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!
Without a doubt, Utah is the coolest state we passed through.
It helps that we had a prior good impression; in February of 2011, D and I traveled to Utah by train for an extended weekend of nerdiness. The landscapes were beautiful, people were uncommonly nice, AND the waiter at Denny's gave us free hot chocolate when we were waiting for our ride. Free hot chocolate, especially on a cold snowy morning, is definitely worth a gold star in my book.
As we drove along I-70, we couldn't help but wonder (admiringly, of course) at the names of some of the exits we passed. Goblin Valley State Park? Black Dragon and Ghost Rock? (Those two were scenic “view areas.”) Temple Mountain Road? Clearly, whoever had come up with these names was a kindred spirit of sorts.
|Green River, Utah|
By all accounts, our drive on Day 4 was relatively uneventful. The vast majority of the day was spent driving through Utah. We passed through Green River, where we stopped for gas and refreshments. The other thing we needed at this point was diapers. I normally use cloth diapers for Little Bug but, seeing as how I normally need to wash them every other day, this did not seem like a wise choice for a five-day road trip. Instead, we opted for disposables for our journey; I'm not a fan, but in the war of practicality and eco-friendliness, practicality won here.
The gas station we stopped at first only had diapers for babies much larger than Little Bug. So we drove across the street to the local competition, where an entire busload of Asian tourists were milling about. D had to wait in a long line to use the bathroom, while Little Bug and I got out of the car, leaving the windows cracked for Freddy, and slowly wandered around the parking lot. Some of the tourists were taking pictures of the large gasoline tanker truck, which was mildly puzzling to me. D finally reemerged from the mini-mart. No diapers here either, but he did get me a breakfast BelVita! If you've never had one before, they're basically breakfast cookies. I ate tons of them during my early breastfeeding days, since they provided easy extra calories that were relatively healthy (for a processed food).
After Utah, we passed briefly through Arizona. Seriously briefly. It took less than twenty minutes to drive through the upper left corner of the state.
And then we were in Nevada. The first “big” city we came to was Mesquite. The first exit had a Best Western (super expensive) and a hotel/casino, which was cheap but seemed rather dubious to us nonetheless. The second exit hosted a few more hotel/casinos, and a classy little joint called the Falcon Ridge Hotel, where we got a room for the night. It was definitely the nicest hotel we stayed at during the entire trip, and it was also the least expensive. While we waited for check-in time, we got a very early dinner at a drive-through Mexican place; D and I both had cheese enchiladas, which were delicious, along with rice and beans.
Our room was very comfortable, with all of the usual amenities: tv, fridge, microwave, two beds, a nice bathroom. They even had nice toiletries; the soap smelled wonderful! As usual, we went to bed fairly early, tired after a long day of driving while dealing with an unhappy cat and a small baby who doesn't understand why he can't just sit in my lap all day anymore.
We saw nine new states for the license plate game this day, as well as two more Canadian provinces:
Arizona Florida Idaho
Illinois North Carolina Oregon
Pennsylvania Virginia Wyoming
The journey would continue on Day 5.