizarre campaign being pushed by Burger King:
I opted for the salad paired with a chocolate shake. Apparently my taste buds aren't sophisticated enough to appricate the nuance between a Whopper with a Coke vs. a Whopper with a Sprite.
Our campsite that night was nice enough and gave Maisy and Tracy time to practice winking...
...before moving into New Mexico and making contact with aliens at the Very Large Array or VLA as people in the know tend to call it. Just of Route 60 you'll find this gigantic collection of radio telescopes that were made famous in the film Contact. Contrary to Jodi Foster's method of use, the radio telescopes do not require headphones to operate: The signs told me so, otherwise I'd go on buying her riveting performance.
Even the bathrooms caught the radar fever:
Our resting place for the night was my personal favorite destination of the West - my grandpa Fiato's house!
Maisy finally completed her collection of Great-Grandpa photos with this one:
The old man has bigger biceps that I do though I suppose that isn't too much of a feat...