We woke up in our own bed this morning because we came home a day early. We’re all glad that we did. Ralphie already seems to have forgotten we left, except that he’s been carefully, almost methodically re-marking the neighborhood, letting his dog friends know he is back, I suppose. (There’s a very lame joke to be made here about catching up on his pee-mail. But I won’t make it. Oh, wait, I just did.)
When we left Battle Mountain yesterday morning at 8:30, we planned to go to the Whole Foods in Reno (we can’t figure out why we didn’t find it on the outbound portion of the trip) then continue on to Truckee. Around 10:30 , however, I decided that I did not want to sleep in another hotel bed. Nor did I want to unpack and pack the car. I wanted to go home. Dave was cool with that so we changed our plans. Just like that.
Ordinarily I find changes in plans very stressful. I’m a planner. A careful planner. When packing for this trip, for example, I needed to plan ahead for multiple hotel stops. I didn’t want to have to dig through the suitcase for clothes each day, so I devised a packing system that involved what Dave called “clothes packets:” each one contained a shirt, underwear and socks for Dave then a shirt, underwear, and socks for me laid on top of Dave’s clothes. I folded Dave’s shirt’s sleeves over to make the packet complete:
Yes, those are my polka dot panties and they are very cute. The system has more details but I’m simply using it as an example of my need to plan.
Yet when we agreed that we’d just push through and get home yesterday instead of today, I felt relief, even elation. That’s how badly I wanted to sleep in my own bed.
We stuck to the part of the plan that involved stopping at Whole Foods in Reno–people have to eat. There we shared a rotisserie chicken, and then I had what probably amounted to half a watermelon while Dave ate figs. I was really hungry. Ralphie got some of the chicken, so he was happy. I finished my lovely (albeit paper) cup of tea while Dave went back in for peanut butter and strangers came up to admire the Ralphster. Strangers everywhere admire Ralphie. How could they not?
After lunch and some navigating around construction (thank you Samantha!), we resumed the long drive home. Maybe it was all in my head, but once we got beyond Truckee and we reached lower altitudes, the air seemed thicker, even richer. For Ralphie’s sake we stopped in Davis so he could do some running. The Google led us to a dog park, which happened to be near my old running route. I never noticed its existence when I lived in Davis. We had the park to ourselves and Ralphie enjoyed playing fetch with his new toy, until the squirrels appeared. We let him work off a little more energy chasing squirrels then bundled him back in the car for the final push.
Thank God we were driving West–the traffic eastbound looked like a nightmare–but we had a smooth ride from Davis. We pulled into the driveway sometime around 6:00 pm. Ralphie started wagging and wiggling at the sight of the house. It turns out he really missed home, too.
As we ate dinner last night (at our kitchen table using real plates and utensils) I asked Dave what his favorite part of the trip, (category road portion) was. We had the same favorite: hiking Sunlight Mountain with Ralphie and Bella. His second favorite part, (category road portion) differed a little from mine: his was sitting in our room at the Hotel Denver drinking a beer and reading. I voted for the Greek omelet at the Daily Bread. Dave’s favorite moment, (category Denver) was playing video games with Clark. Mine was a tie between playing Wii with Clark’s coaching and playing cards with Cory and Jack. But other moments stand out, too: watching the Gay Pride Parade, listening to the thunderstorms, and relaxing in the backyard at Dave’s parents’ house, surrounded by family.
We didn’t come face to face with as much wildlife as I thought we might, and I can’t decide if I’m relieved or disappointed by that. But we did catch glimpses. One day I looked over while driving and I saw a deer swimming in the Colorado River. It was pretty magnificent. Yesterday Dave nudged me and pointed so that I wouldn’t miss the coyote standing casually in the grass dividing I-80 East from I-80 West.
And that’s the end of our road trip with Ralphie. We are already planning another one for next summer, driving up the west coast. I think it will be as successful as this road trip. But that’s next year.
I’m probably going to take a little break from blogging for a few weeks. I have a novella to revise, and I start rehearsals for my next show, Our Country’s Good, in July. I think I’ll blog about the rehearsal process. I’ve never written about rehearsing. I think that might be fun.