June 1, 2005

Day 4 of Cross-Country Road Trip…

Category: I-70 — Queenkv @ 10:17 pm

day4_andre

OK – this dates back to last March…more or less… the snow stopped the next day. I think Mark woke up with a bit of a hangover. As usual – I woke up with a cheery smile on my face. We had breakfast in the Super 8 Lodge. The other hotel guests talked about heading up to the slopes…Lucky.

Andre said he didn’t like the snow. He’s a Golden Bear afterall. He took my hat for extra warmth.

day4_rockies

My poor baby. She must be so cold! My 1999 Corolla is a rockin’ car. She’s been everywhere – from San Francisco – LA – Chicago – DC – and now…the Rocky Mountains. On road trips to Lake Tahoe or some other ski resort – the powers that be insist on drivers putting on chains.

I think the last time we dealt with chains was during New Year’s 2002/2003 – on our Tahoe trip with Stephanie and Bijan. We drove from Reno up to Tahoe. Steph had friends who had a lodge up there. On the way up into the mountains – a sign said we needed chains. It took Mark about 15-20 minutes to put them on. I helped. We drove about 10-15 minutes with the chains. Then we took them off when the road was cleared up.

Ever since I left the state and did snow driving in Chicago, DC and now the Rocky Mountains – I found the chain requirement is basically for people who don’t have a clue about snow driving. It’s all about control and no sudden braking. My car didn’t need chains – Mark’s an awesome snow driver
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The snow plow people did a good job clearing up the road. I was a little worried about getting stuck in the Rocky Mountains. I had to get back to LA in time to catch my flight BACK to the east coast for a NY job interview. Sheesh.

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We drove past Vail. Someday – we’ll come back to ski here and eat at Casa Bonita.
day4_louie

Louie loved the snow. He’s a polar bear after all. He kept whining about getting out of the car to see the snow…OK…I kept whining about getting out of the car to take more pictures. But Mark just wanted to get out of the Rockies. In any event. It’s a beautiful drive.

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We got out of the Rockies and found springtime.

day4_grandjun
We did a lunch stop in Grand Junction. A cute town with some old-time charm. If anything, it felt great to walk under the sunshine again.

day4_lunch
We found a Mexican restaurant. I had the fish tacos and Dos Equis. Most of our successful road trips include beer. Then we ended lunch with some yummy fried ice cream. The last Mexican Cantina we visited in DC had no idea about fried ice cream. The waiter asked if it was like flan…or something like that.

day4_grandjun3
This little historic stree – something like “Main Street USA” – had art work scattered all over the place.

day4_grandjun1

day4_frog
I thought the artwork looked quite friendly….here I am…looking for my Prince Charming.

day4_coffee
There he is!

After lunch, we stopped at this bagel cafe for coffee. Our successful road trips also involve coffee. I also bought some postcards from the store next door.

day4_byeco
We said good-bye to Colorado….and to all the MEAN state highway patrol cops…

day4_hiut
Hello to Utah!

day4_utah1
In this part of Utah – there’s not much to see on I-70. However, these rugged canyons and rock formations provided a welcome contrast to all the flat farm fields we drove past in Kansas.

day4_utahkris
I convinced Mark to pull over at out of the scenic road stops. A sign by the parking lot said this area was part of the Black Dragon Canyon. I loved the red-brown rust colors of the rocks. Only a few cars parked out here. It felt like we had the canyon all to ourselves.

day4_utahandre
Here’s Andre celebrating the sunshine. He’s thrilled to stretch out his stumpy legs after being cramped inside the car.

Mark and Andre in Utah
Here’s Mark trying to get Andre back into the car. He’s a bit worried about my bear being so closed to the edge. It’s a long way down into the canyon and Mark didn’t want to have to go after him.

day4_utah2
We hit the 15 after a couple of hours. Before that – we had nothing but scenery – no gas stops and no highway towns. Thankfully – we found a rest stop with restrooms.

We stopped for dinner in a town next to the Arizona border, St. George. Most of the radio stations we tuned into played Christian music. A sure sign we stepped into Mormon country. Most of the restaurants were packed with familes of 8 or 9 or 10. We found a Red Lobster. The snotty hostess said it would be a 45 minute wait. Seriously, I had some bad vibes walking in there. People gave me funny looks. I’m not being paranoid. Mark felt it too. Then I asked the waitress if we could grab drinks and food at the bar – instead of waiting for a table.

“We don’t have a bar,” she stiffly told me.

I forgot – we’re in Christian country.

We found a Mongolian BBQ spot – with no waits for the tables. The food tasted healthy. We had picked out veggies and meat from the buffet table and the cooks stir-fried out selections. I still felt the funny vibes from the other patrons. It felt like they expected me to be working at the restaurant with the other Asian cooks and waiters – instead of eating like a customer.

I watched a girl from a loud family of 10 trying to use chopsticks. She stabbed her veggies and meat…as if the chopsticks were shish kabob skewers.

Viva Las Vegas: Check out the Vulcan!

We got out of that dry town and left Mormon country. We ended up at the Arizona border and drove through that state for about 10-15 minutes. Then we hit the Nevada border.

Sin City welcomed us with open arms.

We stopped by my Ate’ Gigi’s hospitals and picked up her house keys.

This was the first night we got to sleep in a house….in a real bed….It’s a relief to leave our Super 8 nights behind us.

day4_vegaschapel
I kept bugging Mark about doing the married thing in Vegas….this place had a drive-through window were we could do our vows. Think about it – fast, simple and no hassle! We resisted the temptation of getting married in a Vegas-fashion…but took away some ideas for our Vegas Engagement Party/bachelor/bachelorette Weekend.

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