Tag Archives: road trip

Car Log-Day 4: The Smell of America


Amarillo, TX to Checotah, OK

When we were packing up for this trip, Mom asked me if I packed a jacket. I said, of course not. It’s not jacket weather and we’re traveling the southern route through the U. S. of A. But she said, you might need it. Um, no, Mom. I’m 37, ok. I don’t need a jacket. Well, she packed one anyway. So I got up this morning to take the dog out to walk in Amarillo and holy flurking shnit, it was cold! Like 50 degrees cold. I was freezing my fun bags off waiting for the dog to walk in about 42 circles, smelling the same one tree, two bushes and McDonald’s straw while trying to decide whether or not this was a good place to pee. It was good enough last night but maybe today was different. It required a lot of investigation. And sniffing. And thinking. And staring off into space. And sniffing. And watching traffic. Oh, for the love of high school football, just pee dammit! Long story short, I got Mom’s coat. I hate it when she’s right.

(I wouldn’t recommend running with those, son. Seriously.)

Anyway, another long drive, 5 ½ hours. But it sure was a much prettier drive today. The country is starting to get greener and more hilly with copses of trees. I also saw lots and lots of cows. And horses. As I’m driving through Oklahoma I decided, this-this right here is the smell of America. Rural, farm folk with their land and their crops and their American dreams. Hm. I wish we could change the smell of America to Obsession for Men. Then I sang the theme from Oklahoma until Mom threatened to punch me in the neck.

(You’re doing fine Oklahoma! Oklahoma, O-K-L-A-harrghhbfthprt)

I finally took Mom to one of the Indian trading posts so she’d shut the hell up about it. It was a Cherokee one with a giant Indian Chief head carved on the roof and a big cockroach in the bathroom. We got souvenirs for the girls. The moccasins were beautiful but like $50 a pair. Um, NO! I couldn’t find any fire water so I got a very pretty opal and silver ring. Still waiting to see if it gives me super powers. About 4 hours of the drive through Oklahoma it was very windy. It took a lot of concentration and paying attention to keep the car steady. For four hours. I couldn’t scratch in two places at once or anything. By the time we got to the hotel, I felt like Randy from A Christmas Story.

(I can’t put my arms down!)

After we checked into the lovely America’s Best Value Inn, we went to the Mexican restaurant next door. OMG. That was the best Mexican food I’ve had since Casa Vega in Studio City. It was that good. It was awesome. So if you’re in the neighborhood in Checotah, OK, you just have to go to El Jarocho.

Now, it’s time to relax. Only 3 days left. Another long one tomorrow and then a very short one the next day, then just 5 more hours and we’re home! Tomorrow, we’re stopping outside of Memphis. I didn’t want to stay too close to town in case we ended up in the bad part of Memphis which is, you know…Memphis. Au revoir from me, Mom, Buttons and Scuppy.

(If the cat can do it, so can I!)



Car Log-Day 2: College, Creepers and Construction


Kingman, AZ to Grants, NM

So to start off with the good, there was no barfing or large animals stuck between seats. Also, there was only one highway to drive all day and I ate popcorn for breakfast. I accidentally knocked on the wrong hotel room door and a hot guy opened the door and I said “Oh. You’re not my mom.” He said, “I can be your mom.” Tee-hee. Then, I went to fill up the car and gas prices are $0.53 less than L.A. Halle-freakin-lujah! And that was about it for the good part of the day for a while. To start off with, I got us lost. Somehow, when I exited the 40 to get gas, I wound up on some other freeway juncture and took a wrong exit and ended up at Northern Arizona University. We drove around there for about 20 minutes until we found the highway again. To be honest, I prefer a university with more ivy.

(If you look real close, you can see me crying in that car in the background.)

After that little side trip, we stopped for a potty break and Scuppy decided she wasn’t interested in being a Go-Dog anymore and refused to get in the car. Even with the promise of a bite of leftover chicken fried steak, she wasn’t budging. After cursing, pulling, pushing, threats and cajoling, she finally decided to get in. Truly, if a St. Bernard does not want to be moved, she will not be moved. She only got in because she was tired of standing up. Then after about 30 miles of 35mph construction zones, losing an hour to the time zone change, 312 Indian trading posts that Mom whined to go to (she went to NONE) and 1,537 squished bugs on the windshield, we arrived in Grants, NM. Or, as Mom calls it, Grams.

(Yes, I have an army man hanging from my rear view mirror. Don’t you judge me.)

So we arrive at our hotel and it is GROSS! The air conditioning is not working and it was like 95 degrees. My room smelled like sulfur, Mom had no toilet paper. When we complained about the air not working, the desk clerk said “Open a window.” We had no screens! Not mentioning our animals getting out, if we leave those windows open overnight, we might as well pin $20 to our asses and yell, “Victim here!” So, we moved to the Travelodge across the street. And yes we got a refund from the first place since mom told the desk clerk, “You can give my refund to me or to my lawyer. But I’m getting it back. Your choice.”

So at the new hotel we decided to relax in the hot tub, which was amazingly empty, only to be accosted by a guy calling himself Gabriel Heart. He started telling us his life story and how he was saved by Jesus and did we believe in Jesus and the Mayans are right, the world is ending and if we want to stop by his room (118), he could give us some great literature…and all this time, he’s scooting closer and closer to Mom and all I could think was, I’ve seen enough 48 Hours Mysteries to know about guys like you. You get one inch closer to my mother and you’re going to be talking to Jesus face to face, not just in your delusions.

(I don’t usually bother women who are all alone in a hot tub in Dirtpile, NM…)

Yeah, I totally made Mom come with me to walk the dog later. Anyway, now we’re settled in our rooms with the door locked, fresh towels safely stowed in our luggage, ready to go to sleep and dream of the free continental breakfast in the morning and another 5 hours and 5 minutes of driving fun. Next stop, Amarillo, TX. I’m so psyched for a rousing game of “Call That Dead ‘Dillo!” Buttons is praying night and day for opposable thumbs so she can open her crate and punch me in the face. As for Scuppy…

(We’ve got how many days left of this “adventure”?)

Until tomorrow…