The Navy is moving us from Waukegan, Illinois, to San Diego, California; driving across the country with a three-month-old baby and a cat who's afraid of the world is quite an adventure!
NOTE: I had pictures to put up here. But I'm a procrastinator and didn't get around to posting this until more than a week after arriving in San Diego, and during that time my cell phone (where the pictures were stored) died. Before I had transferred the pictures off of it. So sad, too bad, no pictures.
By the time Day 5 of our trip came along, all four of us were tired. D was tired of driving, I was tired of trying to keep Little Bug quiet and happy. Little Bug was tired of sitting in a car seat with nothing particularly exciting to look at, and Freddy was tired of his current lot in life.
And so it was with weary bodies and spirits that we settled into our SUV for the final day of our road trip.
The day started out with discovering the only two negative aspects of the Falcon Ridge Hotel, as far as I could ascertain. First, the shower drained slowly. Really slowly. Like, by the end of my five minute shower (babies necessitate developing the ability to cleanse oneself with great haste), I was standing in two inches of water. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things though.
Second, their “complimentary hot breakfast” didn't start until 0630. Which also wasn't really a big deal, except all of the other places we had stayed started breakfast at 0600. Additionally, Little Bug was still firmly in an Illinois-state-of-mind; he woke up at about 0430. Of course, waking up that early wasn't much of a stretch for us either. But even after both D and I had showered, an hour still remained until breakfast began.
So we faced a dilemma. To wait for free breakfast, which would surely be the best one of the trip so far? Or to just get on the road?
We opted to continue on our way, picking up breakfast from McDonald's (gasp!) along the way.
We pulled up to the drive-through ordering apparatus. D placed our order with the fast food worker.
D: I'd like two egg-and-cheese McMuffins. No meat.
FFW: Do you want anything else?
D: No, just two egg-and-cheese McMuffins. No meat.
FFW: (incredulous) You don't want the Canadian bacon?!?
D's response was not exactly kind. But then, we were on the final leg of our trip and very tired of it all. Plus, he doesn't really have much patience in the first place for idiots.
Our final day of driving was thankfully uneventful. We continued to stop every hour or two, both for our sake and for Little Bug's. Freddy continued to hide under the passenger seat. An hour or so out, we realized that neither of us had really been paying attention to license plates, so we gave up on that game. (Final count: 32 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and a US Government plate. Not bad.)
We drove the rest of the way across Nevada, through Las Vegas (where we only encountered a little bit of traffic). And finally we entered California. Blessed, wonderful California. The end was in sight!
Well, after a few more hours of driving, anyway. We both eagerly drank up the signs showing decreasing distances between our present location and San Diego. And finally, around 1330, we arrived at the Naval Station there!
Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing (haha) from there. Our initial hopes of staying in the Navy Lodge for a few nights were dashed when they asked for Freddy's vaccination records, which were stored with the rest of his paperwork in the POD. The motel we finally ended up getting a room at, the Vagabond Inn, was expensive and smelled faintly of stale cigarettes. We had a hard time finding the hotels in the first place, and it was only thanks to some friends of ours who had already relocated to San Diego that we were able to locate a place to stay at all.
But once we were in our room, with Freddy hiding under the blankets on the bed (where we had been expressly told NOT to let him go), D was free to seek out an apartment for us, hopefully one where we could move in within a day or two. I had a television to watch, and wi-fi, and a list of restaurants that would deliver food to us in our room. And Little Bug had a bed to sleep on next to his mama; he was still living in a different time zone, and fell asleep early.
But getting settled into San Diego? That's clearly a story for another day.