Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 8

Tucson, Arizona (where we took a morning hike at Saguaro National Park, pictured below) to San Diego, California, our destination for this road trip.

Distance: 417 miles (3,198 of 3,198 total miles (100% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 6 hours

Temperature Range: 47°F to 77°F (then back down to 63°F and foggy by the time we got to San Diego)

Where we ate: At our temporary apartment (tamales, chicken with sweet potatoes and onions, sautéed green beans, chocolate ice cream)

Miles Remaining: 0

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 7

Las Cruces, New Mexico (where we took a morning hike at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, pictured below) to Tucson, Arizona (where we met up with one of my friends I haven’t seen since junior high and her partner)

Distance: 279 miles (2,781 of 3,198 total miles (87.0% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 4 hours

Temperature Range: 31°F to 79°F

Where we ate: Maynard’s Market

Miles Remaining: 417

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 6

Abilene, Texas, to Las Cruces, New Mexico (where chilies are a very popular ingredient and where they also have cool public sculpture, like “Eagle Man” pictured below)

Distance: 497 miles (2502 of 3,198* total miles (78.2% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 7 hours

Temperature Range: 30°F to 55°F

Where we ate: Dragonfly

Miles Remaining: 696

More notes about this leg of the journey:

  • We drove through El Paso and glimpsed the border fence and Ciudad Juárez on the other side.
  • Passed some high-density feedlots in New Mexico that put me off steak again, at least until my memory of the taste of steak again overpowers my memory of the smell as we went by those feedlots.
  • We visited the Las Cruces library, our first library of this road trip. My children were immediately in their element. There were a few titles I wanted to have on hand for the 24in48 readathon later this month, and I found myself thinking, “I’ll pick those up when we get home,” before realizing that we kind of don’t have a home right now. Home is where the library is for my children, and I made a mental note to take us on a tour of the San Diego branch libraries once we reach our destination. Our thoughts about the branch libraries might carry a lot of weight as we decide which neighborhood to settle in.
  • It’s exhausting enough traveling cross-country, but traveling with everything we think we’ll need for two months (and our cat and everything he needs for two months) is even more exhausting. And I packed one too few pairs of underwear for this road trip, and I’m down a shirt after the underarm seams of one of my shirts tore yesterday when I stretched. I am officially road-weary and in need of a washing machine.

*You might notice that this number is different than it was on days 1-5. Google Maps must have had some kind of argument with itself between Day 1 and today, and decided 3,198 was the more accurate number. If the total doesn’t match up when we get to San Diego, I’ll change the numbers until they do match. It’s a good thing I’m not an accountant.

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 5

Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Abilene, Texas (which is the Storybook Capital of America and in the downtown of which we visited a variety of fairy-tale-inspired sculptures (Goldilocks and the Three Bears are pictured below))

Distance: 477 miles (2005 of 3,156 total miles (63.5% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 7 hours

Temperature Range: 19°F to 55°F

Where we ate: The Beehive Restaurant
Miles Remaining: 1,151

Readathon Update: Two books finished!

9:30pm: I finished my second book of the readathon!

Infinity is not nearly as good as Fierce Kingdom. Not remotely. But my daughter recommended it and it’s a quick read so I stuck it out. The only reason I can see continuing with this series is that I sometimes find it cathartic to write scathing reviews. Not a very compelling reason with all of the other wonderful books on my TBR.

I’m going to finish an audiobook I started before the readathon and start another book, but the antihistamine I took for my allergies might have other plans for my consciousness.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, Oct 2017

Dewey’s Readathon—10th-Birthday Edition!—starts right now, so here’s my quick kickoff post.

My stack:

The bullet journal progress page that I stayed up late and probably sabotaged my readathon to put together:

My meme responses:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Central Massachusetts, where fall is falling.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips. I might just treat myself and start there.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Ginger kombucha and a gallon of La Croix.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

No time for such niceties! I’ve got to get reading!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

I’m going to stay off of social media except for the kickoff (hi!) and the wrap-up posts and maybe one or two check-ins on Instagram (@imperfecthappiness) and maybe here, too, so I can dedicate myself more to reading than I often do.

Now that I’ve kicked off, to the books!

Chocolate: The Tastiest Surprise

Today I looked through a cupboard I look through multiple times a day, but this time, I found a surprise:

A single-serving packet of drinking chocolate that I vaguely remember buying.

It is possible this packet of drinking chocolate traveled with us when we moved from Utah nearly five years ago.

I did the only thing I could think of to do with chocolate than might be more than a half-decade old: I prepared it as directed and drank it.

It was sublime.

Unfortunately, the company seems no longer to make this drinking chocolate, so now I’m hooked and have to go on a quest to find another way to make a rich, chocolatey beverage with just a little bit of chili-pepper kick. This situation might call for a road trip to French Broad Chocolate Lounge. (It takes the merest of excuses for me to start planning a trip to Asheville, North Carolina.)


Vegetarian Regret

OK, so this isn’t quite as deep as the topics I’ve been addressing so far. But I’ve got a question.

So, I was vegetarian for 7 years. Then I got pregnant with my daughter and needed rotisserie chicken (it was the only thing that helped the morning sickness). Four years later, pregnant with my son, I added red meat back into my diet. This kid loved steak, from what I could tell. Now I want to go back to a vegetarian diet, but I’m having a problem. In the intervening years, I’ve discovered I have a sensitivity to gluten and dairy. When I was vegetarian before, I depended heavily on both. Now, I eat a vegan dinner (bok choy, tofu, 100% buckwheat soba, shiitaki mushrooms, carrots), and I’m starving an hour later. I have a desire to move back towards a more veg diet, for health reasons, environmental reasons, and ethical reasons, but I can’t handle feeling hungry like this. I don’t like admitting this because when I was vegetarian, I used to make fun of people who said they had to eat meat to feel full. But hey, I am what I am.

Vegans and vegetarians out there…are you always hungry? Or if I stick with the veg thing long enough will I stop feeling so hungry after I eat?